Photo by Milivoj Kuhar

Residential Demolition Safety: Pre-Demolition Asbestos Removal

Heavy asbestos exposure tends to occur in the construction industry, particularly during removing materials containing asbestos due to renovation, repairs, or demolition work. Identifying hazardous materials such as asbestos before starting a project helps protect worker health and safety, building occupants, and the project’s financial viability.

Doing this upfront can help you choose the appropriate inspectors, consultants, and contractors and avoid costly change orders or project delays. Inspection should be completed, and asbestos-containing materials properly removed before any demolition and renovation work begins.

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a group of naturally occurring mineral fibers. Due to its fire-resistant and insulating properties, it was commonly used in building materials. Some asbestos-containing material (ACM) can be found in textured ceilings, attic insulation, vinyl floor tiles, certain types of linoleum, HVAC duct insulation, plaster, and hot water pipe insulation, among others. 

Since the 1970s, the U.S. government has implemented some asbestos regulations to limit its use. However, homes built before the 1980s will likely contain asbestos-containing materials.

Health Risks: 

Asbestos is a known human carcinogen that can cause serious health problems when inhaled. Asbestos fibers can quickly become airborne when asbestos-containing materials are disturbed. Illnesses, such as lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis, can develop years or even decades after asbestos exposure.  

Asbestos Testing and Removal Regulations and Permits

Before demolishing or removing intact materials during renovation and demolition projects, it’s essential to determine whether asbestos will be released into the air. The EPA mandates that potential asbestos-containing materials be physically examined before being disrupted. Furthermore, most states have established rules concerning asbestos detection and abatement.

Contractors must obtain the necessary permits from federal and state agencies before removing asbestos-containing materials to ensure the removal process is conducted safely and controlled. Depending on the region, an asbestos inspection may be required for specific projects and recommended for others.

Required projects for asbestos testing typically include two or more contiguous single-family homes; homes that are part of a larger demolition project; multi-family housing with five or more units; and industrial, manufacturing, or commercial buildings. Recommended projects for asbestos testing typically include single-family homes and multi-family housing with 2–4 units.

Pre-Demolition Asbestos Removal and Disposal 

A pre-demolition asbestos assessment involves testing the building materials for the presence of asbestos and determining the best course of action for removal. Asbestos-containing materials must be removed in a controlled and safe way to avoid the release of asbestos fibers into the air.

Preparing for asbestos removal includes sealing off the area to prevent the spread of airborne asbestos fibers and ensuring workers have the proper protective equipment. Specific protocols for disposing of asbestos waste often include wetting the materials and placing them in plastic before they can be transported and disposed of. These packaged materials are then buried at a designated landfill.

Hiring Experienced Contractors in their Respective Fields 

Typically, demolition and asbestos removal contractors are separate entities specializing in their respective fields. Asbestos removal requires specialized training, equipment, and licensing, as does professional demolition work. If you require asbestos removal before demolition work begins, consult with separate contractors in each field to ensure project safety and compliance.

Contact Local Demo for Expert Residential Demolition Services

If you’re ready to start your demolition and renovation project, contact the experts at Local Demo. Our trained and experienced team has extensive demolition experience in the private, commercial, and industrial sectors.

Demolition is one the most important aspects of any renovation project, and doing the job right requires the knowledge and expertise of a professional demolition contractor. We are confident that our successful track record of delivering quality services on time, within budget, and safely sets us apart from other demolition companies.


Whether a kitchen or bathroom remodel, room add-on, exterior façade upgrade, or an interior gutting project, we have the expertise to complete the work efficiently and effectively.

Local Demo provides expert residential and commercial – interior and exterior – demolition services in Broadwater County, Gallatin CountyJefferson CountyMadison CountyMeagher CountyPark County, Montana, and Spokane County, WA.

  • Professional Service
  • Interior/Exterior Demolition
  • Fast Response Time
  • High Customer Satisfaction
  • Residential and Commercial Demo Service

Call our friendly and professional team at (406) 595-0227 to learn more about our top-notch demolition services and request a free estimate. We look forward to helping with the success of your next project!

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