Why is Abatement so expensive?
Asbestos and lead based paints in your home are a fact of life if your home is older than 40 years old. Below is our Frequently asked questions we get asked a lot.
Asbestos abatement is really expensive!
After receiving a quote for what seems like a simple project, everyone questions why is it so expensive.
There are multiple reasons it can be expensive. Below we will list some of the many reasons why.
The alternative is to do it yourself. At first this may seem reasonable, considering the work seems minor. However, besides it being one of most dangerous materials in your home, mishandling asbestos can harm yourself, your family, possibly your neighbors, and other people, who are downstream, that are involved with the disposal.
Permits, Training, and Certification
To start any abatement project, one needs permits. The city has its own requirements for a home improvement project. You may or may not need a local city permit. The State of Oregon does need a permit, even if you are doing the work yourself. There is usually a 10 day waiting period after submitting the paperwork through DEQ. It may take longer.
The State of Oregon and Washington requires that every construction worker who performs abatement service obtain training and certification from state approved trainers. A physical exam is required. Workers are trained on how to set up negative airflow in a room, how to use a ventilator mask, how to test, and how to properly label and dispose of asbestos , lead and mold.
We are also required to have a supervisor on each job, whom is specially trained to manage a project, insure safety, and provide his signature that the job was performed safely, while following all of the regulatory requirements.
The Rules, Regulations, and the Law
The States of Oregon and Washington both have guidelines, rules, and regulations related to abatement. Contractors are required to be certified (Oregon DEQ asbestos abatement license), and to meet the many regulatory requirements. In fact, ordinary contractors cannot perform this type of work. General contractors call abatement contractors for all of their projects.
Oregon DEQ has a short web page with some guidelines for abatement.
The list of contractors certified to perform abatement in Oregon (we are in the list!) . This is a PDF, suitable for printing.
The rules govern who can perform this type of work, the requirements while performing the work, testing, and disposal.
The list of rules can be extensive, depending on what is being worked on, whether it is friable or not (does it break apart or create dust) and how its being handled.
Oregon DEQ does have some suggestions on how to protect you and members of your household, but only for certain asbestos containing materials. The DEQ STRONGLY recommends against performing abatement yourself.
For some materials, one can attempt to perform this, but there are numerous conditions. For example, if the material starts to break up, or shatters, or emits dust, you are required to stop work, and to call a professional like us. A form is required to be submitted to approve the work to the state, with a minimum 10 day waiting period before approval. You can call us to get our opinion on whether its reasonable to DIY.
There are no safe levels of asbestos exposure.
"Guidance on how to remove friable asbestos-containing material (popcorn, furnace insulation, sheet vinyl and homeowner survey) is available to a homeowner who lives at the residence and would like to perform the removal themselves by contacting DEQ asbestos Staff.
This is not recommended, but allowed."
The DEQ has recommendations on equipment. Most homeowners do not have access to the professional equipment used by Oregon Abatment, like reverse pressure air filter pumps with HEPA filtering, high powered vacuums with HEPA filtering or required particle count air sampling.
DEQ suggests a coverall, boot covers, a respirator, gloves, sealable containers, spray bottle, scraper, tape, and sturdy plastic bags.
All asbestos materials need to be disposed of properly. This includes sealing and correctly marking bags with an asbestos label.
Contact the DEQ to find the nearest Hazardous waste site which can accept asbestos and other hazardous materials like lead paint, and mold. This means a trip to the transfer station. The cost of disposal for this type of material is much more than one typically pays for regular garbage.
The Hillsboro Transfer station can be of assistance here.
To dispose of asbestos material, one needs to call them 24 hours in advance.
You are required to fill out a State ASN-4 form . The material needs to be packaged correctly, and labeled correctly. For more details, visit their Website.
Currently, one can expect to pay a minimum of about $200 for the first bag of material.
We can accommodate your waste bags in our large containers. Call us, and we will pick up your waste for a LOT less (remember, we do demolition and waste removal for residential home improvement projects as well.
We Do Waste Removal!
The first bag will cost you as much as $200 to dispose of!
Save money and call us to pick up your hazardous waste..