Engineers of

Markham Waxers

Abatement Council
of Ontario






















Proud Owners of the Markham Waxers - Visit the WEBsite!

Vermiculate Insulation Recognizing and Controlling the Asbestos Hazard of Vermiculite Insulation in Construction


(click to enlarge)

Encapsulation # 1

Encapsulation # 2

Protective Gear # 1

Protective Gear # 2

Asbestos may be found in many forms both inside and outside a building. Inside asbestos may take the form of paper or hard block insulation on hot water piping, heating ducts or as molded pipe fitting insulation and joint compounds on furnaces.

Video - Type 3 Asbestos Fireproofing Removal - 120 Bloor St. in Toronto
Type 3 Asbestos
Fireproofing at Old
Crown Life Building
in Toronto, ON

28.8k  |  56k
(download RealPlayer)

Asbestos may also be found in floor tiles, sheet flooring, ceiling tiles and acoustical (stucco) finishes or as wall and attic insulating materials. Exterior uses for asbestos may include shingles or siding materials and asbestos cement pipes. Asbestos is a potential health hazard if damaged and disturbed through renovation or demolition activities. Potential future liabilities for both the property owner and the architect are also attached to the presence of asbestos.

As a licensed and responsible professional you must be aware of and identify the presence or absence of these materials when dealing with building retrofits. Failure to advise your client(s) or contractors working on a project of the presence of hazardous materials in and/or on a property may present you with potential future liabilities. It is your obligation to protect the interests of your client(s), the health and safety of workers, and the natural environment.

Restoration Environmental Contractors will arrange an independent consultant for hazardous materials and other potential environmental concerns on residential, commercial and industrial properties. Each assessment includes sampling of all suspected hazardous materials, confirmatory laboratory analysis and complete reporting of all findings. We can also complete specifications and tender packages for any required remedial activities and perform project management services.

All environmental consultants and environmental engineers are licensed, have errors and omissions insurance and pollution, asbestos and environmental coverage.


North America has become asbestos conscious. With so many buildings and facilities containing asbestos, the prudent building manager must implement an Asbestos Management and Maintenance Program.

Beginning in the 1920's and continuing into the mid 1970's asbestos insulation and building material were widely used in the construction industry due to its low cost, strength and ability to withstand high temperatures. In Canada, there are thousands of miles of asbestos pipe covered materials. However, it is not always economically feasible or desirable to carry out removal procedures.


As you are no doubt aware, non-compliance with Asbestos Removal Regulations can have very serious consequences or costly shutdowns, Ministry of Labour fines, court appearances, employee discontent and unfavorable media attention, to name a few. In the event of future litigation, director, shareholders, plant managers or any decision maker, could be held personally liable.


As you are no doubt aware, non-compliance with Asbestos Removal Regulations can have very serious consequences or costly shutdowns, Ministry of Labour fines, court appearances, employee discontent and unfavorable media attention, to name a few. In the event of future litigation, director, shareholders, plant managers or any decision maker, could be held personally liable.


STEP ONE: Assessment and Survey
The first step of the Asbestos Management Program is to do an asbestos survey to assess the location, identify the type of asbestos, the condition of the asbestos and identify a maintenance record. This asbestos inventory or assessment is usually carried out by an independent consulting firm. This assessment or survey will include:

1. Identification and location of the Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM)

2. Assessing the condition of asbestos and its accessibility.

3. Preparing a long term plan to outline the corrective action(s) to be taken and the immediate and long-term costs associated with the corrective action(s).

STEP TWO: Notification
Once the assessment or survey is completed, this will allow the building manager to implement the second step of the program, which includes notifying tenants, custodial and maintenance staff, building maintenance and service contractors. This notification includes identifying the location of the asbestos containing materials.

STEP THREE: Worker Training
A Health and Safety Training Program should be established including an inspection policy and employee training program. Employees who are most likely to come into contact or work with asbestos should be included. Good communication is vital. All sub trades and maintenance contractors should be notified.

STEP FOUR: Corrective Measures - Correction and Remedial Action
Where the survey or assessment has identified Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) which are severely damaged or deteriorated, the building manager then decides which of the following three methods of corrective or remedial measures are going to be used.

1. Removal By Type 1, Type 2, or Type 3 Operational Procedures
As a rule, removal will initially be the most expensive method. However, depending on the circumstances, in the long run, asbestos removal can be an economically preferred option. Removal of asbestos is the only permanent solution.

In most cases, where Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) are removed, an appropriate substitute material must be reinstalled. Fibreglass pipe covering is a widely used product and the costs associated with supplying and installing this new material are relatively low.

In Type 3 Operational Procedures, an eight chamber Decontamination Structure is installed. A Dirty Area Room, Garbage Storage Area and Clean Area & Room with airlocks are temporarily installed. These Decon's have filtered showering facilities. The water is filtered through a .05 micron filter collected into 45-55 gallon drums for testing prior to any discharge.

Under Type 3, the area is kept constantly under negative pressure. HEPA Filtered Negative Air Pressure Units are installed strategically and vented outside. All electrical equipment, HEPA Vacuums, temporary lighting and Negative HEPA Air Units are hooked up to temporary Ground Fault Interrupt (GFI) panels. The area will have electrical lockouts where required.

2. Encapsulation
Encapsulation is a successful option in dealing with asbestos and involves covering the asbestos with a sealant.

Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM), all piping, elbows, boilers and all mechanical insulation covered with ACM and asbestos are HEPA vacuumed and covered with a canvas fire-rated adhesive sealant (encapsulation). Depending on the application, there are a number of types of sealant.

The sealant's function is to enclose and prevent the asbestos fibres from breaking away from the material. In the case of asbestos pipe insulation, elbows or trees, a canvas with a fire retardant lockdown adhesive lagging is applied to cover and provide a hard-shell coating.

Encapsulation requires periodic inspections, quarterly or annually, to monitor the condition of the Asbestos Containing Materials.

2. Enclosure
The Enclosure method permanently closes the asbestos. The enclosure must be completely airtight and this method is best used only where access to electrical, plumbing or ventilation services are not required.

STEP FIVE: Hiring an Asbestos Control Contractor
The Asbestos Control Contractor should be experienced in all of the three methods mentioned above: Removal, Encapsulation and Enclosure and Insulation procedures.

The Asbestos Control Contractor you hire should have:

  1. FINANCIAL STABILITY - bank references.

  2. EXPERIENCE - minimum 5-10 years experience under the same corporate name.

  3. REFERENCES - verifiable and confirmed.

  4. BONDING FACILITY - up to $5,000,000 in 100% performance and material/labour.

  5. GOOD WCB RECORD - good standing with the Workers' Compensation Board (WCB).

  6. NO INSURANCE CLAIMS - if there is any, request an explanation.



The Asbestos Control Contractor will supply your firm:


  2. LETTER OF REFERENCE FROM THEIR BANK - to guarantee financial stability.

  3. REFERENCE FROM THE MINISTRY OF LABOUR - no "stop work" orders and no violations. If there are any request an explanation.

  4. LIST OF REFERENCES - from clients and consultants. Names and telephone numbers of contacts which you or your staff should verify regarding good work practices, professionalism etc.

References must be checked thoroughly to determine the quality of services:

  • was the client satisfied with the contractor's performance?

  • was the contractor's staff knowledgeable and fully trained?

  • did they complete the job on time?

  • what is the availability and schedule performance?


Remember, under Bill 208, Management and Corporate Liability can lead to possible personal exposure and liability. It is your responsibility to select a highly qualified insured contractor. Most importantly, you need to follow these guidelines to ensure both you and your company's peace of mind.

For Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) that require immediate attention, a qualified Asbestos Control Contractor can be retained on the following terms:

  1. GUARANTEED PRICE CONTRACT - to complete the initial removal or encapsulation work required by the consultant's recommendations, for a fixed lump sum price.
  2. SERVICE CONTRACT - on standing offer and on a time and material basis. The contractor must be available to service your asbestos, just as your mechanical contractor services you air conditioning. Every building manager should have an Asbestos Service Contractor in case of an emergency.

One requirement of the regulation governing asbestos on construction sites is the classification of the work. This classification can be thought of in terms of work representing a high (Type 3) or medium (Type 2) or low hazard (Type 1). In evaluating the hazard, there are two necessary considerations:

  • the airborne concentrations of asbestos that will be generated by the work
  • the duration of the exposure


Factors that effect the level of airborne asbestos include the following:

  • the nature of the asbestos materials
  • how the work is performed - Quality and Health and Safety Training
  • the availability of controls to limit exposure


An asbestos management or maintenance program is required by the Ontario Regulation 654/85 under the Occupational Health & Safety Act and RRO 838/90. The regulation "respecting asbestos on construction projects and in buildings and repair operations" because effective on March 16, 1986.


There are various methods of air monitoring. If removal procedures are to be carried out, your consultant should:

  1. Inspect the contractor's contaminant area to ensure it meets or exceeds the requirements under Ontario Regulation 654/85 and 838/90 prior to commencement. All air handling equipment should be shut down in the area.
  2. Periodically, monitor air inside and outside the containment area during work hours to verify the airborne fibre levels during removal procedures are under the recommended level.
  3. Periodically inspect the contractor during the project, to make sure safe work practices are in place and work is being performed according to the Regulation or Specifications.
  4. Complete final inspection of the containment area. Air monitoring to check all work is completed successfully and ensure that levels are lower than acceptable level prior to containment removal by the contractor. Verify disposable and haulage by licensed waste hauler and approved dump site.

All consultants and/or contractors hourly rates, fees and experience vary. Insurance coverage varies. Thoroughly check the references of the consultant and/or contractor, verifying experience, asbestos project costs, quality of work, training and staff training.


The key factors are in a successful Asbestos Management and Maintenance Program are management, communication and control. You and your company must implement an asbestos management control program and define the company's asbestos policy in a long term plan.

The long term plan allows you to be in control of the asbestos and be ready to respond quickly and decisively and to avoid costly emergency crisis situations.


Copyright 1999 - 2007, Restoration Environmental Contractors.
All rights reserved.