Tag: Encompass Environmental

The Importance of Asbestos Removal Companies – Don’t Do It Yourself!

“Have you or a loved one been diagnosed with mesothelioma?” This is the attention-grabbing line that familiarized so many of us with the dangers of asbestos. The early 2000s saw a rise in the number of television commercials urging those diagnosed with this disease to seek legal representation. In turn, the growth of asbestos abatement companies stressed the importance of asbestos removal companies being used for the sake of citizens’ health. This is due in large part to how easily asbestos fibers become airborne. Here at Encompass Environmental we offer asbestos abatement in conjunction with meth decontamination and lead paint removal in Colorado and Eastern Utah. Let’s explore the importance of asbestos removal companies – Don’t Do It Yourself!

 

What is Asbestos?

We all know that asbestos poses a major health risk, but what is asbestos exactly? Asbestos actually refers to a group of six, naturally occurring minerals. These minerals are composed of soft fibers that are also heat-resistant, making it a popular choice for construction materials. There are two subcategories of asbestos which fall under the “blue” or “white” asbestos category, depending on their chemical composition. In addition to their difference in color, these two categories are also distinguishable by their physical appearance. Blue asbestos is straight and jagged, whereas white asbestos is curly. Some of the most common construction materials that have historically used asbestos as part of their composition include roofing materials (such as shingles, adhesives, and felt), siding, insulation, and different types of tile.

 

Asbestos Laws And Regulations 

In 1989 the federal government began implementing asbestos laws and regulations. They started with a partial ban on asbestos materials. Unfortunately, this did not completely shut down the asbestos market. Many materials still contain asbestos. In 2019, the government took another step towards abolition of asbestos by enforcing more bans. Because legislation against asbestos is still evolving, it’s important to remember that even newer homes do pose risk factors for containing asbestos materials–even more incentive for you to ensure that you have access to a credible asbestos abatement company should the need arise. For more information on asbestos removal in Grand Junction based on build date click here.

 

Can’t I Just Remove Asbestos Myself?

Simply put, “No.” It’s common for individuals facing the prospect of asbestos removal to be compelled to simply complete the project themselves. Here’s what you need to know when asking, “Can’t I just remove asbestos myself?”— there are significant health risks linked to exposure to asbestos, and exposure occurs easily. These risks do not only apply to the individual directly engaged with the asbestos containing materials, but there are also secondary exposure risks to your loved ones that accompany attempting to remove asbestos yourself. Mostly this occurs when asbestos particles attach to your clothing and then inadvertently expose those you come into contact with later–including a spouse who could be laundering your clothes.

 

Exposure to Asbestos

Exposure to asbestos is considered dangerous because, once the fibrous materials of asbestos become airborne, they are able to able to make their way into your body. Damage or breakdown of any material which contains asbestos, results in hazardous fibers being released into the air. Damage can occur from a broken asbestos siding tile on the outside of your house, or it can occur when water damages drywall that contains asbestos. If you have water damage in Grand Junction, we partner with Delta Restoration Services to help you tackle the complex situation of dealing with asbestos abatement and water damage.

Once asbestos is airborne and the fibers have been inhaled, the fibers can then embed themselves into individuals’ lungs or other major organs. The danger of asbestos lies in the body’s delayed reaction to this hazardous material. Often it can be anywhere from ten to forty years before the damaging effects of asbestos are seen. Due to the delayed onset, and severity, of diseases resulting from asbestos exposure, it is imperative that you hire a qualified asbestos abatement company so that you are not risking your health in the years to come.    

 

Health Risks Associated with Asbestos

There are three primary health risks associated with asbestos: malignant mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis. Malignant Mesothelioma attacks the tissue that lines most major organs and is most commonly found in the lungs and stomach and occasionally in the heart. There are four stages of Mesothelioma and the life expectancy, once diagnosed, ranges from 10 to 21 months. Lung cancer attributed to asbestos exposure only accounts for about 4% of all lung cancer diagnoses. Smokers are at increased risk of developing lung cancer from asbestos exposure, as smoking hinders the lungs’ ability to remove fibers that become lodged in the lungs. Asbestosis is scarring and inflammation of the lungs due to asbestos exposure. Oftentimes these three diseases can occur simultaneously. Because these diseases are so serious in nature, it is vital that individuals who suspect their home or business contains asbestos materials that have been damaged seek help from a licensed asbestos abatement company immediately.

 

Finding an Asbestos Removal Company

You’re aware of the dangers and how easily exposure to asbestos occurs, and you want to let an expert handle it, so now what? The task of finding an asbestos removal company can seem daunting. Here are a few tips and tricks when searching for a contractor:

  1. Don’t be fooled by low bids! Oftentimes contractors will purposefully bid low in order to secure a project and then submit large change orders throughout the job.
  2. Ensure that your contractor is licensed and insured. Beware of companies that are promising low prices and don’t have the reputable credentials to back up their work.

 

Hire Us for your Asbestos Removal

Here at Encompass Environmental we invite you to look at our record and hire us for your asbestos removal needs! We are a dependable, family-owned operation that has sought out employees who are well-versed in asbestos removal and other decontamination services. With all of our employees, we have combined years of solid work experience and a slew of satisfied customers. We are able to produce precise bids as a result of our immense experience in our field.

Your safety and our safety are of the utmost importance to us. That’s why we are dedicated to obtaining and maintaining safety certifications from a variety of organizations: OSHA, IICRC, CDPHE, and ECSI. In addition, we have also received our Hazwoper Training.

 

Asbestos Abatement Rules and Regulations

Asbestos abatement rules and regulations are changing in 2020 for the state of Colorado. Many contractors, remodelers, and other professionals working in homes may not have heard about these cases yet. But, it’s becoming a pretty big deal across the state, and will likely result in changes to how we all do business. Namely, getting asbestos testing before remodeling work or demolition will become borderline mandatory in all cases, unless you want to risk massive fines. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is holding a stakeholder meeting in April of this year to (hopefully) solidify what is going to happen in Colorado moving forward.

Asbestos Abatement Problems In Colorado

If you haven’t heard yet, here’s basically what happened. A contractor in Colorado began demolition on parts of a homeowner’s property. No asbestos testing was performed. Prior to all this happening, Colorado had in place regulation 8. Regulation 8 stated that asbestos testing must be performed if there is thirty-two square feet of drywall removed from a home. This was regardless of the year of the home, or any other conditions.

Side note: thirty-two square feet isn’t much. Virtually any demolition or even remodel job requires an asbestos test, according to regulation 8. Many contractors and remodelers simply ignore this rule because asbestos testing isn’t inexpensive, takes time, and is burdensome.

The contractor in this case continued demolition despite lacking asbestos testing, and the demolition resulted in a massive asbestos spill. The state found out, got involved, and the whole process became a big point of contention. In court, the contractor claimed that though regulation 8 does require asbestos testing in the event of thirty-two square feet of drywall removal, asbestos abatement rules and regulations don’t specifically state that testing is a duty of the contractor. They claimed that the homeowner is responsible for their own home and should have paid for asbestos testing prior to demolition. Therefore, the contractor claimed, the asbestos spill was the homeowner’s fault and responsibility.

Rules And Regulations Reviews

Upon review of Colorado asbestos abatement rules and regulations, it was found that the law does not specifically state who is responsible for asbestos testing. The law simply states that asbestos testing must take place. Therefore, it was ruled that the contractor was not at fault in this case.

Our guess would be that as these asbestos abatement rules and regulations meetings continue, the state of Colorado will determine that it will in fact be the contractor’s responsibility moving forward to have asbestos testing done. Homeowners hire professionals for their expertise. Most homeowners have probably never heard of regulation 8. They’ve probably never been told that asbestos can be found in popcorn ceilings, joint compounds, adhesives, etc. And they probably don’t know the dangers of asbestos to their family’s health. Just like they don’t know how to do a remodeling project, homeowners rely on professionals to do things right. Therefore, we anticipate that this kind of defense on the part of the contractor in this recent case won’t hold up in the future. But…

Asbestos Abatement Rules And Regulations Infractions

These kinds of issues come up fairly often in Colorado. In 2018, an unlicensed contractor in Littleton, CO failed to perform an asbestos test during the remodel of a family’s home. The spill happened in their kitchen and spread throughout the entire home. As the family learned the dangers of asbestos, they (understandably) panicked. The state of Colorado got involved, and the news covered the whole story. This was an especially bad case since the contractor wasn’t licensed. Which is an entirely additional problem.

Here in Grand Junction, CO, there was a major asbestos spill in apartments off 28 Road. A building rehabilitation project began without asbestos testing. Likely, the contractor wasn’t aware of regulation 8. An anonymous complaint brought the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment onto the scene. A third party performed asbestos testing, and it was found that a major spill had occurred. Asbestos contained in the building’s demolished material had been released into the apartment building’s common areas. This also, of course, caused alarm in the Grand Junction community. Residents of the apartment building were forced to evacuate so asbestos abatement could be performed. And the building’s owners could face substantial fines.

Lack Of Concern For Asbestos Testing And Asbestos Abatement

Talking with general contractors all around Colorado we are often told that they don’t hardly ever have need for asbestos abatement or testing. We are told that asbestos testing companies often hear the same things from contractors around Colorado. It seems that there is a lot of misinformation around Colorado asbestos abatement rules and regulations. The feel we get from most contractors and remodelers is that asbestos abatement is no big deal. People have, after all, been working with asbestos for decades. Yes, there are health risks, they seem to reason, but the chances are just too low to take seriously.

However, the state of Colorado feels differently. Most people aren’t aware of the number of lawsuits that occur on a yearly basis because of mismanagement concerning asbestos. Because of the risks inherent to asbestos, Colorado even keeps a list of enforcement history and regulatory violations for asbestos. Asbestos may not seem like a big deal. All the way up until someone dies, or until a company gets hit with a lawsuit. Health and money seem to bring the importance of a thing to the forefront of peoples’ minds.

Asbestos Abatement in Grand Junction, CO

Our goal is to help the community of Grand Junction, CO, where we’re located. We want to be part of the community’s education on asbestos abatement rules and regulations. Asbestos is a serious matter. People’s lives are truly at stake when it comes to their long-term health and safety. It may seem like an easy or reasonable thing to neglect Colorado’s regulation 8. After all, skipping an asbestos test saves money in the short term. Asbestos testing isn’t really cheap, per se. However, the price of paying large fines should an asbestos spill occur is far more costly.

We believe that with Colorado’s new focus on asbestos rules and regulations the contractor will be held much more accountable for spills and lack of testing. It’s likely that fines will increase, and perhaps state oversight will also increase, helping to ensure that the residents of Colorado are safe.

Our advice is to pay attention to these upcoming stakeholder meetings. We will continue to provide you with updates to asbestos rules and regulations. But if you aren’t regularly testing drywall or popcorn ceiling prior to demolition and remodel, we suggest that you begin to get in the habit!

P.S. Get a free consultation from Encompass Environmental today!

 

*This post was written by Third Loft Marketing.

Contents Cleaning and Restoration

For those of you that didn’t know already, Encompass actually runs two different businesses—Encompass Environmental and Encompass Contents. (You can find a link to the Encompass Contents website here.) Encompass Contents provides the Western Slope with an important service: contents cleaning. But oftentimes, people don’t know what exactly contents cleaning is. Explaining our industry so that everyone can understand it has always been one of our goals—in fact, it’s one of the reasons that we started this blog. That’s why we’ve given you information about things like our hoarding clean up services and meth decontamination in Grand Junction. Contents cleaning is an important service that can come into play in these kinds of clean up and many more. Contents cleaning and restoration is involved in everything from flood clean up to fire damage clean up, which is why it’s so important for us to talk about.

What is Contents Cleaning?

It’s important to define what we mean by contents before we talk about how we clean them. Generally, we classify objects into two categories; hard contents and soft contents. Soft contents are pretty much exactly what they sound like. They include things like clothing, fabrics, and upholstered items. Hard contents, on the other hand, include things like solid surfaces and wood. The distinction between these two kinds of contents is important because you have to clean them in different ways. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as taking all of your damaged contents and throwing them in a washing machine. Restoring your contents to the way they were before a disaster is a complex process that requires the best possible technologies. But now that we’ve talked a little bit about the difference between hard and soft contents, let’s discuss what contents cleaning is.

Contents cleaning is the process of removing stains and contamination from your hard and soft contents. After a fire, for example, your walls or furniture might be stained with smoke. We provide hard contents cleaning services to get rid of this kind of damage. If there’s a sewage leak and some of your clothes get contaminated with it, we provide soft contents cleaning to make sure that they get back to you as good as new. Disasters like fires often leave behind ugly reminders. These can include stains on your walls or horrible odors that refuse to go away. That’s why our contents cleaning process takes care of both. We don’t just focus on making sure everything looks good; it’s our goal to make sure everything gets back to normal. This means making sure your items have no trace of any odors, such as those of smoke, sewage, and more.

Our Contents Cleaning and Restoration Technologies

For soft contents, our Esporta wash system is the best way to remove stains and contamination. This wash system is the most effective and advanced soft contents cleaner available. Whether your clothes or other soft contents have been contaminated with mold, sewage, smoke, blood, or just about anything else, our Esporta wash system can handle it. Unlike many technologies that clean soft contents, the Esporta wash system can handle Category 2 and Category 3 water damage. This means that it can clean dangerous contaminants that other wash systems can’t. In fact, the Esporta wash system can a clean more than 90% of all damaged contents. Many other contents cleaning companies shy away from the worst contaminants or will send your soft contents somewhere else, but Encompass Contents has the technology to clean them in-house. We don’t send your contents anywhere else because we’re capable of cleaning them ourselves.

For hard contents, we use a Fireline ultrasonic cleaner. If, for example, you have important dishware that gets damaged in a fire or a favorite watch that gets contaminated with sewage, our Fireline ultrasonic cleaner can take care of the cleaning process. The ultrasonic cleaning process involves cleaning with water or solvents. The Fireline ultrasonic cleaner uses ultrasound to agitate these fluids, which then are able to better clean your contents than if you were to just scrub the surface with them. This process removes the toughest stains and contaminants from your hard contents. No matter how attached those contaminants are or how deeply they have penetrated into your items, the Fireline ultrasonic cleaner can remove them. By doing so, the Fireline ultrasonic cleaner ensures that there’s no trace of the contaminants left on your hard contents.

Cleaning Electronics

Cleaning electronics is a bit more difficult than cleaning normal hard contents. If you want to save data and make sure that electronics still work after you clean them, you have to be much more careful. Thankfully, Encompass Contents has access to the Fireline ionizer. This technology makes it possible for us to safely and effectively clean electronics without losing your data. Sewage leaks, fires, and other disasters don’t only affect homes, after all. Businesses can stand to lose a lot of important information if a disaster harms their computers and other electronics. This is one of the reasons that having access to cleaners like the Fireline ionizer is so incredibly important for contents cleaning and restoration companies. For more information about our Fireline cleaning technologies, be sure to check out their website here.

At Encompass Contents, we’re proud to have access to the most state-of-the-art technology. In fact, we’re the only company that offers full capability contents cleaning on the Western Slope. This means that we can handle the cleaning that other companies can’t. Whether your home has been damaged by a flood, fire, or more, we can help make sure that you get your items back to the way they were before the disaster. It’s our mission to make sure your life and belongings can return to normal. Contents cleaning and restoration is an important service for any kind of clean up, and we’re proud to be the best at what we do. If you want more information about our contents cleaning capabilities or want to know if we’re able to clean something in particular, be sure to give us a call at (970) 623-0023. We’re always happy to hear from you.

*This post was written by Third Loft Marketing.

Our Hoarding Clean Up Services

In our last few blog posts, we’ve been giving you overviews of the many important services we provide the Grand Junction community. We’ve talked about asbestos abatement (which you can read about here) and lead paint abatement (which you can read about here), but we have yet to talk about another one of our important services: hoarding clean up. We’ve designed our hoarding clean up services to help in a professional, compassionate way that’s best for everyone involved. Teaching you about the things that we do here at Encompass Environmental is important to us. The clearer we can be, the more you can learn and the easier the restoration process becomes. This blog is another way that we can help the Grand Junction community. We feel that being open and honest and teaching people about our industry is just another part of our commitment to our customers.

What Is Hoarding?

Before we start talking about our hoarding clean up services, it’s important to first talk about what hoarding is. Though many people think they know what hoarding is, there are many misconceptions about it. Some people might think that it just has to do with people who have too much stuff in their homes, but it’s a lot more complicated than that. Hoarding is more than just a person’s choices. It’s a psychological condition that compels people to collect items. This same condition makes it incredibly difficult for people who struggle with it to get rid of these items, no matter how unimportant they might seem. People with hoarding disorder compulsively collect things that other people might not think are very important. They might collect old newspapers, pieces of plastic, and clothes that are worn through or no longer fit.

But even though other people might see these things as worthless, people with hoarding disorder have a hard time getting rid of these items. Because of this, people with hoarding disorder may collect so many items that it can create cramped living conditions. The thought of giving things away or throwing them away is so distressing for some people with hoarding disorder that they are compelled to sacrifice the space around them instead. But that doesn’t mean that having a collection means that you have hoarding disorder. There are varying levels of hoarding disorder, and it only becomes severe when it harms your life. Hoarding disorder becomes severe when it turns into such a problem that it affects your life on a daily basis. For more information about what hoarding disorder is, we recommend taking a look at this article here.

Why Are Hoarding Clean Up Services Important?

Unfortunately, hoarding can lead to many potentially dangerous problems. On top of this, many people with hoarding disorder don’t realize that they have a problem. This can make clean up difficult and all the more important. Oftentimes, hoarding disorder becomes a huge problem, which means that the people who have it collect so many items that it prevents them from using the spaces around them in the way they were intended. For example, someone with hoarding disorder might collect so many items in the kitchen that it becomes impossible to cook there. The same thing can happen with other rooms like the bathroom. And this disorder is more common than you think: on average, it affects 2–5% of the population. This is just another reason why hoarding clean up services are so important.

But hoarding clean up isn’t just as easy as picking things up and throwing them away. The problem with having too much clutter is that animals and bacteria like to make homes in it. In fact, some people with hoarding disorder actually collect large numbers of animals. They often collect so many that they can’t care for them properly. Bacteria, animal feces, and rodents can all cause serious health effects to people with hoarding disorder, even if they don’t realize that anything is wrong. Companies that offer hoarding clean up services—like us—wear the proper protection and bring the right equipment to safely and effectively perform hoarding clean up. Because of everything necessary to stay safe while cleaning up, it’s often impossible for people with hoarding disorder to clean up their houses on their own.

Our Hoarding Clean Up Services

One of the most important aspects of hoarding clean up is having compassion. At Encompass Environmental, we know how to sympathize with and relate to people who have taken possession of their property to a potentially dangerous level. We are never judgmental, and we are always gentle because we know just how complex an issue it can be. First and foremost, we’re there to help. We also recognize that each situation is different. That’s why we take the time to work with people’s individual needs. Our goal is to help people not only in the short term but in the long term. We don’t want to just get in and get out. We do our best to make sure the problem goes away and stays away. Hoarding clean up can be a difficult process, but we’re here to make it a little easier.

At Encompass Environmental, we understand how difficult the restoration process can be. No one wants to go through the time and effort it takes to restore a property, whether it’s through meth decontamination or lead paint removal. But unfortunately, these things happen, and they’re more common than you think. That’s why Encompass Environmental is committed to helping our clients through these tough times. We know the process isn’t easy—it’s one more reason why it’s so important for us to give you as much information as possible. If our blog posts can help you even the tiniest bit, this blog will have done its job. Because they’re difficult to take care of and no one wants to deal with them, people don’t talk about things like hoarding clean up and meth decontamination. Still, we believe that sharing our experience is the best way to help our community.

*This post was written by Third Loft Marketing.

What is Lead Paint Abatement?

In our last couple of articles, we’ve talked about some of the services we offer at Encompass Environmental (you can check out those blog posts here and here). This week, we’d like to keep talking about the things we do for our community. We think it’s important that you understand all of the services we provide and why they matter. It’s our goal to make these articles as informative as we can so that you can make the right decisions. Giving you information about our services and the reason we provide them is one way of helping you understand just how important things like asbestos abatement can be for you and your family. That’s why today we’re going to answer a common question: What is lead paint abatement? It’s one of the most important services we offer, and it might be a more common problem than you think.

What is Lead Paint?

Though many people have heard about the dangers of lead paint, many of them don’t know what exactly lead paint is and what makes it so dangerous. Lead paint is exactly what it sounds like: paint that contains lead, a highly toxic metal that can cause a variety of health problems. Before 1950, many houses used lead-based paint—and even until 1978, people continued to use it to paint houses. But lead has many serious side effects (more on that later). That’s why the Environmental Protection Agency issued laws to prevent contamination from lead-based paint in 2010. Fortunately, lead paint is fairly easy to detect in a home. It only takes simple tests to check whether your home has lead paint. And because of the risks that come with living with lead paint, it’s important to have your property tested.

So why did people use lead paint in the first place if it’s so dangerous? Many different paints actually relied on lead for their color. Paint colors like white and yellow were especially easy to make with lead. In fact, people used “white lead” to paint the interior surfaces of their homes for a long time. But color wasn’t the only reason that people used lead-based paint. Lead also improves the opacity of paint. This means that you can spread the paint out more without being able to see the wall through it. Essentially, this meant that you could use less paint to cover a larger area, which made lead-based paint more efficient. Some types of lead paint were also insoluble in water, which made them water-resistant. Additionally, lead helped combat the acidic properties found in the oils in paint, which made it last longer without cracking.

So What Makes it Dangerous?

Unfortunately, despite its utility, lead is extremely toxic. This is one of the reasons why answering the question “What is lead paint abatement?” is so important. If people don’t realize that it’s a problem, they may not get their home decontaminated and may suffer the side effects of exposure to lead paint. While it’s not dangerous in paint form, when you ingest lead or inhale it through dust, it’s extremely harmful. So if you have lead paint in your home and some of it flakes, it can release lead paint dust into the air. But the biggest problem with lead paint is its effect on children. Small children, who have a tendency to put things in their mouths or bring their hands up to their mouths, are more easily affected by lead paint.

But though children are the most vulnerable, adults can also suffer the effects of lead poisoning. Some of the side effects of exposure to lead in children include kidney damage, brain damage, slowed growth, headaches, and bone marrow problems. As you can see, these are extremely worrisome side effects. In adults, inhalation and ingestion of lead paint can cause symptoms like anemia, kidney damage, high blood pressure, and loss of both vision and hearing. The longer you have lead paint in your home, the more likely it is to flake and cause damage to the people living there, which is why it’s so important to have it tested and removed as soon as possible. If you’re planning on renovating your house, you should also make sure to get it tested—the renovation process can kick a lot of lead paint dust into the air.

What is Lead Paint Abatement?

So who should get lead paint abatement? If you live in a house built before 1978, you should probably test your house for lead paint. Though not every home built at that time used lead paint, the odds get better that your house has lead paint in it the older it is. But there’s no need to panic if you find out that there’s lead paint in your home. Companies like Encompass Environmental offer lead paint abatement. In this process, we perform a risk assessment that consists of an on-site investigation. In this assessment, we determine the presence, location, type, and severity of lead-based paint in your home. We do this so that we can ensure that we use the safest and most thorough process to get rid of the lead paint in your home. Still wondering “What is lead paint abatement?” We recommend checking out this article here.

At Encompass Environmental, our mission is to provide Grand Junction the best quality restoration services. Whether you think your house might be contaminated with meth or your contractor has found out that there’s asbestos in your home, we can help. Our services help make Grand Junction a safer place; the less people have to deal with things like lead paint, the safer our community becomes. Our goal is to make sure that you learn something new every time you visit our blog. It’s important for us to share what we know about our industry, and our staff has years of experience. Ultimately, this means they get the job done right, no matter what it is. So if you think your house might be contaminated—whether it’s with meth, asbestos, or lead paint—be sure to get in touch.

*This post was written by Third Loft Marketing.

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