Author: Jake Tegtman

Asbestos is a term that’s been seen in the news more and more the last couple years. For homeowner’s, it tends to strike fear in their hearts because of the unknowns. What is asbestos? Is it dangerous? What do I do if I have it in my home? Is asbestos removal important for the average homeowner? These questions and many others are on peoples’ minds when new legislation comes up concerning homeowner safety, or asbestos spills are talked about on the news.

Encompass Environmental Provides Asbestos Removal in Grand Junction

At Encompass Environmental, we like to talk about asbestos to educate our community. We find that when people know what they’re dealing with when it comes to asbestos, they feel more at peace. Whether they need asbestos removal from their home or a simple asbestos test, people like to know the facts. So, this blog post (and the several that come after it) are going to be all about asbestos. Encompass Environmental performs asbestos removal in Grand Junction on both residential and commercial properties. Government, retail, office space, people’s homes. We have experience with it all.

When it comes down to it, asbestos isn’t dangerous so long as it’s kept in its solid state. So long as it isn’t disturbed, homeowners, building owners, property managers, and building inhabitants are safe. We feel it’s important for you to start this blog post with that information in mind. We’ll go into detail of why exactly that is the case. But for starters, let’s talk about what exactly asbestos is.

Do All Types of Asbestos Require Removal?

Asbestos is a mineral mined from the earth. Think of it like a rock. Companies actually set up mining sites for the specific purpose of excavating asbestos (we’ll get into why that is a little later). There are many forms of asbestos, or types. Like there are different classifications of rocks, there are different classifications of asbestos. Here are just a few of the different types of asbestos:

  • Crocidolite
  • Amosite
  • Chrysotile
  • Tremolite
  • Actinolite
  • Anthophyllite

There are many more – this is just a beginning list, really. The types of asbestos don’t really matter. When it comes to homeowners, consider all types potentially harmful. One type of asbestos isn’t less dangerous when airborne than any other. We don’t give you this list so that you can go find out for yourselves which type of asbestos you may have in your home. It doesn’t matter. We give you this list just to illustrate the point that there are multiple types of asbestos, like there are multiple types of rocks out there. It’s just a mineral that we as a society decided at one time to regularly use in building our homes. Asbestos is common. If you find that you have it in your home, just realize you have naturally occurring minerals in your walls. And you’re not alone. Many, many people have asbestos in their homes, and they’re perfectly safe. Chances are, if you find asbestos in your home through as asbestos test, you’re perfectly safe too.

Asbestos Doesn’t Need To Be Removed So Long As Its Fibers Can’t Become Airborne

Asbestos “rocks” are composed of individual asbestos fibers. That’s what asbestos is. They are mineral fibers that we mine for use in homes, car brakes, cement, roofing, insulation, and many other things. When we put asbestos into material in our homes, we get the benefits that asbestos provides (more on that soon) without any of its potential dangers. So long as the asbestos containing material remains whole, those asbestos fibers can’t become airborne. Asbestos fibers locked into a wall, in your drywall, for example, can’t do you any harm. It’s just like having a few tiny rocks in your wall, here and there. No big deal. Once those microscopic asbestos fibers become airborne though, it can be like breathing in tiny rocks should you get near them. Only, those rocks are pointy and sharp. You can see how that could cause damage to a human body over time.

We will talk about asbestos health risks soon. Your biggest take-away for now though should be that, basically, we build our homes out of wood and mud. Naturally occurring elements. We also use rocks from time to time. Sometimes as accent pieces on our home’s exterior. Sometimes in the form of tiny minerals known as asbestos, in a home’s interior.

The Many Benefits Of Using Asbestos

You may be surprised to learn that asbestos usage is actually quite common in our society today. And not just in homes. Asbestos, because it’s a mineral (like a rock), is resistant to heat. It also cannot catch on fire. Asbestos can increase the lifespan of everyday products we use. And, it’s very cheap. It’s a very durable material that doesn’t cost much to add to things we already use. Humans have been making use of asbestos for literally thousands of years. This isn’t a new building material that we’ve recently started using. It’s only recent, in fact, that our society has recognized the dangers of asbestos (more on that later).

To start off this section, here are just a few of the ways that our society makes use of asbestos. Keep in mind asbestos’ heat- and fire-resistant properties:

  • Pipe Exteriors/ Wrapping
  • Insulation
  • Brake Pads
  • Vinyl Tiles
  • Roofing
  • Adhesives
  • Drywall
  • Packaging
  • Ceiling Tiles
  • Popcorn Ceilings
  • Cement
  • Gaskets
  • Joint Compounds
  • Rubber

Again, this is a short list. Ancient civilizations seem to have used asbestos in lamps and candles. So, the potential and applied uses of asbestos are virtually endless. About as endless and human creativity.

Asbestos Removal In Grand Junction According To Home Build Date

But, more to the point of asbestos removal in Grand Junction. We all become concerned about the asbestos potentially in our homes, not the asbestos that might be in our car’s brake pads. We typically only see or hear about asbestos removal in properties in which we inhabit.

Asbestos was banned from manufacture in building-use material in the United States in the 1970’s. What that means is that for nearly fifty years in the United States it has been illegal for any company to produce insulation, roofing material, drywall, ceiling tiles, joint compounds, etc. that contain asbestos. We realized as a society in the 1970’s the danger that asbestos brings. Many people have heard some information like this before. It’s not uncommon knowledge. But what is surprising to most people is that homes built after the 1970’s can still (and often do) contain asbestos.

You would think, “hey, asbestos manufacturing is banned for properties. Our home was built in the early 2000’s. Our home doesn’t have asbestos.” Right? Well, we would all wish that, but it’s not necessarily true. It’s a frustrating truth, actually. Many people purposefully buy newer homes thinking that they’re safer – free from asbestos. The truth is that even though the United States banned the manufacture of asbestos-containing material in the 1970’s, it is not illegal to import such material. Furthermore, it is not illegal to build using asbestos-containing material. Remember how we said earlier that asbestos is a natural fire-retardant, and is inexpensive to apply to building materials? Well, contractors and suppliers love providing services with higher margins. We all may consider it unethical to use asbestos-containing material when we clearly know the dangers it involves, but that doesn’t make it illegal.

Asbestos Loopholes

If you go to your nearby Lowe’s, Home Depot, or building supply store, you will find something on their shelves that contains at least trace amounts of asbestos. Guaranteed. It’s sort of a crazy world we live in, full of loopholes. The loopholes around asbestos are pretty big. On the bright side, it does seem like legislation around testing and asbestos removal are likely to become more strict in the near future. So, we can all breathe a little easier (pun intended) knowing that our society is moving in the right direction. Even if it is moving slowly.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Yes, asbestos was banned from manufacture in the United States in the 1970’s.
  • There is a loophole. The United States allows contractors and suppliers to import asbestos-containing material even to this day. Our laws also allow for asbestos to be used in the construction of new buildings.
  • You can find asbestos-containing material virtually anywhere.
  • What this all means is that yes, even some homes built in 2020 will contain asbestos.

Just because you buy a home built after 1970 does not mean that your home does not contain asbestos. If you buy a home from the 1980’s, it does not mean that your home is asbestos-free. If you buy a home the 2000’s, you still have no guarantee. If you buy a brand-new home in a brand-new subdivision this year, in 2020, it could contain asbestos. We’re sorry to break the news to you.

Asbestos Removal in Grand Junction, CO

This is why Colorado has in place regulation 8 for asbestos safety. Regulation 8 requires that if thirty-two square feet of drywall is disturbed (removed, cut into, etc.) by a contractor, it must first have asbestos testing. This law is highly cumbersome but is in place for homeowner’s and property owners’ best interests. The reason the law is cumbersome is because thirty-two square feet is hardly any material at all. With virtually every remodel or renovation project, the law requires an asbestos test be completed. Asbestos testing is also not extremely inexpensive, and takes time for results to be completed. Then, if the test comes back “hot” (positive), the building must be abated (have asbestos removal work completed). Otherwise, the contractor is not allowed to finish the remodel/ renovation work.

Do you see how the public’s safety is actually in opposition to the contractor’s best interests? Contractors who follow the law and have all properties asbestos tested before removing or disturbing material create a likely scenario where they won’t be able to complete the job or get paid. If a contractor gets asked to do a kitchen remodel, for example, and calls in an asbestos test (again, according to Colorado regulation 8), the homeowner has to pay for that not inexpensive test. Then, if the homeowner finds out that their property does contain asbestos, now they have to pay out of pocket to have their property abated. Or, they have to simply be ok with their kitchen the way it is, because no contractor can touch it. After all asbestos testing is completed, the state is informed of properties that contain asbestos. So, it’s not like the contractor can just ignore the test’s results and proceed with the remodel anyway. They would face massive fines for that kind of transgression against Colorado’s law. And they would likely be found out.

The Many Problems With Asbestos Removal In Grand Junction

In a case like that, the homeowner is now stuck. They know they have asbestos in their home. Which, by the way, they would have to disclose to any future potential buyers if they were attempting to sell their home. They can’t get a contractor to work because the property hasn’t been abated. They likely can’t pay for abatement because it would be out-of-pocket and is often quite expensive. Best case scenario, they’d have the money for asbestos removal, but it would eat up all their money for the remodel. The contractor is out of work. The homeowner is out of money. And possibly, even probably, they don’t get the remodel they wanted. It’s a lose-lose for everyone involved. All for the sake of safety, after all, but that doesn’t make the situation feel any better.

So, it’s not uncommon for contractors to ignore regulation 8. If neither the homeowner nor the contractor knows if there’s asbestos in the homeowner’s property, there’s no need for abatement. It’s sort of a don’t-ask-don’t-tell scenario. The homeowner can sell their home without ever having to worry about disclosing to future buyers anything like asbestos. The homeowner can get the remodel they want, and the contractor can complete work and get paid. Of course, the only problem with this scenario is that now the property is at risk of a massive asbestos spill. Which happens. Actually, all the time, like what happened in Littleton, CO. It creates a sort of unethical dilemma.

Why It’s Worth It To Do Asbestos Removal In Grand Junction

We live in a strange society of often backwards values, but hopefully we can all agree that it is in fact more important to prioritize health and safety concerning asbestos than it is to have a new kitchen remodel. The remodel would be nice. But not breathing in sharp asbestos fibers into our lungs is better. Yes, the laws around asbestos removal and testing are a burden. They’re inconvenient because sometimes they prevent homeowners from getting the work finished that they want. The regulations also prevent contractors, at times, from finishing work and making money. But trust us, asbestos spills are far more costly.

If a home that contains asbestos has remodel work done anyway, and the homeowner later finds out they have asbestos… well, in that case, a company like Encompass Environmental gets called in for asbestos removal. However, we can’t just set up containment barriers and abate, like usual. Now, we have to clean up every part of the home because ducting will likely have spread the asbestos to every part of the home. What would have been a small job becomes a massive project. And a massive problem for the homeowner. Very expensive, and intrusive while work is being finished. Not to mention it’s a huge problem for the contractor who may be held liable for damages, plus fines for ignoring regulation 8. It’s no small deal.

Companies that remove asbestos like Encompass Environmental often get work in from contractors, remodelers, restoration companies (like our partner Delta Restoration Services), and asbestos testing companies. Most homeowners have no idea about regulation 8. Thus, they rely on professionals to warn them of the risks and to do the right thing in looking out for their safety.

Asbestos testing companies are trained to visit a property and properly test all surfaces for asbestos. They will typically take samples from every unique surface in an affected area. Affected area being defined as an area that sustained water damage, or where remodeling will take place once the test is cleared. The testing company is simply making sure that any material that will be disturbed does not have asbestos in it so there’s no risk of an asbestos spill. The goal is to make sure asbestos fibers aren’t going to be floating around when the contractor cuts into the drywall, for example.

Once the asbestos testing company has their samples, they put them into plastic bags and ship them off to the nearest testing facility. For Grand Junction, the near lab is in Denver. That means that homeowners have to schedule an asbestos testing company, then wait a few extra days to get results. Once the results are in, work can either continue if there is no asbestos, or work will have to be indefinitely on hold until the asbestos can be removed.

We’ve talked about it a bit so far, but the reason asbestos can be dangerous is that its tiny fibers can become airborne. When asbestos is in a solid state in drywall or other building material, we call it “non-friable.” It’s locked into the material and can’t be breathed in by humans. If someone were to cut into drywall with a saw, however, dust would be produced. This dust and the rough edging of the cut drywall would be considered “friable” material. Friable means that if there is asbestos in the material, it is now airborne, and could be breathed in.

For homeowners who know they have asbestos in parts of their home, it’s a good idea to regularly check those places. Look for wear and tear. If the drywall in your home that you know contains asbestos gets scuffed moving furniture, it may be worth patching it over, or calling a company like Encompass Environmental. It’s worth your long-term health to be careful with things like asbestos.

So, what are the health concerns of asbestos? If you own a home that you know contains asbestos, and the drywall gets scuffed, what are you looking at? Or if you have a contractor proceed with a remodel without testing according to regulation 8, what are you up against with your family?

These are the most common health risks associated with asbestos:

  • Mesothelioma
  • Lung Cancer
  • Asbestosis

Oregon State University has a good web page on the environmental health and safety concerns of asbestos, and what these health risks can do to a person. All of these health risks have directly to do with a person’s ability to breathe. The sharp, fibrous minerals that are asbestos can get lodged in people’s lungs. Over time, the sharp edges tear into lung lining, causing scarring or cancer. The body doesn’t have an effective way to remove asbestos fibers from the lungs. So, they can be lodged there for a person’s entire life. The longer asbestos fibers are in a person’s lungs, the more damage they cause. Indeed, one of the biggest reasons Colorado has regulation 8 in place is for children. Many schools are abated for the sake of protecting our nation’s youth. But Colorado also has more stringent asbestos testing laws in place so that kids don’t breathe in asbestos fibers from their parents’ kitchen remodel.

In an upcoming post we’ll go into more detail for what it really takes to perform asbestos removal in Grand Junction. Asbestos removal is a fairly complex process. It’s not just about wearing a respirator and cleaning up the dust after cutting out asbestos-containing drywall. Asbestos fibers can remain airborne for a long time, meaning that any do-it-yourself asbestos removal projects could put a family at serious risk. Professional asbestos removal companies use respirators, full-body personal protective equipment, containment barriers. Negative air machines, HEPA air scrubbers, water to knock asbestos fibers out of the air while working, and containment showers before entering and exiting work space. There’s a lot to it that the average homeowner just wouldn’t have the knowledge to do.

If you have any concerns about asbestos in your home or property, contact us. We are always available to help answer questions. We are also connected with asbestos testing companies in Grand Junction and the entire Western Slope. And of course, if you need asbestos removal on your home or property located in Grand Junction or nearby areas, we are experts at abatement.

 

*This post was written by Third Loft Marketing.

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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