Frequently Asked Questions

Why is a Hazardous Materials Assessment Necessary Before Starting a Maintenance, Renovation, or Demolition Project?

Occupational Health and Safety legislation states that an employer is responsible for identifying hazardous materials such as asbestos, mould, lead, PCBs, mercury, and radioactive materials before any renovation or abatement project. These materials may expose occupants or workers to these hazards if proper safety measures are not implemented to control exposure safely. A professional assessment will identify which hazardous materials exist, where they are located, and recommendations for controlling exposure. An ASE Services Hazardous Materials Assessment Report provides conclusions about the potential for exposure and recommendations for the next steps. This detailed report contains floor plans and photographs to visually describe the location and condition of any hazardous materials.


I Completed a Professional Hazardous Materials Assessment. Now What?

Want to have the hazardous materials remediated? ASE Services can ensure successful project completion by assisting with any or all of the following tasks: 

  • Develop a proper Scope of Work outlining the remediation project’s requirements and restrictions. 
  • Create a tender package for contractors to bid to work on the project.
  • Assist in hiring a qualified contractor to lessen or remove materials.
  • Conduct air monitoring and inspections during the project to ensure compliance with legislation.
  • Provide final checks and a clearance report once abatement is completed to ensure the area is safe for re-occupancy or demolition.

What Is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a group of naturally occurring mineral (rock) fibres found all over the world. Throughout the 20th century, it was often combined with building-related materials due to its fire retardant and insulation properties. Asbestos has since been labelled a hazardous material, and its use is highly restricted. Inhaling asbestos fibres can cause detrimental health effects and can lead to life-threatening illnesses like mesothelioma and asbestosis.

Where Do I Look For Asbestos In My Home or Workplace?

Asbestos fibre may be located in several areas of a home or building, such as:

  • Walls
  • Ceilings
  • Floors
  • Window caulking
  • Mechanical insulating products
  • Electrical products
  • Roofing materials
  • Exterior brick or siding

Please feel free to contact ASE Services if you have any questions or concerns about asbestos in your home or workplace.

How Do I Know If My Home Or Building Contains Asbestos?

It is always a good idea to hire a professional company, such as ASE Services, to perform an asbestos assessment of your home or building prior to beginning maintenance, renovation, or demolition project – especially if it was built prior to the 1990s. An assessment will determine which areas contain asbestos, as well as the amount and type of asbestos within the building material. Once an assessment has been completed, ASE Services can assist you with a plan to properly and safely address and remediate the hazardous material.

What Causes Mould To Grow Indoors?

An indoor environment has everything mould spores need to grow — the right temperature and a food source such as drywall, plywood, etc. It only needs moisture or a water source. Mould will grow if a moisture source is introduced into the environment. Water intrusions from an outdoor source, like flooding or roof and window leaks, or an indoor source, like broken plumbing lines, need to be properly repaired and the area cleaned and dried within 48 hrs, or mould growth can occur. Mould will continue to grow or re-emerge as long as the moisture source remains. Any material damage or health concerns will also continue to occur.

What Are The Symptoms Of Mould Exposure?

Symptoms of mould exposure include:

  • Skin irritations or rashes
  • Dry hacking cough
  • Nose, eye or throat irritations
  • Nasal or sinus congestion
  • Wheezing or difficulty breathing

People who spend extended periods of time in an indoor setting with mould will likely experience irritant or allergic responses. The more an individual is exposed to mould, the higher the health risks. Some people may be more sensitive to mould exposure and may experience more severe reactions. Always consult a physician if you have any lingering or concerning symptoms.

What Should I Do If There’s Mould In My Home Or Building?

If you feel that there is a mould issue in your home or building, you should bring in a professional company to conduct a mould assessment. This may include a visual inspection, moisture measurements, and air sampling. Once the mould source has been identified and the area properly cleaned or remediated, the health symptoms associated with exposure should subside. Please do not hesitate to consult a doctor if your health issues continue or worsen. Consult the professionals at ASE Services to assist you in answering your questions or to perform an assessment if you suspect that you have a mould issue.

What Are Less Common Contaminants For Indoor Air Quality?

Health Canada has outlined a list of less common contaminants and safe testing thresholds for them. While mostly for residential standards, these thresholds are definitely safe for workplaces too.

Who Can Conduct Industrial Hygiene Assessments?

An industrial hygiene assessment is important in identifying potential workplace health hazards and determining appropriate mitigation control measures. At ASE Services, various professionals perform them, such as industrial hygienists, occupational health and safety professionals, and environmental health and safety specialists.


What’s Involved With Industrial Hygiene Assessments?

The specific approach depends on the nature of the workplace and the type of hazard being assessed but may include assessment of ventilation systems, worker exposure to chemicals or other pollutants, noise levels, lighting levels, ergonomics, and work processes. After conducting an assessment, the industrial hygienist will prepare a report that details their findings and recommendations for control measures. By implementing these measures, businesses can protect workers from potentially hazardous exposures and create an executable plan.

What Is a HazMat Assessment?

A HazMat assessment is an evaluation of the potential risks associated with hazardous material. It is typically conducted by a team of trained professionals who visit the site where the material is being used or stored and collect information about the type and quantity of material present, as well as the potential hazards it poses. The assessment team then assesses the risks associated with the hazardous material and develops a plan to mitigate those risks.


What Are Hazardous Materials Examples?

Many types of hazardous materials exist. Some common examples include flammable liquids, corrosives, toxic substances, and radioactive materials. Knowing how to handle these materials safely is imperative in protecting yourself from potential exposure when in contact or working with them. For instance, if you work with flammable liquids, you must use proper safety gear and store liquids in approved containers. Meanwhile, dealing with radioactive materials will require special precautions to avoid exposure. With several other types of hazardous materials, you must be familiar with certain hazards associated with your specific material. Our services are mostly geared to hazardous matter hiding in or underlying your building, like asbestos, mould, and lead. Hazardous materials are explained further in our WHMIS course above.