Asbestos and mould analysis (residential and commercial)

In the context of a sale or rental of a dwelling to live or commercial, technical examinations are to be carried out. These are recommended to protect the new purchaser and allow him to use a property without apparent defects or hidden defects.
While there are several types of analysis, in Quebec, diagnoses made during a real estate transaction are not necessarily mandatory. One of the expertises generally requested is asbestos and mold analysis to assess air quality. In this article, we tell you everything you need to know about asbestos and mold analysis.

Asbestos diagnosis: what is it?

To understand the value of asbestos diagnosis, we need to know the dangers of asbestos. This material was widely used in the construction and renovation industry between 1950 and 1980 before being banned in 2018 because of its adverse health effects. Indeed, according to health experts, being exposed to asbestos fibres promotes the development of chronic lung diseases such as asbestosis. These fibres are very harmful to the respiratory system and cause the development of many cancers.

Thus, asbestos diagnosis is a technical examination that any owner must carry out before introducing his property into the real estate market. Most buildings, whether commercial or residential, can contain asbestos. And the chances of asbestos exposure increase sharply when it comes tobuildings built before 1990.

In the context of a sale or lease of a commercial building, the legal framework is strict. The last regulation adopted in June 2013 provides for inspection conditions in older buildings and materials to be examined. While the regulatory framework is more flexible for a residential building, it does not exempt the owner from making such a diagnosis to prevent the risk of exposure to asbestos dust.

Samples of insulation materials in specific areas must be carried out by a professional recognized by the Centre of Expertise in Environmental Analysis of Quebec (CEAEQ) using the IRSST 244 method or equivalent, which attests to his skills as a diagnosticator. It is carried out on all the cladding of a dwelling whether it is a house


Different types of services analyze asbestos materials and mold

There are several types of asbestos diagnoses: asbestos diagnosis before sale, asbestos diagnosis of the private parts (DAPP), asbestos diagnosis before work/demolition (DAAT) and asbestos technical record (DTA).

Asbestos diagnosis before work (DAAT)

New regulations for safe asbestos management have been in place since June 06, 2013. These, which amend the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations (RSST) and the Safety Code for Construction (CSTC), reduce workers’ exposure to asbestos dust. These are mainly:

  • The location of flocages and heaters;
  • Checking for asbestos in materials and products that may contain asbestos;
  • The requirement to take corrective action on flaking, heating and interior coatings that may contain asbestos in loss of integrity; And
  • The registration and disclosure of information.

Diagnosis before sale

It is not a legal obligation for the seller to make this type of asbestos diagnosis. However, the presence of asbestos is prohibitive for a person interested in a property put up for sale or rental. For example, it is recommended that the owner take the lead and have their home inspected.

The tracking is done on materials directly accessible, without complex dismantling or destructive investigations. The diagnosticor takes various samples of insulating materials including vermiculite.

Other materials in question include:

  • Plaster on wooden slats;
  • Compounds with joints and stuccoes;
  • Dry gypsum partitions;
  • Ceiling deco mouldings;
  • Plaster on wire mesh;
  • Textured plaster-plaster of the walls;
  • Coated and textured paints;
  • Roof shingles and tar;
  • Caulking doors and windows;
  • Linoleum and vinyl floor tile;
  • Suspended ceiling tiles;
  • Flexible ventilation joints;
  • Electrical wiring;
  • Water heaters and pipes;
  • Ventilation pipes;
  • Water and sewer lines;
  • Thermal insulation panels;
  • Calorfuge, hot water duct;
  • Ovens, incinerators and chimneys;
  • Asbestos-cement wall panels;
  • Refrigeration appliances insulate;
  • Calorfuge, steam ducts;
  • Flocage, insulator projection;
  • Boilers and tanks.

Asbestos Diagnosis of Private Parts (DAPP)

Since 2013, the law makes DAPP mandatory. This provision applies to the private parts of a rental property for residential use as well as annexes (cave, garage, etc.) whose building permit datesfrom before 1 July Thus, in the context of a sale, a property is not subject to this type of diagnosis which requires compliance with strict regulations and methodology.

The DAPP identifies asbestos-containing materials according to the A-list of the tracking program and specifies the conservation status of asbestos materials.

Asbestos Technical File (DTA)

After sampling and analyzing the air tests before and after asbestos removal, theresults must be made available to potential purchasers of the property that has undergone the tests in question. For this, a DTA must be made up by the owner or seller.

In accordance with Article R. 1334-29-5 of the Public Health Code, the Asbestos Technical Record (DTA) relating to the collection and analysis of asbestos tests required by legislationis required for:

  • Owners of built-up buildings, except for houses and apartments; And
  • owners of common areas of apartment buildings.

Materials test by a professional: what types of intervention?

There are several factors that can lead to indoor air pollution. Humidity, cigarette smoke, gas leakage are among the most well-known causes. But there are other more dangerous substances that may be present in the air.


Detect asbestos

If you rent an old house, vermiculite may have been used in insulation work. This material, which has undeniable insulating powers, is nevertheless harmful to health. Recent studies have shown that it contains asbestos, an element that is classified as carcinogenic. By conducting an air test, you can avoid the health risks caused by asbestos in vermiculite.


Identifying the presence of biological pollutants

You should know that a wide variety of biological materials can pollute indoor air. Apart from mold, which is often apparent, an air test can detect the infestation of mites, cockroaches or rodents in your home. In addition to causing material damage, urine and feces are among the allergens. In other words, they are the source of respiratory discomfort.


Diagnosing the infiltration of harmful gases

Air quality analysis can detect radon that is suspended in the air. Although this gas is odourless, it is extremely dangerous to health. Studies have found that radon exposure is one of the leading causes of lung cancer. This substance is usually present in the basement, but can seep into the entire dwelling.

Other particles such as carbon monoxide or nitrogen dioxide can also pollute indoor air. In general, these gases are produced by different heaters such as radiators, chimneys or heated stoves.

It is important to note that several chemical pollutants such as bisphenols, benzene or formaldehyde are also present in paints, perfumes, floor coverings or glues…

The air test is a step that should not be overlooked even if there are no apparent problems in your home. To ensure the air quality in the living rooms, you can contact a professional at any time to do the tests and decontaminate the premises if needed.



At Decontamination ExpertsTM, we work hard to ensure an adequate and safe environment for your family’s health. Our work is carried out by APCHQ. In addition, an independent laboratory analyzes the air after our decontamination work. This will ensure that all traces of asbestos or mold are gone.