Asbestos Abatement & Inspections

ACM is an EPA and Montana-accredited, full service environmental remediation company specializing in assessment and abatement of asbestos, lead-based paint, mold, meth lab cleanup, and other hazardous material cleanup services. Our professional staff utilizes over 75 years of field experience in containment design, remediation, and removal services. ACM’s service area includes Montana, Idaho, Washington, and surrounding areas.

Asbestos Information

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral with unique physical properties that made it ideal for insulation, strength, flexibility, durability, and fireproofing applications. The material was commonly used from the late 1800s to 1978 when it was banned from consumer products. In residential and commercial buildings, asbestos-containing products included drywall and plaster wall finishes; spray-on finishes including textures, stucco, popcorn ceiling, and fireproofing; linoleum and vinyl floor tile finishes; mastics, glues, and caulks; asphalt shingles, roofing, and tarpaper products; and thermal insulation on boilers, water and steam piping, and heating ducts.

Asbestos Assessment (or Inspection) is generally required prior to any renovation or demolition of residential, commercial, or public structures. Catastrophic events including fire, water, and physical damage may trigger the need for inspection and abatement. ACM is available to perform inspections in any type of structure or application.

Removal of asbestos-containing building materials (ACBMs) in generally performed in a negative pressure environment. A plastic containment is constructed around the renovation area. Air scrubbers filter and trap asbestos fibers within the containment. ACM’s Technicians wear OSHA-compliant respirators and personal protective equipment. Wastes are packaged, transported, and disposed at an EPA-approved landfill.

Air clearances after abatement are completed by a third-party consultant who is not contractually associated with ACM. ACM may assist Clients with locating clearance providers.

Common Types of Asbestos Containing Building Materials

Attic Vermiculite

Although not all vermiculite contains asbestos, some products were made with vermiculite that contained asbestos until the early 1990s. Vermiculite mines throughout the world are now regularly tested for it and are supposed to sell products that contain no asbestos. The former vermiculite mine in Libby, Montana did have tremolite asbestos as well as winchite and richterite (both fibrous amphiboles) — in fact, it was formed underground through essentially the same geologic processes as the contaminants. A vermiculite mine in Virginia has also been found to be contaminated by asbestos.

Due to the widespread contamination of vermiculite the EPA has directed that all attic vermiculite be assumed to contain asbestos and treated as a friable asbestos containing material. For more information visit the EPA's Vermiculite Information page.

Floor Tile & Mastic
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Asphalt-based asbestos floor tiles and plastic or vinyl-based asbestos flooring were popular in the U.S. from the 1940's - 1970's and were produced by some manufacturers as late as 1980. Vinyl asbestos floor tiles were produced by a number of manufacturers and the decorative tile patterns were varied, often annually as styles and tastes changed.

Some types of Mastic, the "glue" used to adhere floor tile to the subfloor (plywood, cement, or other structural underlayment) contain asbestos fibers.

If the flooring is being demolished, sanded, buffed with steel-wool floor polishers, or subject to heavy traffic, it might be a source of unacceptable asbestos particle release. ACM recommends labratory testing of all vinyl floor tile and mastics prior to disturbing the material as part of a renovation or replacement project.

Popcorn Ceiling Texture
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A popcorn ceiling, also known as cottage cheese ceiling or more accurately an acoustic ceiling, is a term for a spray-on or paint-on ceiling treatment used from the late 1950s into the 1980s in American residential construction. It was the standard for bedroom and residential hallway ceilings for its bright, white appearance, noise reduction qualities, and ability to hide imperfections, while kitchen and living rooms ceilings would normally be finished in smoother skip-trowel or orange peel texture for their higher durability and ease of cleaning.

Unfortunately, in early formulations it often contained white asbestos fibers. When asbestos was banned in ceiling treatments by the Clean Air Act of 1978 in the United States, popcorn ceilings fell out of favor in much of the country. However, in order to minimize economic hardship to suppliers and installers, existing inventories of asbestos-bearing texturing materials were exempt from the ban, so it is possible to find asbestos in popcorn ceilings that were applied through the 1980s.

Boiler and Pipe Insulation
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For more than 50 years, asbestos was used as an insulator in industrial, commercial, and residential construction projects. Over the past 20 to 30 years, asbestos and any products that contain asbestos have been banned for use in a number of countries, including Great Britain and Australia. In the United States, however, the ban only applied to the manufacturing of new materials. Stores of old asbestos filled materials were used throughout the 1980s. Certain products are still allowed to contain small amounts of asbestos.

Asbestos boiler insulation is generally safe if the protective canvas layer and coating agent are intact. However, if this layer is torn or damaged, millions of asbestos fibers may be released into the air.

Note: The above examples and the following list does not include every product/material that may contain asbestos. It is intended as a general guide to show which types of materials may contain asbestos. It is strongly recommended that a certified and trained professional perform an Asbestos Inspection prior to any renovation, remodel, or demolition project. In fact, some local ordinances may require an inspection prior to receiving a construction or demolition permit.

Sample List of Suspect Asbestos - Containing Materials
Cement Pipes Elevator Brake Shoes
Cement Wallboard HVAC Duct Insulation
Cement Siding Boiler Insulation
Asphalt Floor Tile Breaching Insulation
Vinyl Floor Tile Ductwork Flexible Fabric Connections
Vinyl Sheet Flooring Cooling Towers
Flooring Backing Pipe Insulation (corrugated air-cell, block, etc.)
Construction Mastics (floor tile, carpet, ceiling tile, etc.) Heating and Electrical Ducts
Acoustical Plaster Electrical Panel Partitions
Decorative Plaster Electrical Cloth
Textured Paints/Coatings Electric Wiring Insulation
Ceiling Tiles and Lay-in Panels Chalkboards
Spray-Applied Insulation Roofing Shingles
Blown-in Insulation Roofing Felt
Fireproofing Materials Base Flashing
Taping Compounds (thermal) Thermal Paper Products
Packing Materials (for wall/floor penetrations) Fire Doors
High Temperature Gaskets Caulking/Putties
Laboratory Hoods/Table Tops Adhesives
Laboratory Gloves Wallboard
Fire Blankets Joint Compounds
Fire Curtains Vinyl Wall Coverings
Elevator Equipment Panels Spackling Compounds
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Our Services

Asbestos Abatement
Lead Removal Specialist
Hazardous Materials Cleanup
Selective Demolition
Mold Remediation
Specialty Contracting
Asbestos, Lead, Meth & Mold Building Inspections
Radon Mitigation
Meth Remediation
Dustless Blasting

Contact Info

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Abatement Contractors of Montana, LLC
P.O. Box 8747
Missoula, MT 59808

Toll Free:
(877) 214-8859

Phone: (406) 549-8489
Fax: (406) 728-9416

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