When Colorado Contractors Need to Call an Asbestos Inspector

The majority of structures that have been built in Colorado contain materials made with asbestos. Most of these products pose no danger as long as they stay intact, undisturbed, and in good condition. But renovations, repairs, or restoration projects could lead to damaging those materials and cause long-lasting health effects when those asbestos fibers are disturbed and/or released into the air.

When Colorado Contractors Need to Call an Asbestos Inspector

Since construction contractors handle these materials regularly due to the type of work they do, they need to be aware of the dangers and possible liability. Only a certified and qualified professional should attempt to abate regulated materials and hazardous substances.

Because asbestos has been a part of building products for years, testing for it will be required well into the future. Common asbestos-containing building materials (ACBMs) found in older buildings include flooring and other finishes, insulation material, fireproofing, roofing products, wall and ceiling materials, and adhesives.

Both OSHA and the EPA have established federal regulations that require asbestos inspections and surveys. The EPA specifies that you must complete an asbestos inspection before any demolition or remodel of a commercial, educational or multi-unit residential building. OSHA requires asbestos testing and asbestos surveys to ensure a safe working environment for all occupants and employees. Failing to meet these guidelines can result in fines and other penalties.

Never presume a building has no asbestos, no matter how new it is, and never assume a subcontractor, property manager, or an owner has already had it tested. Because once you’ve started work on a job, you’re lumped in with those considered to have “control of the site” and may be held responsible for any asbestos that is tested for and found afterward. That could generate hefty regulatory fines for the removal, transportation, and disposal of asbestos. You may also expose yourself to a lawsuit or jail time as this could cause employee or occupant exposure.

Always test for asbestos before starting work or consult with a certified asbestos inspector who can help you throughout the process. If you believe an ACBM is on the property, first contact an industrial hygiene firm to provide a licensed inspector to test the suspect material. They’ll let you know if there’s asbestos in the building by presenting a written evaluation specifying where the mineral was located, how widespread it is, and proposals for mitigation.

The industrial hygiene firm you use should be unconnected to the abatement contractor to avoid the “fox watching the henhouse” situation. If it’s established that an ACBM exists and remediation is required, the industrial hygiene company will prepare an abatement work plan for the qualified asbestos abatement contractor you use.

Since opportunities to be exposed to asbestos will come up continually and well into the future, it’s best to be partnered with Colorado’s Cyclone Kleen Up. They’ll help keep you and the environment safe by providing professional asbestos abatement services.