The recent closure of Fire Station 244 on Birchmount Avenue north of Sheppard in Toronto caused understandable consternation among area residents. Even when Toronto Fire Services officials explained that the displaced personnel and equipment would be temporarily housed nearby and despite their assurances, the area’s residents worried about increased response times. Time will tell if the move has any such impact.
As the Fire Station’s neighbours found out, the closure comes in the wake of much needed renovations to the building, including the removal of asbestos floor tiles. At one time – long before the health-related effects of asbestos were known or understood – the use of asbestos floor tiles seemed like a no-brainer. The material was known to be fire resistant and nearly indestructible and was considered a material of choice even, as it turns out with some irony, in a fire station. Flash forward to the present and that means a lot of hidden dangers that could exist in any residential, public or commercial building, particularly those constructed before 1970.
The closure of the Fire Station is anticipated to last about six weeks, and is just the latest example of what’s become an all too familiar story – a public institution closed for removal of asbestos-related construction materials. It’s unlikely to be the last.
You may be particularly concerned about floor tiles containing asbestos in your own home if there is any flooring that was installed before 1970. In the 1960’s, asbestos floor tiles were extremely common in both residential and institutional settings. In an older home, many people first discover the existence of asbestos tiles when doing renovations. When removing relatively new flooring, it’s not uncommon to find layers of old flooring underneath.
If you suspect any kind of asbestos use in your home, and before any renovation projects, please DO NOT DISTURB OR HANDLE the material in question. The danger from asbestos comes from inhaling the fibres, and anything you can do to contain or avoid it until you can call in the experts from GreenStream Environmental Services will help to minimize the impact.
It is not considered dangerous if the tile or other material is still intact; however any future nicks or breaks in the surface can mean a potential hazard.
At GreenStream Environmental Services, we offer professional vermiculite and asbestos remediation services.
In the Toronto area contact GreenStreamEnvironmental.ca – Toronto’s asbestos removal specialists – at (416) 818-9414.
Featured in Mike Holmes’ magazine, HGTV’s Income Properties, W Network’s Love It Or List It and chosen by Homestars.com as “Best Toronto Asbestos Removal Company” based on customer ratings and reviews, GreenStream Environmental Services are fully-certified, trusted and insured professionals in the removal and disposal of commercial, industrial, institutional and residential asbestos, vermiculite and mould (hazardous and non-hazardous). Providing emergency service 24/7/365 for all of Toronto and the GTA (North York, Mississauga, Markham, Brampton, Scarborough, Ajax, Oshawa, and beyond) GreenStream has over 40 combined years of experience serving clients such as the City of Toronto, the Toronto District School Board and many more. For a free estimate in Toronto, the GTA and Southern Ontario, call today at 416-818-9414. You’ll be glad you did.