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Beware Asbestos in Home Renovations

Considering a renovation? Before you start, visit http://www.vrba.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/asbestos_hazards_homeowners.pdf and read the online brochure on asbestos often found in older homes.

This is important information to protect your family and workers. Our advice is to hire professional contractors, which is also the advice of BC’s Ministry of Environment.

You will receive competitive quotes for your renovation from VRBA’s qualified contractors by using our Expression of Interest Form at http://www.vrba.ca/hire-a-vrba-member/.

Our membership includes Hazpro Environmental at www.hazpro.org which assesses and removes hazardous materials like asbestos.

Asbestos can be found in stucco, drywall mud, roof shingles, window putty, vinyl and linoleum floor tiles, electrical wires, insulation and more.

WorkSafeBC has established stringent regulations for renovations, demolitions, and handling of building materials that may contain asbestos.

These regulations include employee training, testing materials, and hazardous materials management procedures.

The Canadian government supported the use of asbestos in homes for decades. In the 1970’s and 80’s, the government’s Canadian Home Insulation Program (CHIP) offered grants for installation of asbestos insulation such as Zonolite.

VRBA has strongly advocated a renovation tax credit to help consumers with the removal of asbestos, which would also promote health and safety. Contact your MP and MLA to support this important initiative. Many homeowners across Canada have contacted VRBA expressing their support at http://www.vrba.ca/national-renovation-rebate-needed-to-address-asbestos/

The BC government recently announced a retrofit program that provides a rebate to add insulation to your home, but not the specific cost of removing asbestos. You can get more info at www.efficiencybc.ca

If you are planning a renovation or retrofit, don’t take chances with your family’s health. Contact professionals to manage asbestos mitigation.

Visit us at www.vrba.ca and www.careawards.ca. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

This column appears Wednesdays in the Times Colonist.

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