Kool Deck is a cement-like deck topping with a “cool” feel, manufactured by Mortex. Like many other building and construction materials, Kool Deck once contained asbestos, as part of its cement mixture. Asbestos vanished from most building materials following regulations imposed in the late 1970s, however manufacturers were permitted to sell off their existing stocks of asbestos containing materials. If your pool or patio has a Kool Deck surface that was installed prior to the mid-1980s, it may contain asbestos. Do not attempt to remove older Kool Deck yourself.
Testing Kool Deck for Asbestos
If your Kool Deck was installed prior to 1978, it is safe to assume that it contains asbestos. If you are not sure when your decking was installed, you may want to have it tested. Many home improvement sites recommend taking a sample, to send to a lab for testing. Keep in mind, however, that any sample no matter how carefully taken will require disturbing the material and possibly releasing asbestos fibers. For your protection and peace of mind, employ a professionally licensed asbestos inspector to inspect your deck and test it for asbestos.
Asbestos in My Kool Deck, What Do I Do?
As counter-intuitive as it sounds, your best alternative may be to disturb the decking as little as possible. Asbestos is most dangerous when it is friable, meaning it crumbles easily or produces a powder, potentially releasing tiny fibers into the air. Generally, the asbestos contained in Kool Deck is considered to be non-friable, unless it is damaged or decaying. According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission, “usually the best thing is to LEAVE asbestos material that is in good condition ALONE.”
Take care not to chip, nail, drill, tack, or otherwise disturb your deck. If the decking material is damaged in some way or you feel you must remove it, contact your regional EPA office to locate a licensed asbestos abatement contractor. Asbestos removal is a hazardous process best undertaken only by a qualified professional.
Proper Asbestos Disposal
Once removed, asbestos containing materials must be bagged in special asbestos disposal bags, with asbestos warning labels. Asbestos containing materials should only be disposed of at official asbestos disposal sites. Disposal requirements will differ, depending on your location. Contact your regional Environmental Protection Agency office for more information, or protect yourself from potential liability by hiring a licensed asbestos contractor to remove and dispose of your asbestos-containing decking material. In addition to the significant risks to your health, improper asbestos disposal may result in fines, civil liability, or other penalties.
Help for Asbestos Exposure Victims
For many years, building products manufacturers were aware of the risks associated with asbestos exposure, yet they continued to manufacture products containing asbestos. If you or someone close to you has developed a disease related to asbestos exposure, you may be entitled to compensation. Help may be available to cover the costs of medical bills and work missed due to illness. If you or someone you love has suffered harm due to asbestos exposure, contact Bergman Draper Ladenburg today, for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation