Does Asbestos Siding Pose a Risk for Homes in Washington, DC?

Asbestos Inspection in Burke, VA

Removing Asbestos Siding from Homes in Washington, DC

If your house was built between 1920 and 1981, it’s quite possible that you have asbestos siding on your Washington, DC home. Even if it doesn’t, by the time the EPA published their “Asbestos Ban and Phase Out Rule” in 1989, it was estimated that asbestos in some form or another could be found in more than 80% of the homes and offices in use when the rule was published.

Envirotex is a licensed, asbestos inspection and abatement contractor. We offer:

  • Safe and vigilant containment and removal following the highest safety procedures
  • Thorough site decontamination
  • Lawful disposal
  • All asbestos testing performed by an independent, certified lab

It’s not hard to understand why. From a builder’s perspective, it seemed like the perfect material. It was:

  • Easy to paint
  • Virtually maintenance free
  • Fire resistant
  • And a fantastic insulator

Plus, it was very easy to replace in small sections. Given all that, builders found a wide variety of uses for it, and even today, you can find homes with asbestos insulation, roofing shingles, floor tiles, and siding.

Although builders were quick to discover its many positive attributes, it wasn’t until much later that we began to understand just how dangerous asbestos is. You’ve probably seen the late-night infomercials about mesothelioma and the class-action lawsuits surrounding it. That’s what asbestos can do. It’s not always lethal, but it certainly can be.

Having read that, if you have asbestos siding on your Washington, DC home, you may be worried that it poses an immediate health risk to your family. Don’t be. That siding has been there since you bought the place, and as long as it’s intact and undamaged, you’re fine, but there’s a catch.

For all of asbestos’ attractive qualities, it’s got a serious shortcoming, above and beyond the health risks. It’s extremely brittle, and if you were to try to remove the asbestos siding from your Washington, DC home by yourself, it’s probably going to crumble apart on you. When that happens, tiny airborne particles are released into the air, and it’s these particles in particular that pose the risk.

If you’re lucky, “all” they’ll do is give you or members of your family some kind of upper respiratory condition. If you’re not so lucky, inhaling those particles will lead down the road to mesothelioma.

Even if you’re an experienced “do it yourselfer,” it’s just not worth the risk, so what’s a responsible homeowner to do?

If you’ve got asbestos siding on your Washington, DC home, you’ve got two options. The first, which is recommended by both the EPA and the Vinyl Siding Institute, is to cover the siding with a foam sheath, and then side over it with something more modern, which poses no threat to your family.

Once the asbestos is entombed by the sheath, even if it crumbles, the deadly particles can’t go airborne, which negates the risk. Unfortunately, that’s not always possible. Just like when you to go re-roof your house, you can’t infinitely put new shingles atop the old, at some point, you’re just not going to be able to put another layer of siding on your house, and when that happens, removal is the only option.

Since going it alone is a bad idea, you need an expert like Envirotex. A company with years of experience in safely removing asbestos siding from Washington, DC homes, and properly disposing of the material. That’s us. That’s what we do, and if you contract with us to do the work, we will:

  • Develop a detailed remediation plan that includes a no-obligation quote, so you’ve got a firm understanding of the scope, scale and cost of the project.
  • Once you’re comfortable with everything and ready to proceed, we’ll start with containment, cordoning off the area the work is to be performed in to ensure that none of the airborne particles escape.
  • Once the area has been properly secured, we’ll proceed with the physical removal of the asbestos siding from your Washington, DC home.
  • After it’s all down, we’ll thoroughly decontaminate the area so that there’s no risk to you or your family.
  • And finally, safely transport the material to a facility that’s certified to handle it.

If, for whatever reason, testing is required on the siding, we’ll make sure that work is performed by a properly certified lab and share the results with you when we get them back.

Here, it’s worth mentioning that as a homeowner, you’re not under any legal obligation to remove the asbestos siding from your Washington, DC home. Legal obligations or not though, most people just don’t want to take any risks where the health of their family is concerned. We completely understand that. It’s a big part of why we do what we do!

If it turns out that your home doesn’t have asbestos siding, given how many things it was used for in construction, it may very well be present elsewhere in your home, and if you’ve got asbestos insulation, shingles, or flooring, we’ll be happy to help you be rid of it in whatever form it exists.

Where asbestos floor tiles (which peaked in popularity in the 50’s and 60’s) are concerned, you may not need to remove it at all though. The recommended approach for flooring tiles is to entomb them. This is accomplished by pouring a layer of concrete over the tiles, which has the same effect as the foam sheathing we talked about where the siding was concerned. Do that, and you can simply put a new flooring material on top of the layer of concrete, and your problem is solved.

The same basic thinking applies to asbestos shingles. If at all possible, sheath them and roof over them. Unfortunately, as we mentioned earlier, there are hard limits to how many times you can do this before you just have to pull everything down and start over. If you’ve reached that point where your roof is concerned, our process for remediation will, broadly speaking, follow the same path we outlined above.

Our company does a lot more than simply help you deal with asbestos and asbestos-related issues though. We’re an environmental services company, and as such, we can deal with most any environmental hazard you may encounter. Here are a few of the other services we provide:

  • Mold testing (including testing for mold that may be lurking in your home’s heating and air conditioning system)
  • Mold removal (we can even remove mold from drywall, and can handle black mold, which can be notoriously hard to get rid of)
  • Lead paint testing
  • Lead paint removal
  • Formaldehyde testing and removal
  • And IAQ (Indoor Air Quality) Testing

If you’ve never considered having the air quality inside your home tested, you should give it some thought. Most people are shocked beyond words to find out how much pollution they’ve got in the air inside their homes.

Most of the time, this pollution won’t hurt you, but if you or a member of your family suffers from some type of upper respiratory condition like asthma or COPD, then the cleaner the air inside your home, the easier they’ll be able to breathe, and let’s face it, even if you don’t have a condition like that, nobody wants to spend all day, every day breathing in high concentrations of dust, pollen, pet dander in the like, which is why testing is so important.

The test will show you how much of what types of pollution you have in your home. Armed with that information, if you decide you want to take action, we can recommend whole-home air purification equipment that will get the job done, and help you properly size the system.

All of these things underscore an important point. There are more hidden dangers and potential hazards lurking in your home and around your property than you probably realize, and getting rid of them is the only way to negate the risk to your family’s health.

Unfortunately, these types of hazards can’t be dealt with safely on your own. You need a trusted expert on your side, and that’s where we come in.

If you even suspect a potential hazard somewhere on your property, gives us a call. Testing will confirm or deny the presence of the hazard, and if found, we can begin making plans for its safe removal. Call us today. We’ll be there when you need us.

About Envriotex Environmental Services

Established in Northern Virginia in 2000, Envirotex Environmental Services was founded on military service. While serving his country, the company's owner Mr. Freeman gained vast knowledge and experience in the environmental services field. His expertise in air monitoring and hazardous materials testing prepared him for his post-military career.

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