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How Can Asbestos Impact Your Water Damage Claim?

You’ve just suffered a pipe break, or maybe a hot water heater rupture; and you want to get the Water cleaned up and your property properly dried as soon as possible to prevent further damage and possible Mold growth. So, you contact a mitigation / cleaning company and they happily dispatch a crew to your home to begin the process.

But there’s a problem: That floor that’s all wet is Asbestos tile… Or maybe the water came from above and the popcorn texture on the ceiling contains Asbestos… Or perhaps the Insulation is vermiculite, thereby possibly containing Asbestos… The mitigation / cleaning company that you hired isn’t licensed or trained to perform Asbestos abatement. What now?

Do they know it’s Asbestos? Do they even know what to look for? Are they going to disturb it or tear it out, releasing life threatening Asbestos fibers into your home?

If they do recognize that they may be disturbing Asbestos, are they going to have to stop mitigation and wait for a Licensed Asbestos Abatement Contractor (Such as Disaster Blaster) to come in and properly remove the Asbestos containing materials? Will they need to wait for your Insurance Company to approve these additional steps and to assign a contractor able to perform this work? What happens to your home in the meantime?

From our experience, unfortunately, the answers to these questions are disturbing.

First, will they recognize it? Maybe. It is incredibly common for us to be asked to prepare an estimate for repairs from a water damage, only to find that the mitigation / cleaning company disturbed Asbestos during their mitigation (For example: In a very recent case the mitigation company sawed through Asbestos tile!). This is of course more likely a result of a lack of knowledge and training.

On the other hand, should the mitigation / cleaning company recognize that it is Asbestos, they will then need to stop all work in that area, notify the Insurance Company, and wait for the Insurance Company to locate a contractor capable of properly removing the Asbestos. During this period (Which can take some time), these areas are not being dried, possibly exacerbating the secondary damages caused by this moisture, and increasing the likelihood of harmful mold growth.

In the August 2013 edition of R & R Magazine (an Industry magazine for the Restoration & Remediation industry) the Lead Article addresses the fact that Asbestos remains a “stumbling block” for most mitigation / cleaning companies. This, unfortunately, has not changed.

We at Disaster Blaster recognized this as an unnecessary delay when fast, proper drying is a necessity, and that is why we took the steps to become properly Licensed and Trained in Asbestos Abatement. Because we are not simply a cleaning company equipped to suck up water, we are The Indoor Environmental Experts, capable of resolving your indoor environmental concerns properly and safely.

So, don’t waste time when time is of the essence, call a truly full service mitigation company! Contact your local Disaster Blaster! We are available 24 / 7 for emergency water damage mitigation and are unique in the local area, as we are also licensed to perform Asbestos Abatement should there be a need.

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