You don’t often think about asbestos. But, if you are thinking about remodeling a home or office, and you live in Colorado, there is much to consider. There are so many details to confirm and decide on. When to start, what colors to choose, what changes to make, either structural or not. But there is one important step everyone needs to know. That is prior to demolition, you need an asbestos inspection.
Does Where I Live In The State Matter?
Matters not where in the state you reside, Southern Colorado, Northern Colorado or any other area in between. The EPA’s State Health Department, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), seriously enforce asbestos testing on any renovation and demolition projects.
There are heavy duty fines for projects that begin without proper permitting requirements. This, when all you needed was an initial asbestos inspection performed by a certified professional before beginning the demolition phase of your project. The requirement is that an EPA trained and certified Asbestos Building Inspector perform asbestos inspections to classify all present building material as NOT asbestos-containing.
The thinking is to assume and presume that there is asbestos materials present. The only way to be absolutely sure that material you will be demolishing does not contain asbestos is to hire a state certified asbestos building inspector to test the materials and submit a formal report along with the lab results.
Research Before Demolition
If you live in the City and County of Denver, Colorado, you can learn more about the residential permitting requirements for remodeling projects. Do some research on the state laws. The EPA and OSHA have specific standards regarding asbestos. At this point you should also research for your project the specific demolition permit requirements for your local city and county.
Asbestos! Now What?
If the samples of testing come back asbestos-containing or as “trace” (meaning 1% or less asbestos content, you would have to hire a Certified General Abatement Contractor (CGAC). It is their responsibility to ensure all asbestos is removed according to state and federal regulations. They have a license to remove, transport, and dispose of all materials. They have not only the training, but the equipment for containment setup. They normally use high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters which help prevent cross-contamination during an asbestos abatement process.
When the process is complete a third-party State-certified Air Monitoring Specialist (AMS) will perform a Final Air Clearance to specify there are no existing asbestos fibers in the contained work area. There is a Final Air Clearance procedure that ensures that the abatement contractor has successfully performed the asbestos removal and clean-up. They need this clearance prior to taking down the containment or contained work area.
Think Safety Remodeling
So, while remodeling your home or office can be exciting, it’s important to keep your family and workers safe. Be informed and stay on top of your State of Colorado asbestos regulations. Make it a priority to get the asbestos inspection prior to beginning any demolition work not only in Denver, but in all areas of Colorado state.