Below are some of the most commonly asked questions by our customers. If
you don’t see your question here, please
Q: Why should I choose ERI ?
A: At ERI, we pride ourselves on our extensive experience, high-level of
workmanship and quality customer service. Selecting the
right abatement contractor can be tricky, with many important factors to consider beyond price. We
encourage you to research your options and be sure to compare
experience before making your decision.
Q: What is your service area?
A: We serve all Bay Area cities in the following seven counties: Alameda,
Contra Costa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano and Marin.
Q: What is the bid process?
A: Upon initial contact, one of our specialists will gather all pertinent
information for the project. We will come to your property to evaluate
the scope of work, take any necessary measurements, and thoroughly explain
the abatement process. We will then submit a proposal for you to review
Q: What is post-abatement clearance testing?
A: The purpose of clearance testing is to determine that an area is clear
of hazardous levels of dust, debris, or airborne particles before occupants
are allowed back into the area. It is in the best interest of all parties
involved to have clearance testing conducted; however, it can sometimes
be cost- or time-prohibitive. Qualified personnel that are not financially
tied to the contractor should conduct clearance testing. To avoid conflicts
of interest, ERI excludes clearance testing from its contracts. Your project
manager can refer you to qualified personnel or point you in the right
direction to locate them yourself.
Q: Could My Home Contain Hazardous Materials?
Older homes are likely to contain lead paint and asbestos, which are both
now known to have a wide range of possible health effects—including
certain types of cancer. Asbestos is a high risk in homes built between
1930 and 1980, while lead paint may be a concern for any home built prior
to 1978. In the case of mold, any area where there is excess moisture
is a concern. There are many types of mold that may develop in the home,
and while they do not always cause health problems, they are all potential
hazards for costly structural damage.
Questions About Asbestos
Q: What is asbestos?
Asbestos is a group of natural minerals in the environment. These natural minerals
form fiber bundles that can be divided into small, strong strands. Because
of their strength and durability, asbestos fibers do not conduct electricity
and are fire, chemical and heat resistant. This combination makes asbestos
ideal for construction use.
Q: Where can asbestos be found?
A: Common products that may have been made with asbestos include:
- Decorative Material – Sprayed on Walls & Ceilings
- Hot water and Steam Pipes
- Furnace Ducts
- Ceiling Tiles
- Floor Tiles
- Wallboard Joint Compound
- Window Putty
- Siding and Roofing Shingles
- And More.
Q: Is asbestos easily identified?
A: Contractors, HVAC techs, plumbers, and so on can easily decide visually
if asbestos was used in your home. Unfortunately, the only way to be 100%
sure a material contains asbestos is through proper sampling and testing
through an outside accredited company.
Q: Should I be concerned about being exposed to asbestos?
A: We are all exposed to low levels of asbestos in our daily air. These levels
range from 0.00001 to 0.0001 fibers per milliliter of air and tend to
be higher in dense industrial areas and larger cities.However, exposure
in the home can come from the release of asbestos fibers that have been
disturbed and scattered throughout the air. This can happen at any time,
but especially when remodeling and home maintenance occurs.
Q: How does asbestos affect my health?
A: Health problems are usually related to the amount and length of time of
exposure to asbestos; the more prolonged and intense the exposure, the
greater the risk. Most of the asbestos fibers that enter the respiratory
system are removed with the exhaling breath, or are trapped by the mucus
lining in the respiratory tract and are then removed by coughing. However,
through increased exposure, asbestos fibers that are breathed in may get
trapped in the lungs and remain here for a long period of time. These
asbestos fibers can build up in the lungs over time resulting in inflammation
and scarring. This process can negatively affect breathing and could lead
to lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis.
Q: How do I remove asbestos?
A: Unless you are a licensed asbestos abatement contractor, NEVER ATTEMPT
TO REMOVE ASBESTOS YOURSELF! It is best to
call an experienced and licensed professional to safely remove asbestos from your property.
Q: Is ERI qualified to perform asbestos work?
A: There are several items you need to check before hiring any abatement
contractor. Make sure the contractor you are considering has a valid,
license and certificate for asbestos related work. Make certain that the contractor has a current
and valid license bond, and ensure he or she is a currently registered
asbestos abatement contractor. The contractor should also have the appropriate
insurance coverage to perform asbestos related work. In addition, each
person performing asbestos abatement work in your home should provide
proof of EPA-approved training. ERI is fully qualified and makes all of
this information readily accessible on its website.
Q: What Types of Work Practices Are Used for Abatement?
If you confirm the presence of harmful contaminants in your home, connect
with the professionals at Environmental Remedies to plan the abatement
process. The specifics may differ depending on the materials present,
but there are some basic work practices used in almost every abatement project.
Containment – Asbestos, lead paint, and mold are typically removed through a combination
of deconstruction, demolition, or intense “cleaning”. With
any use of these abrasive methods, the space will need to be contained
using plastic sheeting to isolate the work areas from the remainder of
your home. Environmental Remedies, Inc. takes great care to control the
surrounding environment to prevent the free flow of contaminant-rich dust.
HEPA air filtration – As part of the containment process and to better control dust and particles
in your home, our abatement experts will use HEPA filtered air filtration
devices on every single project. These machines are installed within the
containment and are used to extract harmful dust from the work area as
well as create negative pressure within the containment to prevent dust
from escaping the work area.
Personal Protective Equipment – All abatement activities should be performed by workers wearing properly
fitted air-purifying respirators equipped with NIOSH-approved HEPA cartridges.
Workers should also wear disposable, full body coveralls, gloves, disposable
head covers, and disposable footwear in the work area. This equipment
keeps workers safe from exposure and prevents harmful dust from attaching
to clothes and being tracked to other areas of the home.
Q: Is Abatement Fully Effective?
Abatement of affected materials is a permanent solution for asbestos and
lead as it completely removes the hazard form the home and eliminates
any potential for future exposure. Waste materials produced from the abatement
process are placed in sealed containers and taken to a landfill for proper disposal.
Mold is slightly different, as it is a living organism and only needs moisture
to grow. While abatement is effective for mold, it may return if moisture
is reintroduced to any building material.
In either case, to ensure that exposure is comprehensively eliminated at
home, it is highly recommended to perform post-abatement clearance sampling.
Before the project is complete, samples will be taken by an independent
testing firm to ensure that contaminants have been removed as effectively
as possible. Environmental Remedies, Inc. guarantees the passage of any
post-abatement clearance test.
Questions about Mold, Lead & Biological Contaminants
Q: Where does mold grow?
A: Mold grows in warm, damp and humid locations usually around windows, pipes
and leaky areas.
Q: Is mold harmful to my health?
A:Molds can produce allergens and potent toxins that can cause asthma attacks
and allergic reactions.
Q: Where can lead be found?
A: The most common place lead can be found in your home is in lead based paint.
Q: Is lead harmful to my or my children’s health?
A: Lead can have extremely negative affects to your health, especially children.
Q: What are biological contaminants?
Biological contaminants are left behind after disasters. They are infectious microorganisms that
if not removed properly, can be damaging to your health.
Questions About Abatement
Q: What is the abatement process?
A: All our environmental remediation projects –
lead removal and
mold remediation – follow a similar
Q: What do I need to do before abatement?
A: Before abatement, there are several steps you must take. All of your personal
belongings and appliances need to be removed from the area of your home
in which abatement will be occurring*. Fixtures that are attached to walls
and ceilings – i.e., curtain rods – should be removed to allow
for containment. Heating, ventilating and air conditioning equipment must
be completely shut off. Our team members will inform you if further preparation
must be taken
*Due to the nature of the abatement process, anything left in the work
area is subject to damage and will not be replaced by ERI.