What do you need to know about asbestos abatement?

Asbestos is a dangerous set of six different minerals that often carries a reputation of death and disease, since it s a potentially lethal human carcinogen.

Asbestos was, at one time, an incredibly useful substance. It provided protection against chemical and electrical damage and was resistant to heat, absorbed sound, made for convenient building insulation, and it was cheap.

In the early 1900s, however, doctors began noticing a link between asbestos exposure and adverse health effects, including illnesses of the lungs and premature death. Nevertheless, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) allowed the usage of asbestos in gas fireplaces until the 1970s.

Now aware of the dangers caused by asbestos, many building and home owners have chosen to have asbestos abatement performed in order to provide a less-dangerous place for tenants to live and work. If you believe your home or building contains harmful asbestos, these are the steps commonly taken to identify and, ultimately, remove asbestos, from start to finish:

Removing Asbestos from Start-to-Finish

  1. Asbestos Survey: The abatement process begins with an evaluation, or inspection. Unlike mold, asbestos cannot be seen or smelt. When coming across materials in your home or business that appear suspicious, it is wise not to handle them, since asbestos is more dangerous when it’s disturbed. Home and building owners should consult qualified asbestos abatement testing professionals, like Rarefied Air Environmental, to take samples. 

Samples confirming the presence of asbestos, however, do not necessarily require immediate remediation. Asbestos that’s in good condition and will not be “disturbed” (release fibers) may not need to be removed. Nevertheless, it is important to consult a trusted professional to ensure the asbestos does not pose any threat to you, your home, or your building.

  1. If your asbestos survey does reveal the presence of harmful asbestos, here are some of the steps that may be taken in order to safely remove the asbestos, or ensure that it no longer poses a threat to anyone inhabiting your home or building:
  • Encapsulation: involves coating all asbestos-containing materials with an encapsulate to seal the materials and prevent exposure;
  • Asbestos repair: “patching up” of newly problematic or damaged – but previously encapsulated – areas of asbestos-containing materials.
  • Enclosure: requires an airtight structure to be built around the asbestos-containing material, which also acts as a preventative measure but must be regularly maintained; and
  • Removal: often the most expensive option, asbestos removal is the total elimination of asbestos and asbestos-containing material from a property.

If you believe that your home or building is at risk for harmful asbestos, you should consult a qualified San Diego asbestos abatement specialist, like Rarefied Air Environmental. Our DOSH-certified asbestos abatement professionals can provide you with a survey to determine whether asbestos is posing a threat to your property and its inhabitants and provide you and your remediation team with a comprehensive report for safe and complete treatment and/or removal. Call us today!


What is the asbestos abatement procedure from start-to-finish?