WorkSafeBC, the provincial watchdog, has announced ramped up efforts to catch unsafe home renovations in British Columbia. The move comes in the wake of several cases last year that involved contractors cutting corners – and risking lives. Of 210 site inspections conducted in 2014, WorkSafe BC found that 43 percent has inadequate hazardous materials surveys, orders were written on 257 violations and 20 penalties were imposed. That’s not an impressive record!
The provincial agency will be stepping up enforcement, including adding to the number of inspectors and increasing inspection of residential renovations and demolitions.
Cheating the Math
Unfortunately, BC isn’t the only region to have the same kinds of problems – it’s common in the GTA too. Naturally, asbestos removal increases the potential costs of a demolition or renovation and unscrupulous contractors can deliberately underestimate the potential for asbestos in a property in order to come in with a lower quote. Some may even claim ignorance.
Here are some pointers to look out for,
- Is the contractor doing a complete hazardous materials survey or just a partial one, restricted only to certain areas?
- Walls are an obvious area, but are they also considering floor and ceiling tiles, insulation, window and door sealant – among others?
If you’re doing your own renovations, then the concern is even greater since you may or may not even be familiar with asbestos and where it may be contained in your home. And – there’s no provincial requirement for safety measures if you’re working on your own home. It’s all up to you.
With the price of real estate soaring in Toronto and the GTA, demolitions and renovations are on the rise. However, if your home was built before the mid-1980’s, it almost certainly contains asbestos in one form or another.
Asbestos is not considered dangerous while intact. However, any activity that damages or disturbs it is likely to produce dust or inhalable particles of asbestos, and that’s where the health hazard lies. The material does not break down in the body and over the years, can develop into many respiratory issues, including cancers and deadly mesothelioma.
Safe – Not Sorry
The safest route is complete asbestos removal or asbestos remediation. It’s too serious to take chances. If you suspect the presence of asbestos in your home, this is one situation where you don’t want to take matters into your own hands. Call the experts at GreenStream.
At GreenStream, you can be sure that our licensed and experienced asbestos removal and asbestos remediation technicians follow established procedures to keep you, your neighbours and our own workers safe.
In the Toronto area contact GreenStreamEnvironmental.ca 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.
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