When is Asbestos Testing Needed?


Please call before you get to this point.

If a suspect asbestos-containing material is intact, and no disturbance is planned, there is likely no hazard.

If a suspect asbestos material has been damaged or disturbance (renovation/remodel/demolition/etc.) is planned, then asbestos sample testing may be necessary.

 Is asbestos on my property?

Any structure or system built or constructed prior to 1981 is assumed to contain asbestos-containing materials unless proven otherwise through sampling. Buildings constructed after this date may also contain asbestos, and OSHA may require a survey prior to hiring contractors to perform work even if it is recent construction.

What materials might contain asbestos?

This list is long, but some of the most common building materials found in residential buildings that are suspect asbestos-containing material include:

  • Roofing Materials
  • Sheetrock Mud and Tape
  • Plaster
  • Flooring Tile
  • Sheet vinyl flooring
  • Ceiling Tile (popcorn ceiling asbestos)
  • HVAC duct wrap
  • Insulation
  • Window putty
  • Exterior (transite) shingles
  • Stucco
  • Mortar (between brick)

The list above is by no means a complete list. These are just some of the most common suspect asbestos-containing materials that we encounter in residential buildings.

Asbestos Survey for planned work

Identification and sampling of suspect asbestos-containing building materials that may be disturbed by renovation/remodeling/repairs/etc. can be performed prior to commencing a project. The benefit of testing prior to work beginning is to establish what kind of contractor can perform the work. If no asbestos is present in the material(s) to be disturbed, then any contractor can perform the work. If asbestos is present in the material(s) to be disturbed, then a certified asbestos abatement contractor should be hired to properly remove and dispose of the asbestos-containing material.

Fire or Planned Demolition

If there has been a fire or if suspected asbestos-containing materials may be disturbed through demolition or fire reconstruction processes, sampling may be necessary. Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) requires a Job Number/J-Card, which we can provide, for any demolition of a structure throughout their jurisdiction.

Post Asbestos Abatement Clearance

This type of inspection is performed after a professional asbestos abatement contractor has completed asbestos removal work. This inspection is always performed while containment remains in place, while HEPA air purification machines remain running to maintain negative pressure, and no onsite reconstruction work of any kind has yet begun.

 Asbestos Testing Methods