Hiring Tips for Asbestos Removal

Paul Pogue
Written by Paul Pogue
Updated March 15, 2016
contractor wearing haz-mat suit, mask and respirator
Contractors trained in asbestos abatement should come prepared with the proper gear, including a hazardous materials suit, mask and respirator. (Photo by Steve C. Mitchell)

If renovating a home older than 20 years, ask the contractor you hire to test for possible asbestos.

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Asbestos testing and removal need to be done by experienced professionals with specialized training. Here are some things to keep in mind when hiring a contractor to test or remove asbestos:

Asbestos regulations vary

The federal government does not license or accredit asbestos testers, and asbestos licensing and training regulations vary by state and local municipality.

Learn your local laws and verify that the contractor you hire holds the appropriate licensure and, if necessary, the permits required for the job.

OSHA requirements for handling asbestos

• Make sure the contractor is familiar with OSHA and EPA standards for handling asbestos. Even if your state doesn’t require it, verify that the supervisor’s training meets the EPA Asbestos Model Accreditation Plan, which OSHA requires for all asbestos removal jobs.

Video: Protect Yourself From Asbestos

Safe asbestos abatement

Familiarize yourself with safe asbestos work practices — such as sealing off the area with plastic, wearing masks and respirators and closely monitoring the air for the release of asbestos fibers — and make sure the contractor follows them.

Hire an asbestos contractor

Ask for references and check them. Specifically ask about the work practices the contractor used on previous jobs.

Afterward, it’s wise to get an independent asbestos test done to verify the work was done correctly and no asbestos remains in the home. 

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