Safety FirstThe Hazards of Asbestos

Asbestos is one of the most significant health hazards one can encounter in buildings. As a mineral fiber, it was often used for insulation and as a fire retardant, as well as in a variety of manufactured goods. However, asbestos can be incredibly dangerous if it is disturbed, damaged, or unsettled in some way, as it releases hazardous particles into the air.

As a known carcinogen, it has the potential to create serious health problems – if its fibers are released into the air, it can lead to serious lung and respiratory health conditions, including cancer.

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Contact us today to learn more about our Commercial Asbestos Removal Services.

Trust the ExpertsProfessional Asbestos Abatement in San Diego

If you’re a contractor, business owner, or homeowner, you are most likely already aware of how dangerous the presence of asbestos in your building can be. It’s imperative to have it removed in any building, and the easiest time to do so is when changing the internal structure of a building (such as during a remodel or tear down).

It takes a very specific process to remove and dispose of asbestos in California, and that’s where our team at Watkins Environmental comes in. Asbestos removal is our #1 requested service. We use our extensive industry knowledge and decades of experience to provide asbestos abatement in San Diego County.

Don’t DelayWhy Asbestos Removal is Essential

For any building, including residences, it is crucial to get the asbestos out for the safety of your patrons, guests or anyone else entering the property. Because the removal of asbestos must follow specific federal and state regulations and permits (requiring the packaging, sealing and disposing being done very carefully), it’s important to hire a professional for your San Diego abatement needs.

We have over 27+ years of experience, making the Watkins Environmental team highly knowledgeable industry experts on these processes.

In addition, we have the most up-to-date safety equipment for the job, including bodysuits and respirators, for our highly trained professionals.

To learn more about our asbestos removal services or to get started:

Learn More Asbestos Removal FAQs

What is asbestos?

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral composed of soft and flexible fibers that are resistant to heat, electricity and corrosion. These qualities make the mineral useful, but they also make asbestos exposure highly toxic. Asbestos is an effective insulator, and it can be used in cloth, paper, cement, plastic and other materials to make them stronger; however, when asbestos dust is inhaled or ingested, mineral fibers can become permanently trapped in the body.

Over decades, trapped asbestos fibers can cause inflammation, scarring and eventually genetic damage. Asbestos also causes other forms of cancer as well as progressive lung disease.

Where is asbestos found?

Structures built between the 1930s and the 1980s likely contain the mineral in some form. Asbestos was used in thousands of consumer products that were used in the construction of buildings across the country. Today, the carcinogenic material is still found in many structures, exposing asbestos to people in their homes, workplaces, and schools. Asbestos is typically found in:

  • Air duct coverings
  • Automobile clutches and brakes
  • Door gaskets
  • Exterior window panels
  • Floor and walls around wood-burning stoves
  • Gutters
  • Heat-resistant fabrics
  • Hot water and steam pipes coated with asbestos material
  • Insulation
  • Oil, coal furnaces, and door gaskets with asbestos insulation
  • Pipes
  • Popcorn ceilings
  • Roofing and siding shingles
  • Textured paint and patching compounds on walls and ceilings
  • Vinyl floor tiles, vinyl sheet flooring, and adhesives
  • Water tanks

Are there different types of asbestos?

Technically, the term ‘asbestos’ refers to six unique minerals — chrysotile, amosite, crocidolite, anthophyllite, tremolite and actinolite. Chrysotile (white asbestos) is the most commonly used form of asbestos, while Amosite (brown asbestos) was used most frequently in cement sheets and pipe insulation. Crocidolite (blue asbestos) was commonly used to insulate steam engines, and Anthophyllite, Tremolite, and Actinolite are much less common and rarely found in commercial structures.

Is asbestos harmful to your health?

Yes, scientific studies show exposure to asbestos is linked to several diseases, including cancers. Mesothelioma is a type of cancer almost exclusively caused by asbestos exposure. The mineral also causes asbestos-related lung cancer, ovarian cancer and laryngeal cancer.

Other asbestos-related diseases include:

  • Asbestosis
  • Pleural effusions
  • Pleural plaques
  • Pleuritis
  • Diffuse pleural thickening
  • COPD

What questions should I ask before hiring a Commercial Asbestos Contractor?

Having information about your potential contractor can help you make a more informed decision when it comes to hiring. Here are some questions you should ask before hiring an asbestos contractor:

  • Are you licensed by the California Department of Health as an asbestos contractor?
  • How much will the asbestos removal cost and what does the cost include?
  • What type of clients have you performed asbestos abatement for in the past?
  • Do you have any references?

What happens during asbestos removal?

Before the abatement process begins, you should receive a written contract outlining all abatement plans and procedures — including details about the containment and decontamination areas, procedures for removal and disposal, and the regulations your company is required to follow. The abatement process includes:

Regulating the Work Area: Once workers arrive on site, they will begin the asbestos abatement process by setting up a containment area. This process involves sealing air ducts, disabling HVAC systems, setting up negative pressure equipment, and plasticizing walls, floors, ceilings, and any other necessary areas.

Proper Demarcation: The work site should be clearly marked as a hazardous area and only workers should be permitted.

Removing Asbestos Materials: Workers will use special equipment to remove asbestos-containing material. Afterward, the material is double bagged in asbestos disposal waste bags, sealed, and stored in a designated dumpster with a protective poly lining.

Cleanup Procedures: Once asbestos-containing material is removed from the home or building, any equipment used or clothing worn by workers must also be properly removed in order to prevent contamination of any other areas of the building.

Afterward, the area is thoroughly cleaned and a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) vacuum is used to gather small particles of dust. Following the removal of all asbestos-containing material, it is required that the area is tested by a third-party certified air sampler. This ensures that the abatement contractor followed proper procedures during the abatement process and any airborne asbestos is well below permissible levels.

To get started on the asbestos removal process for your home or business, call us today at (858) 268-1500 for a free estimate.

The Associated General Contractors of America
Better Business Bureau Accredited Business
B.O.M.A. San Diego
EPA Lead Safe Certified Firm
I.F.M.A. San Diego Chapter
N.A.I.O.P. Commercial Real Estate Development Association

Client Testimonials

Old Town San Diego State Historic Park

Did an outstanding job

"I would like to commend you and your team on your professional performance during our recent asbestos abatement situation in our archaeological dig area. The asbestos crew was punctual, courteous and professional throughout the job, and did an outstanding job working around the sensitive areas."

Andy Bashore

Park Maintenance Supervisor, San Diego Old Town State Historic Park

City of La Mesa

Large number of satisfied repeat customers

"You are consummate professionals and your entire organization is administered in the same fashion, as reflected by the large number of satisfied repeat customers, including the City of La Mesa."

Art Madrid

Mayor of the City of La Mesa

Navy Region Southwest

Executed the project with a high degree of expertise, ingenuity and professionalism

"Your management team executed the project with a high degree of expertise, ingenuity and professionalism in the remediation and deconstruction of buildings at the former Naval Training Center in San Diego. Through your own initiatives, you maintained a clean work-site; minimized traffic, noise, and dust; and kept the community well informed of the progress of the contract."

G.A. Engle

Captain, CEC, Department of the Navy, Southwest Division

Barnhart-Reece Construction Inc.

I want to extend my personal gratitude...

"I want to extend my personal gratitude to you for the efforts extended by your company and field crews in completing the Adams Elementary School Annex on schedule."

Douglas Barnhart

CEO of Douglas E Barnhart, Inc.

Santa Sophia Church

Professional conduct and extreme honesty

"I wanted to take time out of my day to write to you regarding the professional conduct and extreme honesty of your crew headed by Josh that did the asbestos remediation on our property.

In addition to doing a good job, your crew found and returned over $4,000 in cash found in the offices that were being remediated. We are grateful for their honesty and commend you for the caliber of your employees."

Father Devdas Masillamony

Santa Sophia Church

RQ Construction

Watkins is a strong organization

"Watkins is a strong organization from high-level management to administration to field personnel/supervision."

RQ Construction

Casey Brown Company

Demonstrated an excellent "Team Work" attitude.

"The repurposing of this iconic properly was significant, requiring multiple trades on site at any given time. The Watkins Team was cooperative and demonstrated an excellent ‘Team Work’ attitude."

Casey Brown Company

Turner Construction Company

Proven experience and high level of caring employees

"Watkins is a strong trade partner with proven experience and high level of caring employees that help maintain a standard of excellence we expect for all our projects."

Turner Construction Company

Lakewood Builders

Successful and safe completion of the scope of work

"Thank you guys very much for your successful and safe completion of the scope of work here at the school. I know the school is very appreciative of the work you did and your foreman Jaime was very easy to work with and he communicated well with me. I will definitely reach out to you guys in the future with more work to bid on some future projects that come our way."

Darrick D. Ofenloch

Founder & Operations Manager, Lakewood Builders