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Choosing a Testing & Abatement Contractor

Asbestos, lead, and mold can negatively affect your indoor air quality and your health. Exposure to asbestos, lead, and mold has been linked to several health-related problems. The inhalation of asbestos fibers, lead dust, or mold spores can lead to respiratory illnesses. While most products manufactured today are free of asbestos and lead is no longer used in paint, plumbing, or building materials, they can still be found in older homes. Homeowners living in homes built prior to the 1980s are at a higher risk of asbestos and lead exposure. The safest way to ensure successful asbestos, lead, or mold inspection and removal is to hire a professional.

[moldy grout on tile]

How much does mold removal cost?

Mold removal typically costs between $500-$6000 on average. Mold removal cost depends largely on the location of the mold and the extent of the problem. For example, if remediation is required to remove damaged drywall or flooring, the cost will be much higher than a job that requires treating a small area where mold has grown. The cost of mold removal also depends on the contractor you use.

[moldy drywall]

What is mold remediation?

Mold spores exist naturally both indoors and outdoors. Mold remediation is the process of reducing mold levels to help prevent health effects. Mold remediation typically involves mold cleanup, air filtration, removal of mold-infested materials, cleaning and sanitizing belongings, and repairing or replacing damaged building materials.

[asbestos material]

What does asbestos look like?

The microscopic fibers that make up asbestos can’t be seen with the naked eye. With that being said, there are a few ways you can identify asbestos.

  • Locate possible asbestos materials, especially roofing, siding, floors, walls, and ceilings. Structures built between 1940-1980 are likely to contain asbestos materials.
  • Check for manufacturer’s information, dates, and codes. Some products contain codes such as AC (contains asbestos) or NT (does not contain asbestos).
  • Consult an experienced contractor, building inspector, or someone experienced in identifying asbestos. In some states, you can collect a sample and send it to a certified lab for testing. However, most states require that asbestos testing be performed by an EPA-certified contractor.
[asbestos on roofs]

How do you test for asbestos?

In most states, asbestos testing must be done by an EPA-certified contractor. If you live in a state that allows DIY asbestos testing, a test kit can typically be purchased online or from a home improvement store. After collecting a sample of possible asbestos material, the sample is mailed to a certified lab. Test results are typically sent back to you within a few days. When collecting samples, it is important to take precautions to ensure your safety.

[lead paint test]

How do you test for lead paint?

Hiring a qualified contractor to test for lead paint in your home is the best way to ensure accurate results. If you choose to test for lead paint yourself, you need to know how to choose the right DIY lead test for your situation. Sulfide-based kits should be used for lighter paint colors and rhodizonate-based kits should be avoided for red or pink paint colors. Additional testing might be required depending on how many layers of paint there are and the colors that are present. Carefully follow the instructions included with your chosen DIY lead test kit.

[lead paint removal]

How do you remove lead paint?

Removing lead paint requires careful preparation to prevent exposure to lead dust and debris.

  • Remove furniture, rugs, and belongings from the room you’ll be working in.
  • Securely cover floor and doorways to adjacent rooms with plastic sheeting.
  • Turn off HVAC system and cover heating vents and registers to keep lead lead from entering your ventilation system. Close windows to prevent drafts.
  • Wear protective gear and a lead-rated respirator mask with a HEPA-approved filter.
  • Wet the areas of chipped or peeling paint with water.
  • Scrape loosened areas of paint and sand down any rough areas. You do not need to remove paint that is firmly attached.
  • Keep the area wet and clean and change the water bucket frequently to remove residual dust and debris.
  • Clean up the area with a HEPA vacuum certified for lead dust removal.

A qualified lead removal contractor can ensure safe removal of lead paint and reduced exposure to lead dust.

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