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Please review our detailed and comprehensive Frequently Asked Question area. We believe many of your concerns and questions are addressed here. Please use our contact component if you need additional information, or give us a call at (914) 377-0286

There is no job too big or too small for us. Upon completion of our services we are certain your home or your facility will be safe from Asbestos & Mold and we will come back, if necessary, whatever number of times it takes, to guarantee this!! thank you Miquel

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Asbestos is a natural mineral found in rocks and its predominant property is a strong resistance to cold, heat, and fire, which for many years made it an attractive insulating material for pipes, pipe joints, boilers, tanks, ducts, etc.

Asbestos Containing Material (ACM) becomes hazardous when it becomes damaged and deteriorated over time. When ACM deteriorates it becomes friable (flaky and crumbly and can be pulverized into powder with hand pressure) releasing both visible and invisible asbestos fibers into the air. The microscopic fibers that you can't see can become inhaled and lodged in the lungs and after a period of exposure can cause asbestosis, lung cancer, mesothelioma and other asbestos related diseases. Unfortunately, the presence of these diseases is not evident until fifteen to twenty years after exposure.

In our over 26 years of work in ACM abatement, we have found that over 90% of the time all that is needed is
a visible inspection conducted by one of our trained and knowledgeable consultants who will identify the
presence of ACM on pipe and duct coverings, older boilers, floor tile and other floor coverings, ceiling tile,
siding, roofing and other building materials. Many of these products manufactured prior to 1978 virtually
always contained asbestos. During the inspection, our consultants can also evaluate the condition of your
ACM. They will also note other suspicious areas such as fire retardant ceilings above furnaces, duct coverings
and insulation behind radiators, to name a few.

Some times it is difficult to determine the composition of a material, as some materials can be made either
with or without asbestos. In these cases it may be necessary to have the material tested.

By law, in order to protect you the consumer, a company cannot both test and do the ACM abatement work for
a customer on a given project. A separate company will test the materials for you and provide you with a
report of the findings.

Usually when there is a large quantity of questionable material to be abated. Also lenders may require testing
prior to giving new mortgages or refinancing a property. You may also need to test if you are selling a
property, if the prospective buyer requests it. New York has laws regarding disclosure of hazardous conditions
when you sell a property. If you have any questions in this regard, consult your attorney.

It is an accepted fact that all asbestos should be removed when it is n a friable state and has deteriorated.
Since it was used mostly in older homes, the chances are that if your home is older then thirty to forty years
that the asbestos has deteriorated to a fair or poor condition. If you are remodeling the area or replacing
items containing or covered with ACM, it is a good idea to remove the ACM, for yours and others' safety.
Many trades people, such as plumbers and electricians, to name two trades, will not work on or near ACM
that they may come in contact with.

Also as mentioned above, your lender or buyer may require it.

There are basically two alternatives open to a New York/Connecticut State licensed contractor under the law.
The only way to eliminate the risk completely is through removal, transportation and legal disposal according
to strict regulations and guidelines established by the Federal government under OSHA and EPA and the State
of New York Asbestos Control Program, Industrial Code Rule 56 and the City of New York, Title 15 chapter 1,
and Connecticut Regulations. Asbestos which is in good condition can be repaired and encapsulated. While
this serves as a stop-gap health measure, the asbestos is still in place and will have to be dealt with at a
later time. The cost differential is usually minimal because the same precautions and safety factors must be
observed in both processes and the only savings is generally the waste disposal cost. For economic sense, we
recommend repair and encapsulation of boilers which have outside asbestos coverings since once you
remove the covering from the boiler, you must either re-insulate or scrap the boiler and this can become a
costly process.

The total concept of safe asbestos removal or repair and encapsulation centers upon the containment of the
fibers during the abatement process and the complete protection of both the asbestos handler and the
environment. In New York and Connecticut any contractor who removes or repairs and encapsulates asbestos
must have a valid Asbestos Contractors License and all the employees must be State licensed handlers.

The latest state-of-the-art technology for pipe and duct covering removals is the moveable glove bag method.
In this process the workers insert their hands into the sleeves and gloves of the 10 mil thick plastic bag which
is totally sealed around the pipe or duct. There are disposable tools packed into the bag at the factory and
there are special portals for the use of spray bottles and a Hepa Vacuum. All of the contaminated fibers stay
within the bag and never come in contact with the outside environment.

We take additional precautions when using the glove bag beyond what is prescribed by law. Our handlers seal
the work area off from the rest of the house by sealing all openings and place plastic on the floor. The glove
bag method is the most widely used in private homes and is the safest and most economical method. 

There are situations in which the glove bag cannot be used such as boiler and ceiling asbestos removal. In
these cases we have to erect critical barriers by totally plasticizing all the walls and floors and we must
establish negative air filtration through the use of a special machine equipped with Hepa filters to trap all the
asbestos particles. 

After removal of the asbestos the pipe or other surface must be sealed with a post abatement lock down
sealant. This is necessitated by the fact that even copious scrubbing will not remove all the microscopic
fibers and these must be permanently bonded to the pipe. The product we use is heat resistant to 2,000
degrees Fahrenheit. 

In either method, since we cannot distinguish between asbestos fibers and dirt, the law requires us to totally
Hepa Vacuum and wet clean the entire work area. This is where our company excels. Special attention is paid
to crucial areas such as the inside of your washer and drier or which are usually in an asbestos contaminated

In accordance with the appropriate state Asbestos Control Law, air monitoring and laboratory sample analysis
must be performed by an independent third party, before and after removal. We can recommend and arrange
for a laboratory to do this or you can choose your own laboratory. In either case, you must pay for the lab
directly. The technician, licensed by your State, will collect a specific volume of air in a cassette using a
vacuum pump. Large projects may require continuous monitoring and sampleing. Monitoring and analysis is
not required for ACM roofing materials.

Asbestos is a hazardous waste and as such the law clearly holds the owner (generator) of the waste
completely responsible for the safe and legal removal, transportation and disposal. The waste manifest
literally traces the asbestos waste from your doorstep to us as the licensed contractor to our state DEC
licensed hauler who transports it to an approved asbestos waste landfill. We are currently disposing our
waste in Ohio and beyond. Since we deal with many real estate brokers, attorneys, banks, etc. at house
closings, we have created our own affidavit, which has become the standard in the area, certifying that
everything that we have described above has been properly done in accordance with the law. These
documents together with the air sample results should be kept in a safe place along with the deed to your
property and other important papers.

How can anyone place a value on the health of that of their loved ones, tenents and workers? But, beyond the
peace of mind and the satisfaction of knowing that exposure to this deadly material has been eliminated,
there is a realistic economic consideration. A building with asbestos has a diminished resale value and
presents a risk to the owner! Astute and knowledgeable buyers are demanding that ACM be removed before
closing and in fact, some of them won't even consider purchasing a building with asbestos present. Building
inspectors are "red-flagging" buildings with asbestos problems. In most cases, the cost of removal is probably
considerably less then you imagined.

Molds are simple, microscopic organisms that grow virtually everywhere - from the surface of foods to household plants and materials like plywood, drywall, or fabric. Their purpose in the ecosystem is to break down dead materials.

Molds develop from very tiny particles called spores, which are in the air around you. The spores float in the air currents and find a suitable spot to grow. As soon as they settle in an area with the right conditions for growth, they establish colonies. These colonies are a source of more spores. 

Molds need three things to thrive - moisture, food, and a surface to grow on. The key to mold growth is water. Without it, molds can't get started, much less spread. But when water is left to sit for even 24 hours, common molds can take hold. If water continues to sit and areas become completely saturated, that's when a more lethal mold, such as Stachybotrys, can move in.

Indoor spaces that are wet, and have organic materials that mold can use as a food source, can and do support mold growth. Mold germinates and grows when the relative humidity reaches or exceeds 70-75% and remains at this level for several days. High temperatures, poor air circulation, dim light, and accumulated grime assist and accelerate the growth of mold once it has germinated, but only high relative humidity and moisture can initiate and sustain mold growth.

While some molds are useful, such as those used to make antibiotics and cheese, others can be highly toxic when ingested. When molds are present in large quantities they can cause health problems in some people. Potential health effects and symptoms associated with mold exposure include allergic reactions, asthma, and other respiratory complaints, and in extreme cases, death (a possibility with infants). 

Toxic mold is any mold that becomes potentially hazardous to your health. The two most common being Aspergillis and Stachybotrys C. These molds are known to cause serious health problems and sometimes even death. 

Mold can sometimes produce chemicals called mycotoxins. Mycotoxins may cause illness in people who are sensitive to them or if they are exposed to large amounts in the air.

People with allergies, existing respiratory conditions or suppressed immune systems are especially susceptible to health problems from mold exposure. Additionally, infants and children, pregnant women and the elderly can also be sensitive to the effects.

Large accumulations of hidden or concealed mold may be growing in areas that you cannot see, like air ducts, remote attic or basement spaces, or wall cavities. 

If you have any symptoms, such as unexplained coughing, runny nose, itchy or watery eyes, and they are reduced or completely gone when you leave the suspect area, chances are you are exposed to some sore of allergen, quite possibly mold. The mold could be growing in areas you can't see, such as the ducts of a heating/cooling system. In this case, the only way to know if you have mold spores is to test. Many home inspectors or industrial hygienists can conduct air sampling to detect the presence of these spores in your home. 

Even if no one in your house has a medical problem as a result of mold being present, if the mold becomes well established in the wood, dry rot may form when the mold dries and "dies". Dry rot causes the wood to shrink and break up, siphoning moisture and rotting more wood, repeating the process and eventually causing structural damage. Although the mold may have dried up and "died" the mold spores remain and will blossom when they become wet, as well as be moved to other areas by air currents or other disturbances.

There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture. It is important to dry water damaged areas and items within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth. Removing the source of moisture - such as through repairs or dehumidification - is critical to preventing mold growth. This can be done by a trained and qualified professional who will stop the mold growth, clean the collection, and render the affected area safe for use again.

Absorbent materials, such as ceiling tiles, wall board, paneling and carpet, that become moldy may have to be replaced. 

Although bleach is sometimes recommended, it often does a superficial job cleaning only the mold that is easily visible. Bleach is a quick fix, and can actually spread the spores when sprayed. If you notice a very large segment of mold, call a professional. Mold can make you very sick, and it needs to be handled correctly. The most effective way to treat mold is to correct underlying water damage and clean or remove the affected materials. 

Although any visible mold can be sampled by an environmental consultant and/or analyzed by a laboratory specializing in microbiology, these tests can be very expensive - from hundreds to thousands of dollars.

There is no simple and cheap way to sample the air in your home to find out what types of mold are present and whether they are airborne. Even if you have your home tested, it is difficult to say at what levels health effects would occur. Therefore, it is important to get rid of the mold rather than find out more about it. 

If you choose to have a sample tested by a licensed professional and they find it to be a highly toxic variant such as Asperfillis or Stacybotrys C., the affected area must be removed by trained and qualified professionals.

The cleaned areas should be thoroughly dried and any sponges or rags used to clean the mold should be discarded. While this is easily done with visible surfaces, the fundamental issue associated with any underlying water problems may not be fixed.

If the mold returns, it may indicate an underlying problem such as a leak. To successfully eliminate the recurrence of mold, the underlying water problem must be fixed. If mold contamination is extensive, a professional abatement company may need to be consulted.

How can anyone place a value on the health of that of their loved ones? But beyond the peace of mind and the satisfaction of knowing that your family's exposure at home has been eliminated, there is a realistic economic consideration. A home with mold has a diminished resale value! Astute and knowledgeable home buyers are already demanding that the mold be removed before closing on their homes. Today, more and more, home inspectors are "red-flagging" homes with mold problems. In most cases, the cost of removal is probably considerably less than you imagined.

In addition, homeowners can incur large bills for structural damage caused by water or water vapor trapped behind the walls. This is a prime location for mold to grow. That's why it's important to identify potential areas or situations where mold can grow.

Since mold is increasingly recognized as being such a widespread problem, more and more insurance companies are providing coverage for mold removal. If you do seek reimbursement from your carrier, remember to thoroughly document everything. 

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New York State Department of Labor Asbestos Handling License


Department of Consumer Protection Home Improvement License


New York State Department of Labor Mold Remediation Contractor License

Learn More about Asbestos: United States Environmental Protection Agency

We belong to: The Environmental Contractors Association (ECA)

Go to Angies List - SEARCH: "Asbestos Removal" in [ex: Westchester County] and discover our Rating. (Spoiler Alert: Last time we looked it was an "A" Grade :-)

Angies Listing for Spectrum Asbestos Removal

If you have any questions that we have not covered please call (914) 377 0285 or contact us, and Spectrum can visit your home, business, commercial or industrial site for your estimate and inspection. Most inspections if not all, are FREE.