Overview of the requirements
Homeowners, landlords, contractors, property managers, and any other party involved in renovation, demolition, or altering a structure must review and follow asbestos regulations. This page provides an overview of the requirements but is not a substitute for all of the details found in the Asbestos Control Standards: Regulation I, Article IX.
Property owners affected by the Gray and Oregon Rd Fires: FAQs about asbestos & fire damaged structures
State Insurance Commissioner’s webpage: Wildfires and Homeowner Insurance
For most projects, you must first:
1.) Obtain an asbestos survey by an AHERA- certified inspector.
2.) File a Notice of Intent (NOI) for asbestos removal with our agency.
We encourage you to take time to review the information on this page. If you have any questions about the requirements and how they pertain to your specific project, please contact us. We are here to help.
What is considered a Renovation or a Demolition?
There are many activities that are considered renovation, for example carpet removal. Likewise, moving a structure falls under the definition of demolition. Knowing what activities constitute a reno or demo is important to ensure the asbestos requirements are followed.
Altering a structure or component in any way other than demolition. Structures include houses, garages, mobile homes, commercial buildings, bridges, pole-buildings, canopies, lean-tos, foundations, etc.
Examples of renovation activities include but are not limited to:
- remodeling a residence or other building, inside or out
- replacing, repairing, or disturbing floors walls, ceilings, siding, roofing, heating, plumbing, or electrical systems
- small scale remodeling projects (e.g., carpet removal, window replacement, new furnace installation)
- altering a structure or component (e.g., wall, pipe, equipment, etc.) in any way, other than demolition
The wrecking, leveling or dismantling of a structure, thereby making it permanently uninhabitable or unusable in part or in whole. Demolition activities include:
- wrecking or taking out any load-supporting structural member
- using a structure for structural fire training
- moving a structure to a different location
Requirements may be different for Owner-Occupied, Single-Family Residence (OOSFR) projects
For asbestos requirements applicable to your project, you first need to determine if your project qualifies as an Owner-Occupied, Single-Family Residence (OOSFR). The distinction provides resident homeowners relief from the more complex survey, notification, and fee requirements that apply to all other projects (non-OOSFR). Knowing the difference helps ensure you are following the specific requirements for your project, thereby avoiding potential enforcement action.
Take the quiz – Is your project an OOSFR?
An owner-occupied, single-family residence (OOSFR) means any non-multiple unit building containing space used for living, sleeping, cooking, eating, etc., by one family who owns the property as their permanent and primary residence both prior to and after the reno or demo project (and can be demonstrated as such upon request). It includes houses, mobile homes, trailers, detached garages, and outbuildings.
Still not sure? Ask yourself these questions:
- Does someone else own the structure? (e.g., developer, relative, etc.)
- Does someone else pay the property tax?
- Is the structure currently something other than your permanent, primary residence?
- Will the structure be used for something other than your permanent, primary residence after the renovation or demolition is complete?
- Does more than one family reside in the structure?
- Is the structure a vacation or seasonal home?
- Is or will the structure be a rental property?
- Is or will the structure be a mixed-use building (e.g. home business)?
- Was the structure previously used for public or business/commercial purposes?
- Will the structure be demolished as part of an urban renewal project, highway construction project, or city/county ordered demolition?
- Will the structure be used for fire training?
If you answered yes to any question, your project doesn’t qualify as an OOSFR, therefore you must follow the project requirements in the section below, titled: “All other Projects (non-OOSFR) requirements.”
If you answered no to all of the questions, your project qualifies as an Owner-occupied, single-family residence! Review the requirements and resources in the next section.
Requirements for OOSFR Projects
Doing the work yourself?
If your project qualifies as an owner-occupied, single-family residence (OOSFR) and you are doing the remodeling project yourself, it is recommended, though not required, that you hire an AHERA Building Inspector to conduct a survey of the area to identify potential asbestos-containing materials.
Someone else doing the work?
If the renovation project is being performed by someone other than you – the owner-occupant, then it is required that an AHERA-certified Building Inspector conduct the asbestos survey, along with other project requirements.
If asbestos is present, don’t panic. There are options:
Leave it alone.
Asbestos is only a problem if fibers are released into the air. This can happen when asbestos-containing materials are damaged or disturbed. The best option may be to leave it alone. For example, rather than removing sheet vinyl flooring with asbestos backing, it may be possible to lay the new sheet vinyl on top of the old. If asbestos-containing material is damaged or may be damaged or disturbed during the remodel or repair project, then it should be repaired and encapsulated, or removed properly.
There are two options for removal, each with distinct requirements:
- Hire a state-certified asbestos abatement contractor. This is a requirement for all demolition work and projects not being done by the resident homeowner. Hiring a company with trained, experienced certified asbestos abatement workers to do the removal may be your best option. If you hire a company to do the removal, notification (called Notice of Intent or NOI) must be made to Spokane Clean Air prior to removal. See all categories of NOI waiting periods and fees.
- Do it yourself. There are some projects than can be done safely if prescribed work procedures are followed. Some projects are very hazardous and should be performed by certified abatement contractors. Visit our asbestos forms and publications page for a resources, including three guidebooks for common “do-it-yourself” asbestos removal projects. The guidebooks provide procedural steps as well as legal requirements for the proper removal, labeling and disposal of the asbestos-containing material.
Repair & Encapsulate
Sometimes asbestos-containing materials can be repaired and encapsulated rather than removed, for example:
- A few inches of torn, loose or frayed asbestos tape on heating ducts may be sealed with paint or duct tape.
- Damaged hot water pipe insulation may be covered with a special fabric available at safety equipment stores.
- There are penetrating encapsulants that seep into asbestos-containing materials and bond with asbestos fibers and there are bridging encapsulants such as paint, which coat asbestos-containing materials with a more durable surface.
- Encapsulation may seem like an attractive option, just be aware that it could make future removal more difficult. In cases of extensive asbestos disturbance, removal may be the more appropriate option.
Demolishing your owner-occupied, single-family residence?
If you plan to do the demolition work yourself, please note that survey and notification requirements apply. Please call us for details and assistance: 509-477-4727.
Requirements for All Other Projects (non-OOSFR)
If your project does not qualify as an owner-occupied, single-family residence, you need to follow these requirements:
An asbestos survey must be conducted by an AHERA-certified Building Inspector prior to renovation or demolition activities. A copy of the asbestos survey must be posted in a readily accessible and visible area at the work site at all times. If it is not practical to post the asbestos survey in this manner, it must be made readily available for inspection by Spokane Clean Air and all persons at the work site.
2. File a Notice of Intent (NOI)
Asbestos-containing materials (ACM) may only need removed if they are likely to be disturbed during the renovation. Removal must be performed by a certified asbestos abatement contractor. All demolition projects require a NOI for asbestos removal.
For a renovation, the NOI must be submitted to Spokane Clean Air prior to removal if the amount of asbestos to be removed is 10 or more linear feet and/or 48 or more square feet, per structure, per calendar year. Fees typically start at $250 and increase based on the amount of asbestos being removed. The abatement contractor generally files the NOI, but the owner and owner’s agents should request a copy.
For a demolition, the NOI must be submitted to Spokane Clean Air at least 10 days prior to demolition. The NOI fee for demolition is $250, but is waived when asbestos removal fees are applicable. For demolition of an owner-occupied, single family residence, there is a three-day waiting period and a $30 fee.
See all categories of NOI waiting periods and fees.