Naturally Occurring Asbestos – Should You Worry?

With recurring claims and ongoing litigation involving asbestos in powder, and asbestos in cosmetics, naturally, the first question that has to come to mind is, how does asbestos come to be found in those substances?

The answer: naturally occurring asbestos.

Naturally occurring asbestos
Asbestos is itself a natural substance, and like most other minerals, it is frequently found embedded with other minerals within the earth. A fibrous mineral, asbestos is typically found as veins within certain types of “host rocks” such as limestone and peridotite, the most common rock found in the earths’ mantle. In fact, peridotite, chrysotile asbestos, and talc are often found together. That’s where the asbestos in cosmetics and powder comes from – contaminated talc.

Asbestos in Ontario
Many Canadians may assume that all of Canada’s asbestos came from Quebec, and certainly, the world’s largest asbestos mine was once found there – the last Canadian asbestos mine to close. However, it was also found – and mined – in Ontario.

In the 1950s, in fact, the asbestos industry was booming in Ontario. The value of the asbestos from just one mine – even back in 1952 – was over $9 million. Deposits were found in several places including,

  • Chrysotile asbestos in Northeastern Ontario, including areas near Algoma, Cochrane, Kenora, Sudbury, Thunder Bay, and Timiskaming;
  • Amphibole asbestos minerals, tremolite and actinolite – the most deadly varieties – in Southeastern Ontario in Lennox and Addington county, near Napanee and Renfrew.

There may be many more such deposits throughout the province. The Geological Survey in the United States is comprehensive, but there is no comparable study of Canadian mineral deposits throughout the country. In the United States, it is found through the western states, including California, among other areas.

What can you do?
While there does not seem to be any naturally occurring asbestos in the GTA, your vacation travels, family, or business may well take you to a region where it does exist within the soil. Here’s how to keep yourself safe.

Remember that, as long as it is undisturbed, asbestos is safe. It is only the airborne particles that can be inhaled that you need to worry about. Both routine human activities and natural weather and erosion can disturb the asbestos and create dust.

  • Stay on paved paths when hiking or biking;
  • Walk and let children play in areas with added ground cover such as mulch or wood chips;
  • Pre-wet any areas you might be digging into;
  • Take off your shoes when you get indoors, and use a doormat to absorb dust;
  • Keep windows and doors closed on windy days, or if you are close to any construction;
  • Use caution, and slow down on unpaved roads, especially in dry weather;
  • Use wet mops and rags to clean up, and vacuum frequently with a HEPA filter.

Asbestos in your home?
We can help. If you have asbestos anywhere in your home, let us help with the next step: asbestos removal. Our experienced and certified asbestos removal and asbestos remediation technicians can help keep you and your family safe. In the Toronto area call Environmental at (416) 818-9414. Contact us for a quote today.

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.

Air Ducts, Asbestos, and the Air We Breathe

Air ducts and asbestos may not seem like they are related elements of a home or building construction. With the hot housing market in Toronto and the GTA, many older homes are going on the market unrenovated, in an as-is condition. It’s also more attractive to many homeowners to renovate than buy.

That means you should be aware of asbestos and all the places it may show up in your home – including seemingly out of the way locations such as the HVAC system.

Asbestos and HVAC
Here are some of the ways that asbestos and asbestos containing materials (ACM) might have found a way into your air and heating duct work.

  • Before the 1980s, the heating ducts in many homes were installed with insulation that contained asbestos. Most of the ACM insulation was installed with sheet metal duct work, and fabricated between 1950 and 1975.
  • Some duct work itself was made with ACM in a sheet material that resembles the insulating material. That means it can be difficult to tell just by looking whether the duct is wrapped in ACM insulation, or made of ACM itself.
  • A type of duct tape was once also made with ACM and used extensively in construction for decades. It is thicker than modern duct tape, and white or grey in colour.
  • Other sealants, such as putty, may also contain ACM, and be used in and around duct work.
  • The asbestos paper that was used in HVAC systems to wrap around air ducts, or as sealant, typically contains about 15% chrysotile asbestos.

The danger
Asbestos and asbestos containing materials are considered safe as long as they are intact. However, once, the material begins to deteriorate – and, while asbestos itself is very durable, in ACM, the other materials will certainly begin to deteriorate over time – they can create the friable dust. Once inhaled into the lungs, asbestos never goes away, and over time, can cause respiratory and other problems, including lung cancers, and deadly mesothelioma.

  • Just peeling off deteriorating ACM duct tape can release breathable asbestos fibres;
  • Deteriorating ACM ducts can release asbestos fibres into the whole HVAC system, dispersing it throughout your home;
  • Even though insulation is wrapped around ducts, if the duct becomes punctured or damaged, asbestos dust from ACM insulation can also enter your HVAC system.

Certainly, if you are upgrading your HVAC system, or doing any work that involves cutting into walls, you need to be aware of the presence of asbestos.

Safe, not sorry
If you have asbestos anywhere in your home, let us help with the next step: asbestos removal. Our experienced and certified asbestos removal and asbestos remediation technicians can help keep you and your family safe. In the Toronto area call Environmental at (416) 818-9414. Contact us for a quote today.

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.

Asbestos Removal – A Growing Industry

Asbestos removal and remediation are a growing industry across the globe. One survey, using data from all over the world, found that asbestos removal was growing at an average rate of about 24 percent overall.

Asbestos Bans—And Asbestos Awareness
Canada joined with more than 50 other countries in introducing a complete ban on asbestos. Colombia has since joined that club, with many calling for a similar ban in the United States.

Even before the asbestos ban, the naturally occurring and yet potentially deadly substance was making headlines across the country and around the world.

While it has not been used in construction purposes since about the mid-1980s in Canada, there are factors that make it a present threat rather than ancient history.

  • There are many homes that still contain asbestos or asbestos containing materials (ACM);
  • Even where some asbestos removal or remediation was done, it can still show up in many areas of your home literally from floor to ceiling;
  • The health effects of asbestos exposure take decades to manifest themselves;
  • If the first wave of asbestos victims were manufacturing and other workers of the early 20th century, the second wave are home repairs, renovations, and demolitions workers who are exposed from existing materials as they work.

The Facts
The numbers worldwide—and here at home—are sobering.

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that globally 125 million people are exposed to asbestos every year.
  • According to the International Labour Organization, over 107,000 die every year from asbestos related diseases, including deadly mesothelioma.
  • It is estimated that more than 152,000 Canadians have been exposed to asbestos at work.

Because it was, until very recently, one of the world’s major sources of asbestos through mining, Canada has one of the highest rates of asbestos disease in the world. Asbestos was once used in over 3,000 different building materials.

It’s No Joke
While the growing numbers seem alarming, there is a flip side to the situation. Maybe, in the near future, we can look forward to a truly asbestos-free environment both for working and living.

If you have asbestos anywhere in your home, let us help with the next step: asbestos removal. Our experienced and certified asbestos removal and asbestos remediation technicians can help keep you and your family safe. In the Toronto area call Environmental at (416) 818-9414. Contact us for a quote today.

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.

Does Your Home Or Workplace Contain Asbestos?

Asbestos exposure and the illnesses associated with it – including deadly mesothelioma – are the biggest cause of workplace deaths in Canada today. But, how do you know if that danger is present in your home or place of work?

Here’s a handy checklist of some of the main issues that should prompt you to take the next step to get help with asbestos testing or asbestos removal.

  • Was your home/workplace built before the mid-1980s? If so, it almost certainly contains – or contained – asbestos in one form or another. Previous renovations may have involved asbestos abatement, but you won’t necessarily know just because it looks new.
  • Check the sealant around any pipes, ducts, and windows in your home. If it is crumbling or otherwise deteriorating, it may be ACM or an asbestos containing material. Even if asbestos removal procedures have been performed elsewhere in the building, sealant is one area that is often overlooked.
  • Do you have a popcorn ceiling? Aside from being dated and a magnet for dust, it may just contain asbestos. That’s right – at one time, the texture was created with asbestos.
  • Do you have what was once called “drop ceiling tiles”? Ceiling tiles, often called acoustic tiles, were very widely used between the 1940s and 1990s, and they often contained asbestos, as it does have noise dampening properties. Ceiling tiles containing asbestos were largely 6” x 6”, 9” x 9” or 12” x 12” in size.
  • Is there loose fill insulation in the attic? There are a few different possibilities, but one of them is vermiculite insulation that comes from a mine contaminated with asbestos.

You can tell if there is asbestos in your home just by looking, especially when it has been mixed with another material. Asbestos testing is the first step, and then, while the material may be considered safe as long as it is intact, the only way to be sure is to have it removed. That’s where we come into the picture.

Safe, not sorry
If you have asbestos anywhere in your home, let us help with the next step: asbestos removal. Our experienced and certified asbestos removal and asbestos remediation technicians can help keep you and your family safe. In the Toronto area call Environmental at (416) 818-9414. Contact us for a quote today.

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.

Vermiculite Insulation & Asbestos: A Quick Guide

The feverish real estate market in Toronto and the GTA means that sellers aren’t as interested in fixing up the old homestead before they put it on the market. As a buyer, it means that you might well be looking at old problems that should have been dealt with years ago – like vermiculite insulation.

What’s The Problem With Vermiculite Insulation?
Vermiculite insulation was a type of blown in insulation that was commonly used for attic spaces. Vermiculite, a natural material, is not problematic by itself. The issue is that some vermiculite deposits are adjacent to, or mixed in with, asbestos – usually of the actinolite variety. That’s the case in the mines of Libby, Montana, where most of the vermiculite for insulation that was sold in Canada was mined.

Unfortunately for future generations, that combination of vermiculite – a material that expands when heated – and asbestos, which is fire resistant and nearly indestructible, seemed to make the ideal insulation. It looks silvery gold, or a grey brown colour, and it is somewhat shiny. Insulation uses its expanded form, which looks like little pebbles.

More than 680kg of contaminated vermiculite was processed in plants across Canada. According to the EPA in the United States, up to 35 million homes in North America are affected. Insulation from the Libby mine was sold from the 1940s until 1984. The mine was closed in 1990.

Most of the vermiculite insulation sold in Canada from the Libby mine fell under the brand name Zonolite® Attic Insulation. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that the Canadian government was offering homeowners grants to have attic insulation installed in their home through the late 1970s and into the 1980s.

  • The danger from exposure to asbestos through contaminated vermiculite insulation is real. The EPA has documented cases of asbestosis, a chronic breathing condition caused by the scar tissue that forms after asbestos exposure, that resulted from as few as four or five contacts with the material.
  • You can’t tell just by looking – you need to get the material tested to find out if it contains asbestos.

What Should You Do?
If the insulation is sealed, and isolated from the rest of the home, it is considered safe. But – is it?

If you are planning on any renovations, or installing an alarm or even a home entertainment system, you need to take the vermiculite insulation into account.

  • You must inform any one you hire to work on the home of its presence.
  • You will be liable for any asbestos exposure if you do not.

The only way to be absolutely sure is by professional vermiculite insulation removal.

However, while you are waiting for your asbestos removal appointment, there are precautions you should take.

  • Do not go into the attic, or use it for storage.
  • Seal any cracks or holes in any ceilings in the home, so the insulation can’t sift downwards.
  • Seal the areas around any light fixtures or ceiling fans with caulking.
  • Use caulking to also seal around windows and door frames, along baseboards, around any electrical outlets, thermostats, or any other controls or fixtures that are cut into the walls.

Don’t Take Chances
If you have asbestos-contaminated vermiculite insulation, or asbestos anywhere in your home, let us help with the next step: asbestos removal. Our experienced and certified asbestos removal and asbestos remediation technicians can help keep you and your family safe. In the Toronto area call Environmental at (416) 818-9414. Contact us for a quote today.

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.

Asbestos Removal – In BC, The Punishment Fits The Crime

An asbestos removal contractor has been barred from the industry by the B.C. Supreme Court after being issued literally hundreds of orders for breaking the rules.

The Story
Seattle Environmental and related companies owned by Mike Singh have operated in the Lower Mainland area of greater Vancouver for several years. The court found the company had breached workplace safety laws more than 20 times, at 11 different work sites, between 2013 and 2017.
Among the specific details:

  • The company did not make sure that workers wore full-face respirators when working with asbestos.
  • The company did not test for airborne asbestos while crucial work was being completed.
  • The company failed to seal the containers that held asbestos waste.

In at least two cases, the court found reasonable grounds that Singh had fraudulently issued documents known as “clearance letters”. These should be issued when an area has been verifiably cleared of asbestos. By issuing them before the asbestos was gone, it meant unprotected workers were being let back onto the site.

The Road to Justice
WorkSafe B.C. has been on the case for almost 10 years, writing more than 230 orders against Singh and his companies. It took until 2012 for the agency to get an order from the B.C. Supreme court ordering Singh to comply with the regulation. Previous charges include contempt of court when Singh simply ignored previous court orders. In total, Singh and his firms have been fined nearly $635,000 since 2010.

Singh and his lawyers argued that his companies were being unfairly targeted, but the judge wasn’t having any of it. The ruling means that Singh cannot carry out any asbestos removal work as of April 15, 2019 for an indefinite term. The judge was clear on the issues in her 177-page ruling.

“Seattle is responsible for repeated and egregious breaches of the (Workers Compensation) Act and regulation, including significant failures to properly dispose of asbestos waste, to ensure adequate containment during high-risk work and to provide safe supervision of workers.”

Choose Wisely – Choose GS
At GreenStream, we welcome any efforts by regulators to weed out the bad apples in the industry. A cavalier attitude towards health and safety regulations hurts not just your employees, but neighbours and anyone else in the area where an unsafe job site exists.

Asbestos dust can travel with the wind, and once it is inhaled, it never leaves your lungs. Decades later, it can result in a host of respiratory issues, including cancers and deadly mesothelioma.

If you have asbestos in your home, let us help with the next step: asbestos removal. Our experienced and certified asbestos removal and asbestos remediation technicians can help keep you and your family safe. In the Toronto area call Environmental at (416) 818-9414. Contact us for a quote today.

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.

Asbestos in the Storm

In late September, the Ottawa region suffered storm damage, including
a verified tornado. But, when old buildings are damaged, there is a
risk of asbestos exposure along with any other issues that arise.

Storm Damage
Many of the buildings in the Ottawa and Gatineau areas were
constructed prior to the 1980s, and that means they most likely
contain asbestos in one form or another. Subjected to the fierce winds
of the tornado, the building materials themselves were damaged.

“Part of the building’s roof was torn off, leaving a trail of dust
behind it,” said a spokes person for L’Office municipal d’habitation
de Gatineau (OMHG) in a radio interview, referring to one of the
buildings managed by OMHG, which is known to include asbestos.

Parts of the building were closed off to prevent the dust – and
asbestos fibres – from spreading. According to the report, the
organization will likely reconstruct the building rather that demolish
it.

The one saving grace? The rain likely meant that the dust didn’t
spread very far, even with the high winds.

What About Your Home?
If your home was built before the 1980s, it most likely contains
asbestos, and it may be found virtually anywhere from floor to
ceiling. When the material is intact, it is not considered a risk.

However, once the material has been damaged, it can release asbestos
dust. Once inhaled into the lungs, it never leaves, and can cause
serious health issues in the future, including lung cancers and deadly
mesothelioma.

There are many events which may damage asbestos and asbestos
containing materials and create friable – or inhalable – asbestos
dust. These include;

  • Renovations;
  • Fires, tornadoes and floods;
  • Installing home theatre or alarm systems that involve cutting into
    walls;
  • Replacing old piping or attic insulation;
  • And more.

If you plan on having any work done on your home, you need to know if
there is asbestos in the mix.

Let Us Help
If you have asbestos or asbestos containing materials in your home, we
can help. Our experienced and certified asbestos removal and asbestos
remediation technicians can help keep you and your family safe. In the
Toronto area call Environmental at (416) 818-9414. Contact us for a
quote today.

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.

Asbestos in Roofing Materials

A recent remediation project at a daycare centre in Southwestern Ontario can serve as a reminder that asbestos really can appear virtually anywhere in a home from floor to ceiling – and even on top of that.

A Historical Problem
The daycare centre in Wingham, Ontario, has been housed in a building that has proved to be problematic over the years. Among other issues, it is believed that the roofing material – which was last replaced in 1976 – may contain asbestos. The county will pick up most of the costs of the roofing project.

The good news is that the authorities looking for a bid on the contract are already factoring in the possibility of asbestos removal into their call for tenders. As a home or property owner, if the building in question was constructed before the mid-1980s, there is a strong possibility it contains asbestos in one form or another. You need to take that into account whenever you are considering renovations or any installation that involved cutting into walls, ceilings, or floors.

When it comes to roofing tiles, asbestos is most often mixed with other materials. You may find asbestos or ACM (asbestos containing materials) in many areas of roofing.

  • Roofing Felt – a sheeting material made of thick compressed asbestos that can be used under shingles, or to build up a flat roof, often with asphalt
  • Roofing Shingles – often mixed with concrete in corrugated tiles, or with asphalt in flat tiles
  • Roofing tar – asbestos was often added to roofing tar mixtures to improve waterproofing and add a fire retardant
  • Sealants – no matter what type of tile or shingle was used, caulking and other roofing and window sealants may have also contained asbestos

The good news is that ACM used as roofing material is generally rated with a low friability rate, meaning that it is made to be durable and not deteriorate over time into inhalable dust. However, these materials were last used between the 1920s and the late 1970s, meaning they are already more than four decades old. The materials mixed with the asbestos may be deteriorating, leaving the asbestos itself to crumble.

What About Your Old House?
You love your old home, but there’s no denying that older buildings do require regular maintenance and, even though asbestos and ACM may have been installed decades ago, and have remained intact until now, the clock is ticking on all the materials and structures around the asbestos. How will you know exactly when it starts to crumble and create dust?

Don’t take the chance.

If you have asbestos or asbestos containing materials in your home, we can help. Our experienced and certified asbestos removal and asbestos remediation technicians can help keep you and your family safe. In the Toronto area call Environmental at (416) 818-9414. Contact us for a quote today.

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.

The Paradise Theatre – Asbestos & Historic Renovations

Historic building renovations run smoothly when all the complications are considered – including asbestosToronto’s historic Paradise Theatre is a beautiful example of Art Deco style architecture on Bloor Street. The building at 1006 Bloor West has housed a theatre of one kind or another from the time it was designed in 1937 until 2006. As with many other older single-screen theatres, it fell into decline by the 1990s. Its fate was in limbo for several years, with the threat of demolition considered about seven years ago.

But, the period of uncertainty is over, and the venerable site is in the process of being completely restored. The building will house a restaurant along with a theatre and event space, with a mix of some private and mostly public programming.

Out With The Old…
The project has been underway for about three years. Before the new design and features could be developed, the building first had to be rehabilitated. That included:

Asbestos removal;
• Lead paint removal;
• Fixing a leaky wall (likely causing mould);
• Among others.

That work is now done, clearing the way for a bright new future for a lovely historic building.

Your Old Home
When it comes to your home, demolition and rebuilding typically aren’t the first choice when you want to change. With so many older homes in Toronto’s market, renovations are booming.

But, for a successful renovation, just like the Paradise Theatre, you have to include dealing with asbestos and other environmental issues before you begin.

• If your home was built before the mid-1980s, it is likely to include asbestos or asbestos containing materials in one form or another.
• It can take many forms, and appear anywhere in your home from floor tiles to wall panels to ceiling tiles and even textured paints. It could be in caulking, insulation, and in your attic.
• No amount of exposure to asbestos is considered safe, and any work that disturbs or damages walls or other structures can produce deadly asbestos dust.
• A successful renovation begins with including asbestos removal, mould removal, and any other legacy issues in your renovation budget.

We can help!

If you have asbestos or asbestos containing materials in your home, we can help. Our experienced and certified asbestos removal and asbestos remediation technicians can help keep you and your family safe. In the Toronto area call Environmental at (416) 818-9414. Contact us for a quote today.

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.

Update That (Asbestos Riddled) Popcorn Ceiling

So you’ve bought an older home in the GTA, or perhaps you already own one, and while you love a lot of things about it, there is the matter of that outdated, bumpy plaster ceiling.

It’s hard to believe now, but popcorn ceilings – those textured, by now often discoloured plaster and stucco treatments – were once all the rage. They were thought to be easy to maintain and to hide minor imperfections in the ceiling surface.

What exactly is a “popcorn ceiling”?
Popcorn ceilings and other textured wall treatments were already in use in the 1920s, but as a fad, they reached their peak between the 1960s and 1980s. Nowadays, they certainly make a room look dated. Dust and smoke over the years can make them look dirty and yellowed, and they can trap dust, spiderwebs, and other dirt.

You may also know they as an acoustic ceiling or even a cottage cheese ceiling. The treatment, which was sprayed on, was often used in bedrooms, hallways, and living rooms. For decades, the effect was produced by mixing plaster with asbestos, which was then was sprayed onto the ceiling, or plastered by hand.

Why asbestos? It was added for two reasons.

  • First, it does provide some acoustic insulation.
  • Second, it is fireproof and was thought to be a safety feature.

When should you be concerned?
The answer is a little fuzzy. Technically, manufacturing most asbestos containing materials or ACM was banned in Canada in 1979. However, existing inventories of ACM were exempt from the ban, and asbestos continued to find its way into construction projects until the early 1990s.

Not all popcorn ceilings contain asbestos. Once the existing stock ran out in the early to mid-1990s, the texture was produced with a paper-based product. Even so, the ceiling treatment ran out of favour by about the same time.

  • The important thing to remember is – you won’t be able to tell whether it contains asbestos or not just by looking at it.

Please don’t try DIY
You may be tempted to remove it yourself, but we – and any asbestos expert you will ask – strongly caution you against a DIY popcorn ceiling removal. Scraping the material off will necessarily produce the friable dust that can enter the lungs and eventually cause health problems, including deadly mesothelioma.

  • Removing a popcorn ceiling safely requires special equipment that produces minimal dust and incorporates a double filtration system to keep even that bit of dust well contained.
  • Also Note – even though, if you are working on your own home, you are not required by law to perform an asbestos or other hazardous material assessment, you ARE still required by law to properly and safely contain, transport, and dispose of any asbestos containing material waste and you are liable for anyone else’s asbestos exposure.

We Can Help
If you have a popcorn ceiling or any other asbestos containing materials in your home, we can help. Our experienced and certified asbestos removal and asbestos remediation technicians can help keep you and your family safe. In the Toronto area call Environmental at (416) 818-9414. Contact us for a quote today.

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.