Residential Asbestos Removal Process

Asbestos is a very useful fibre used for building and manufacturing, however it’s also very toxic and dangerous. Keep reading why you should remove asbestos in your home!


Asbestos is one of the six naturally occurring fibrous silicate minerals. They are composed of soft fibers that are highly resistant to electricity, corrosion, and heat, making the mineral very valuable and useful in the manufacturing of various products.

Asbestos dust or particles are very toxic and dangerous and can cause severe damages in the body when ingested or inhaled. Over time, asbestos trapped in the body will lead to inflammation and genetic damage. This mineral has also been established as the main cause of the rare cancer called mesothelioma. Other illnesses caused by the mineral are lung cancer, pleuritis, and ovarian cancer to name a few.

Because of its toxic nature, the composition of asbestos in the making of materials and products has been reduced to 1 percent. That is, its presence should not exceed more than 1 percent of the product.

As earlier mentioned, the resistance of the mineral to electricity, heat, and corrosion makes it very useful, especially in building construction. It is used in making ceiling tiles, roofing felts, floor tiles, and pipe insulations among other things.

Between the 1950’s and mid 1980’s, it was used heavily in building construction. This means that a lot of old homes have materials that contains asbestos. So before renting a new house or apartment, you might want to be sure of when it was built. Because the toxicity of this material is now well known, modern houses and buildings drastically reduce the use of the mineral, only making use of it when it is absolutely necessary. Click here to learn more about the history of asbestos.

Types of Asbestos

1. Amosite

Amosite is brown in color and has sharp, needle-like fibers that are highly resistant to heat and fire. This quality makes it commonly used in the production of fireproof construction materials. It makes up about 5 percent of asbestos used in building construction in the United States.

Reports from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) show that this type is the second most used in the U.S.  It is often present in the following:

·        Thermal insulation products

·        Cement sheets

·        Pipe insulation products

·        Fireproof materials

·        Electrical insulation products

·        Tiles

·        Chemical insulation products

·        Roofing sheets

2. Chrysotile

It is white in color and has fibers that are long and curly. It is often used in the textile industry because they can be easily woven into fabrics. Among the six known types of asbestos, chrysotile is the most used in the U.S. and Canada, accounting for around 95 percent of asbestos used in building construction.

Because chrysotile is incombustible and lightweight, it is also used in the production of automotive parts and Naval vessels. They can be found in roofing materials, cement, textiles, brake pads, gaskets, rubber, and plastic.

3. Actinolite

Actinolite has needle-like fibers that have a dark brown color. Other minerals like magnesium, calcium, and iron can be found in actinolite. Although this type is rare, products like paint, drywall, and sealants have been found to contain it.

4. Anthophyllite

Anthophyllite has brown and yellow fibers and often contains iron and magnesium. It is one of the rarest types of the mineral and isn’t commonly found in commercial products. But on rare occasions, they’ve been found to be present in some insulation materials.

5. Tremolite

Tremolite has sharp fibers that can have colors ranging from white to green. Magnesium is predominantly found in tremolite. It is not readily used in the production of commercial goods and products; however, it has been found to contaminate some vermiculite mines and talc deposits used in the production of cosmetic products. Paint, roofing, insulation, and cosmetics containing talc are some products that have been found to contain tremolite.

6. Crocidolite

Crocidolite fibers are fine and sharp with blue hues. Crocidolite fibers are very small and can be easily inhaled. Research has also shown that it may be the cause of most illnesses and tied to asbestos. It is not as heat and fire resistant as other types of and so isn’t commonly used in product deaths manufacturing. It has however been found in tiles and cement on rare occasions.

Removing Asbestos

1. First, a refurbishment and demolition survey has to be carried out to identify the areas of the building where asbestos is present and where refurbishment or demolition is to be carried out.

2. Once the areas where the mineral is present have been identified, a risk assessment has to be carried out following a management plan. The management plan will be in accordance with the issued guidelines from the EPA for Asbestos Containing Materials (ACMs). It is meant to highlight every possible way that workers may be exposed to the mineral as well as the best methods that can be applied to mitigate the risks.

3. The next step involves determining whether or not the work to be done is licensable or non-licensable. Typically, higher risk asbestos removal work requires licensed contractors. You can find licensed contractors if you visit website pages focused on asbestos and its removal.

Examples of such work requiring a license include:

· Work involving asbestos millboard or loose fill insulation
· Work exceeding asbestos exposure control limit
· Work where exposure to ACMs is prolonged
· Asbestos coating removal

1. It should be confirmed that the hired contractor has received appropriate training and holds a valid license. He should also have all the required equipment to carry out the work safely.

2. Once work starts on the site, it is the responsibility of the contractor to seal off all the areas where work is being done to prevent the dust and fibers of the mineral from going airborne. This can be done using polythene or approved wetting techniques. Frequent air monitoring should also be carried out to ensure control levels are not exceeded during and after the process.

3. Removed ACMs should be properly sealed in recommended waste sacks and disposed of at a licensed asbestos disposal site.

4. To ensure the safety of occupants of the building, decontamination procedures should be carried out throughout the building or at least around the areas of the work site. Visit here to learn more about the tools and strategies for preventing exposure to this mineral.

5. Once the decontamination process is over, all the exposed surfaces within the work area that was sealed off should be thoroughly cleaned off to get rid of any debris or residue. This process typically involves normal cleaning activities like vacuuming and washing.

6. The final process is the inspection of the work area by an analyst from an accredited laboratory.

7. Upon the approval of the analyst, a final air test is carried out before dismantling the enclosure used in sealing off the work area.


To avoid the risk of asbestos-related diseases, it is advisable to use other safer alternatives like amorphous silica fabrics, cellulose fiber, polyurethane foam, and flour fillers. When ACMs are spotted to have been compromised, isolate the area where they are and call in professionals.

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3 Ways to Sham Up Your Bedroom

Looking for a way to adorn your bed? Here are 3 ways you can get creative with your bed just by using different pillows!


Photos By: Unsplash

Our bedrooms are our escape zone. The peaceful shrine that we seek comfort in after a hard day of work. The only place that makes us feel relaxed and the only room in the house where we spend most of our time.

Decorating the bedroom seems like the first thing we plan and a place where we get as creative as we want to make it intimate and personal. After all, It is an expression of our taste and style. Needless to say, decorating or redecorating it can get stressful. There are costs to mule over as well, creating a budget is hard. Matching and contrasting mirrors, side tables, or even how to style your rugs, all can become a little overwhelming. The easiest and most effective way to spruce up your room is to use decorative pillows, which are more professionally known as Shams.

Shams are decorative pillowcases that you throw in your bed with normal pillows to add a certain glamour or pop of color. You can create a myriad of different looks with Shams. The best part is you can switch it as often as you like. This way you can have several looks for your bedroom on different days, depending on your mood you can make it cozy, luxurious, cute, or quirky.

Before getting into the subject of styling the shams, let’s clarify the difference between a normal pillowcase and a sham. Normal pillowcases are comfortable and made to be slept on and to protect the pillows. On the other hand, shams are decorative pillowcases used only as decor. You can sleep on them, but they are not usually comfortable. Many shams have an open back with a piece of cloth to cover the back slit. There are also shams with decorative lining known as the flange. You can also find quilted shams as well. Normal pillowcases usually have no extra decorations and are matching to the bed coverings, having an opening at the side. Shams, on the other hand, do not need to match your coverings, they are contrasted with the bed covering or match the duvet cover. This article will help you decide on the kind of shams you can go with and how to decorate the bed. 

Choose a Specific Style of Sham 

Not all shams are the same. There are specific styles you can choose from. Flanged sham and quilted sham I have mentioned before. There are also the standard sham and the standard pillow sham, aka knife-edge pillow sham. You can find different sizes as well, like Standard, King, and Euro. The Standard size is roughly around 26×20, a King 36×20, and Euro 26×26. Depending on your choice of setting and size of the bed, you have to choose the style,  and size of the Sham.

Ways to Create a Look 

Based on style and size, you can stack your shams, layer them or organize them asymmetrically to give it a disheveled look. If you have a small bed, you can go for a standard or euro style. Colorful or printed bed coverings could be styled with a white euro sham creating quite an eye-catching look. You can style a quilted sham to make your bedding more colorful or unique. If you are in a  minimalistic mood, pair your white shams with white bedding and pillows. Quilted shams are beautiful as they have intricate designs and patterns. It can be quilted with many colors or just one, like a white quilted pillow sham against pearl-colored bedding. That’s absolute heaven.

There is no end to color combinations, and you can decide based on your current fashion. After selecting the designs and look, you can move on to how to organize them.

How to Set the Shams 

You can stack your sham with your pillows, like the sleeping pillows at the bottom and the shams on top. It’s easy and only takes a few seconds. Another way is layering the pillows. There are many ways to do that, with as little or as many pillows. You can start with the larger pillows at the back as they fit nicely in the space nearest to the headboard. Match your larger shams to your luxury duvet and arrange them behind your everyday pillows (that match your sheet set). Here, you can use King-sized flanged shams at the very back than consecutively to standard and euro sizes. In between, you can put your normal pillows and finish with a small quilted pillow cushion at the center. Another technique is setting your pillows in asymmetrical order. This is a modern method, you can start with the bigger pillows on the side and slowly arrange all the other pillows sideways in descending order.

After you’ve made your bed, you may add some finishing touches. A folded blanket at the foot of the bed, for instance, or hanging casually over the side is a nice place to start. It will help tie your color palette together or, at the very least, add some lovely texture.


It may look like a lot of work at first, but a little goes a long way. A simple white sham at the back of all black bedding can make a huge difference. Shams are a great addition to your overall decor and have become a must-have. This is understandable, as I cannot imagine a unique bed with at least 2 shams. You can go from a Monday cozy accent to a Friday luxurious accent within a week. Mix and match within your color palette and voilà, you have beautiful bedding to be proud of!

Now that you have learned all about decorative pillows, aka shams, go and make your choice of color palette, buy some shams and start making your bed!

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