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The Dangers of Asbestos

The Dangers of Asbestos

Nowadays the hazards of asbestos are well known. And it’s already been several decades since we’ve stopped using this material in our homes. However, if your house was built before 1990, there’s a fair chance that it contains asbestos. According to the Canadian Cancer Society, between the years 1920 and 1990, 240,000 homes across Canada were insulated with materials that might contain this potentially harmful product.

When is asbestos dangerous?

Asbestos becomes a risk to your health when the fibres become airborne and you breathe them into your lungs. The fibres can become airborne in two ways:
  • When asbestos-containing products begin to break down. Products that deteriorate and release asbestos fibres are called “friable” and can include attic insulation, spray-on popcorn ceilings, sprayed fireproofing and sprayed thermal insulation.
  • When asbestos-containing products are damaged, for instance by tears, cracks or water damage. Such damages might occur when people are doing home renovations
Note, however, that most housing materials containing asbestos don’t pose health risks, so long as they’re in good condition.

Why is asbestos dangerous?

Asbestos fibres, which can’t be seen, smelled or tasted, don’t dissolve in the body; once they‘ve been inhaled or ingested, it’s extremely difficult for our bodies to expel them. These trapped fibres can cause inflammation, scarring and ultimately cellular damage. Asbestos is associated with numerous diseases, the main three being lung cancer, asbestosis and mesothelioma: chronic diseases that are highly serious and often fatal. Every year a staggering 100,000 people worldwide die of asbestos-related diseases.

There are no immediate symptoms upon exposure to the substance, and asbestos-related illnesses often take 20 to 50 years to develop. However, given the seriousness of the diseases, once they’ve been diagnosed, there’s often no way to effectively treat them. The only measures to take are preventive ones, including removing potentially dangerous asbestos-containing materials from your home and taking care not to expose yourself to such materials on the job. (Occupational exposure is by far the principal cause of asbestos-related illnesses.) 

What to do if you discover asbestos-containing materials in your home?

Sometimes it’s essential to remove asbestos-containing materials; sometimes it’s best to leave them undisturbed. In any case, evaluation and removal of asbestos should always be done by certified asbestos abatement professionals.

If you discover (or suspect) that asbestos was used in your home or building and you aren’t certain that it’s safe, don’t hesitate to reach out to A&M Abatement. Our asbestos abatement contractors will provide you with the reliable and professional service you want for such an important task. Contact us today for asbestos removal in the Edmonton area.

Interior Demolition and How is the Cost Estimated?

Interior Demolition and How is the Cost Estimated?

When you decide to renovate one of the first and most underappreciated steps is interior demolition. You may believe interior demolition is a simple matter of smashing down a few walls and tearing out a ceiling or floor, but there are several key steps to ensure the job is done safely and the old surfaces are properly left to receive new finishes. At A&M Abatement Services we take care of your demolition projects efficiently without damaging the remaining finishes.

What is Interior Demolition?

Interior demolition is the process of removing finishes or other features inside your home or business, this can include, cabinets, flooring, appliances, the removal of walls, and even stripping the walls right down to studs so you can completely update your space inside and out. Why should you hire a professional demolition expert and what does it involve? There are several dangers associated with demolition, and I don’t just mean slivers and pinched fingers. In addition to the inherent dangers associated with this work, you must also consider if you know how to properly disconnect and isolate water and electricity, can you identify which walls may be load-bearing? Do you understand how certain things are installed and what may be damaged if they aren’t removed properly?

How do we estimate the cost of your interior demolition project?

There are several factors to consider when estimating the cost of demolition and it is more than just the cost of sledge-hammers and screwdrivers.

  • Size and Scope of the Project
    • How big or small and complex or simple is your project? We will look at what you are removing and how much time and effort it will take to remove your old finishes.
  • Waste
    • What can be salvaged and reused or recycled? What needs to be disposed of and how much disposal is required; will it fit in a pick-up truck, will you need a large trailer to transport it, or do you need a bin or several bins on site?
  • Hazardous Materials
    • Asbestos – Did you know that asbestos can be found in several materials inside your home including linoleum, vinyl floor tiles, ceiling or wall texture, drywall joint compound, pipe elbows, and vermiculite insulation? Proper safety procedures must be followed when dealing with asbestos-containing materials to ensure the safety of workers and of occupants after the renovations are complete (asbestos fibers are so small that they can remain airborne indefinitely, even after the area has been cleaned up). Proper procedures and final air clearance are critical when dealing with Asbestos.
    • Mould – If any parts of your home have been exposed to a lot of moisture over time possibly from flooding, leaks, or steam you may find mould when you open up walls or attic spaces. We can safely remove and clean up any mould as part of our abatement services.
    • Lead Paint – Lead paint is common in older homes and needs to be removed in such a manner that the lead won’t be inhaled or allowed to absorb into your bloodstream, proper lead removal procedures must be followed when working around lead paint. If you are renovating an older space in the Edmonton area and need professionals to remove the old materials hazardous or not call A&M Abatement Services

If you’re looking for abatement professionals in the fields of demolition, mould removal, and remediation in the Edmonton area, give us a call at A&M Abatement Services Ltd.

Can Mould Removal Be Covered by Insurance?

Can Mould Removal Be Covered by Insurance?

Mould on your home’s walls can, if left to its own devices, become a serious problem. Unless it’s been explicitly added to your home insurance policy, however, most basic homeowner policies won’t cover mould damage. That being said, there are many cases where the event that caused the mould in the first place (damage to your plumbing or a flood, for example) will be covered by insurance and mould remediation or abatement may be covered within that context.

At A&M Abatement Services Ltd. in Edmonton, we want everyone to know about the potential hazards that unchecked mould growth can pose to your property and family, as well as the importance of protecting yourself against these threats through insurance or common-sense safety measures.

What Causes Mould on Walls?

Mould is a kind of fungus that likes to grow in very specific places. Rather than getting its energy from the sun, as plants do, mould gets its energy from breaking down other materials. To grow, mould needs two things: a material (often organic) to eat and water. When it comes to your home, damp, dark places are often great targets for mould. Basements and crawlspaces, for example, frequently have mould in them. Specific materials that are great food for mould include:

  • Wood
  • Drywall
  • Cardboard
  • Damp textiles (like carpets or furniture upholstery)

Mould, if it has become a bad enough problem, can even pose a threat to human health. In order to reproduce itself, mould introduces spores into the air (similar to the way in which plants use pollen). These little spores can cause a number of different problems in humans when we breathe them in, depending on what kind of mould you have. Symptoms associated with mould include:

  • Irritation of your eyes or throat
  • Coughing or wheezing
  • Asthma-like symptoms
  • Allergic reactions

The best way to protect your home against mould is to take away the conditions that help it grow. That means regulating the moisture in your home. Making sure your plumbing is in good condition, ensuring that your basement never floods, and keeping your air conditioning and other air filtering units in good repair are all great ways to keep the moisture levels in your home under control.

At A&M Abatement, we have a combined 25 years of experience in the mould removal business in Edmonton. If you have mould problems in your home, it’s best to take care of it sooner rather than later, before things get any worse. Contact us today to find out how we can help you keep your home safe and mould-free.

How Much Does Mould Removal Cost?

When mould invades your home you may reach for bleach or other household cleansers, but mould can easily spread where moisture is present. The crawlspace under your home or the duct work in the walls and attic are particularly susceptible to mould.

If you suspect a mould problem at your home or business it is important to schedule a property assessment by a mould removal company like A&M Abatement Services Ltd. Their mould removal experts will determine the variety of mould, the extent of the infestation, and will be able to properly remove the mould and restore your home or business. Our Sherwood Park, Fort Saskatchewan, Edmonton, and St. Albert neighbors and customers ask us a lot of questions with the first one coming from Canada’s usual pragmatic stance – how much does it cost to have mould removed? 

The reality is that the level of infestation will directly affect your mould removal cost. The mould in the bathroom may require just a few dollars’ worth of cleaning supplies. However, mould grows and can spread – if it gets into your heating and cooling system, mould spores can get recirculated through your home, continuing to make you sick even if you’ve cleaned up the area where you originally found the mould. 

A quick Google search places the cost of the initial consultation between $250 and $500 (always ask if it includes air and surface samples), and samples vary between $18 and $225 apiece, depending on the laboratory. As you can see, remediation costs depend on how big of space needs cleaning, and how much mould is present to be cleaned. Be sure to pay attention to the experience of the mould remediation company you’re hiring, and if they offer any guarantee should the mould come back. 

Because of Canada’s changing climate, everyone should consider insurance to ensure it will cover at least part of the mould remediation cost, especially if you live in a flood zone. Home owners’ insurance typically covers mould remediation and removal only if the problem results from a sudden emergency already covered under your policy, such as a burst pipe. Insurance usually doesn’t pay if the mould resulted from chronic moisture, deferred maintenance, or floodwaters (unless you carry flood insurance).

If you discover mould in your home A&M Abatement Services Ltd. is here for you with free estimates on remediation, odour removal, cleaning, and sanitization. Contact us, A&M Abatement at 780-803-3774 today, proudly serving Edmonton, Sherwood Park, St Albert and surrounding areas, as well as Northern Alberta and the Northwest Territories.

Why hire an expert for mould removal?

Though us Canadians don’t like to think about other ‘organisms’ living in our home, it is a reality we face with our humid climate – mould is just one of those many creatures. It can be hazardous to your health depending on the type of mould.

If scrubbing and bleaching does not solve your problem, it’s time to call in the mould remediation specialists at A&M Abatement Services Ltd. to uncover and remove the harmful spores. When spores are present in large quantities, they are a health hazard to humans and can potentially cause allergic reactions as well as respiratory problems. Long exposure can be particularly harmful. The term “toxic mould” refers specifically to moulds that produce mycotoxins, such as Stachybotrys Chartarum, where exposure to high levels of mycotoxins can lead to neurological problems and, in some cases, death.

Mould remediation begins with a visual investigation that takes anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 hours, depending on where the problem is hiding – in plain sight or behind walls. Next, for health or legal reasons the consultant may suggest taking air and surface samples to identify your particular mould type.

Cleaning up after mould removal

Cleanup can be as simple as spraying and disinfecting drywall, or as complex as:

• HVAC disinfection
• Drywall, stud, and insulation removal
• Cleaning personal belongings
• HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filtration

The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification outlines these five major principles of mould remediation:
• Control of mould at the source of contamination before it spreads further
• Make sure safety and health precautions are taken by cleanup professionals: anyone involved in the mould remediation process must be protected from exposure through a combination of practices and controls
• A post-cleanup assessment has to be completed by an independent environmental expert to ensure that remediation work is being properly performed. It is highly recommended that appropriate documentation of the remediation process be kept by project management
• Oversee the proper physical removal of the mould from the structure as bleach alone cannot kill mould
• Ensure that moisture is controlled to limit future contamination or recontamination; the moisture problems must be identified, located, and corrected or controlled as soon as possible.

Searching for a reliable mould and asbestos removal expert

At A&M Abatement Services Ltd. our comprehensive services include remediation, odour removal, cleaning, and sanitization. If you discover mould in your home A&M Abatement Services Ltd. is here for you with free estimates. Contact us at 780-803-3774 today. We proudly service Edmonton, Sherwood Park, St Albert and surrounding areas, as well as Northern Alberta and the Northwest Territories.