Asbestos Testing and Safety

For your safety, the only person in the home during the time of asbestos testing should be the person who is collecting the sample. Whether you take a sample on your own for use with an at home testing kit, or you hire a professional asbestos testing team to collect the sample for you—there are risks to others who are in the area.

How Long Do I Need to Stay Away From My House?

The length of time you need to stay out of the home will vary on the extent of the samples that need to be taken. There is a strict process to follow to safely and correctly take the sample; and if samples are being taken from multiple locations or multiple types of materials, this will take longer than if a sample was taken from a small place in the home.

What Does An Asbestos Test Require?

An asbestos test requires a small sample of the suspected area. This means the material will need to be cut to its full depth, and then stored in an airtight container, properly labeled with where and when the sample was collected. You can take it yourself, but it is best to have a professional do it, so you can avoid contaminating other areas of your home.

  • Properly seal off the other areas of the home.
  • Turn off all heating and cooling systems.
  • Protect the flooring with a sheet of plastic.
  • Wet the testing sample to help prevent spread of fibers.
  • Do not put dust in a trash can, or use a vacuum to clean it up.

How Long Before I Get Results?

The results could be back within hours, but usually the results take a week or less to process. You may get them delivered via mail, e-mail, or over the phone. What the results say determines how you proceed. Your at home testing kit will tell you how long it will take. If you opt for the professional team, they will notify you how long you can expect to wait before getting the results back.

What A Positive Result Means

If you get a positive result, it means the material tested contains asbestos. If possible, leave it alone because when the materials are not disturbed, there is no risk to your health. If you have to remodel the affected area of your home, you will need a professional licensed and certified asbestos removal team.

The team will remove the asbestos and dispose of it properly, so you don’t have to worry about it. You will not be able to be in the home during the removal process either. Depending on how long it will take, you may be fine taking a vacation, or you may have to move into an apartment or other rental property for a short term.

What A Negative Result Means

A negative result means that the sample tested did not show asbestos. It does not mean that the entire home is asbestos free. If you are not confident in the results, have another sample from another part of the home tested to get a better idea as to whether or not the home is really contaminated.

If you are only planning a remodel in the tested area of the home and the test comes back negative then you should be fine to proceed with the remodel. However, if another part of the home will be disturbed in the process, make sure that part is tested too. This is necessary to ensure you are not contaminating other areas of your home.

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