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Asbestos Awareness and New Windows


Older homes contain an invisible hazard that can make a dangerous impact during renovations.

That hazard is known as asbestos. It is the number one killer of workers in British Columbia and directly impacts the livelihood of your family. Exposure to asbestos can cause serious long-term health issues and potentially death. You should only contact a trained professional to deal with asbestos testing and proper removal. Centra has been dealing with asbestos removal since it was brought to the industry’s attention over a decade ago. For more details, take a look at this video from WorkSafe BC

In the early 1990s, asbestos was widely used in our province as a building material. As a result, it can exist in many areas of older buildings. If you suspect asbestos in your home, do not touch or move it! Only qualified professionals can remove asbestos, as it poses health hazards to workers and homeowners who renovate or demolish those homes. Here are a few questions to ask your Window Estimator to ensure your home and family are safe.

My house is older than 1990, how can I be sure my family is safe?

The only sure way to know that asbestos is not being disrupted and therefore released into the air during your window replacement, you need to complete a test. We will take samples of all building materials that could potentially contain asbestos, and have it analyzed in a lab long before your windows are manufactured. If returned positive, this leaves enough time to talk about the various options without any delay to the install date.

What materials would have to be tested?

We can expect to see asbestos in several building materials used around windows pre 1990 such as drywall compound, stucco, caulking, mastic (seals glass to frame), and grout.

If tested positive for asbestos, what are the options?

We could potentially change the install method, so as not to disturb an ACM (asbestos-containing material). If you were quoted for a full-frame removal, we could turn to renovation inserts. If a product must be disturbed, our team is equipped to safely deal with all cases.

Are your workers properly trained to protect us and themselves?

Having an inexperienced crew deal with the material can leave remnants of the product scattered around the area, only to be disturbed for years. Centra Employee Owners have been trained for high-risk abatement. We have developed efficient controls that allow us to complete these targeted removals for less than a dedicated Hazmat removal organization. 

What experience does your company have with asbestos removal?

Stemming from the leaky condo era, Centra has been properly dealing with asbestos since it was brought to the industry’s attention over a decade ago. These removals were often on a larger scale and dealt with owner-occupied work areas due to the nature of condo renovations.

What is the process for this particular removal?

It’s easy for a contractor to promise they will deal with the situation safely, but if they can’t explain the process to you step by step, there is a good chance, neither can their workers. Trust the experts, especially when your safety is on the line. 

Are your workers employed by your company, or simply sub-contractors?

Is the company going to send subcontractors to your home? This makes you the prime contractor unless otherwise stated in writing. You as an owner are now responsible for the subcontractor’s safety, as well as any contamination that may travel to neighbours or the public. We never use subcontractors. Centra’s "Employee Owned" approach ensures that our trained installers take the time required to achieve the highest standards. Installation procedures are as important as the product you choose. As both an energy upgrade and building envelope contractor, we are the most qualified to protect your investment, demonstrating the care and responsibility for your safety.

Centra Windows is a local manufacturer and installation company of custom, energy-efficient windows. We pride ourselves on being window consultants that make safety a top priority. If you have any questions we want to hear from you! If you would like more details and information about asbestos testing and removal, talk to the experts. We look forward to hearing from you.

We are your certified Window Geeks

Centra Windows is not only the manufacturer but also the installer of its product, which enables us to offer a full warranty, eliminating any confusion between product performance and installation. We view the house as a system and understand how each of the elements must work correctly to maximize the comfort and energy efficiency of your home. Contact our local Employee Owners at 1-888-534-3333 or send us an email at for more information about this topic and many more. You can also sign up for our biweekly newsletter for all the tips and tricks about the window industry.

Written by: Les Ferris , August 6, 2021
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