By “Handyman” Bob Strong
The cost of remodeling your home is about to go up – and, it could be significant. For many years, there has been a requirement to not bring asbestos containing materials to either of the Metro transfer stations. Enforcement began in earnest just one year ago, when Metro published this on their website:
These rules are found at: http://www.oregonmetro.gov/tools-living/garbage-and-recycling/asbestos-information-metro-customers.
Likely, the item on the new list which will increase cost the most is “drywall”. You may know it as gypsum board or by one of its most popular brand names, Sheet Rock. Remodeling often requires removing all wall material down to the studs and many times that material is drywall. This means every gypsum wall and ceiling that will be disturbed during the renovation or demolition will require testing.
Note that abatement will be required.
So, what is abatement? Simply stated, that is the removal and disposal of asbestos containing material by a properly licensed firm or, in some cases, by the homeowner. This means your general contractor will need to hire another specialized subcontractor – just like the electrician or plumber is a subcontractor – to remove and dispose of any “hot” walls or ceilings.
Abatement always begins by creating a containment area where material is to be removed. This is done by using heavy-gauge plastic sheeting to form a nearly air-tight “room”. It is important to keep any asbestos fibers completely contained, so that nobody will end up inhaling them. Personal protective equipment, including Tyvek suits, gloves, and respirators is worn by anyone entering the containment area. Once bagged and ready for disposal, the material is transported to Hillsboro Landfill, the only landfill in our area licensed by the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to receive asbestos containing material.
Just as with any other regulated activity, asbestos inspection, laboratory testing, and contracted abatement are all controlled by specific protocols. Each of these adds time and fees that your contractor must factor in before arriving at the final cost of your project. This is why I say that the cost of remodeling your home is about to go up – and, it could be significant.
Handyman Bob offers home improvement advice on his radio show, Around The House, every Saturday from noon to 2:00 on FM News 101 KXL. He is also a licensed general contractor (CCB# 180583) and Certified Asbestos Building Inspector (Certificate# 154966). Contact information can be found at his website http://EnviroTest.biz