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Drywall Removal Guidelines with 505-Junk

A 505-Junk employee sorting a pile of drywall during a drywall removal project.

Navigating New Drywall Regulations 

At 505-Junk, we understand that drywall removal can be a daunting task, especially when it comes to complying with safety regulations regarding asbestos. Construction and renovations often leave behind different types of debris, and among the most challenging materials to handle is drywall. The regulations surrounding its disposal are stringent, with hefty fines for non-compliance. As the leading junk removal company in the construction industry, we understand the importance of adhering to these regulations while making the process as seamless as possible for our clients.

Understanding the Regulations for Drywall Removal

Before starting a project that requires drywall removal, it’s crucial to ensure compliance with local regulations. At 505-Junk, we follow strict guidelines to protect the health of our employees, safeguard the environment, and maintain a positive relationship with our recycling partners.

There are three basic protocols to follow for drywall removal, each with its own specific guidelines we must adhere to. All gypsum (drywall) materials that 505-Junk removes must comply with at least one of the following:

  • There is a date stamp newer than 1990 on the drywall pieces.
  • It is accompanied by an HBMI Report confirming it has tested negative for asbestos.
  • It is accompanied by an Analytical Testing Result with a minimum of three samples confirming it has tested negative for asbestos, and a declaration letter with the chain of custody document.

Determining if the Drywall Is Acceptable

To determine whether we can remove your drywall, there are several questions we must address:

  • Is the pick-up location a residential, commercial, or business address?
  • Are you a homeowner or contractor?
  • Is the drywall new or off-cuts?
  • Are you removing old drywall or conducting a demolition?
  • Does the drywall have a clear date stamp from 1990 or later?
  • When was the drywall installed?
  • What is the address of the building?

Fact-checking the Building’s Age

The age of the drywall plays a significant role in whether we can accept it, and what protocols we’ll need to follow. By verifying the building’s age, we ensure compliance with regulations and provide peace of mind for all parties involved.

To double-check a building’s age, you can use the BC Assessment website. 

Locating and Confirming Drywall Date Stamps for Drywall Removal

Identifying and confirming date stamps on drywall pieces is a critical aspect of our process of drywall removal. Date stamps typically consist of six-digit numbers and are usually located on the back or side edge tape of drywall sheets. The year of the date stamp is always the last number. The year could be displayed as: /92 or /1992. In the case of the whole year displayed, the total digits would equal 8: 10/31/1992. 

An example of a drywall date stamp on the side of the tape which is needed for drywall removal.
An example of a drywall date stamp on the back of the sheet which is needed for drywall removal.

To ensure accuracy, we require sample pieces that match the characteristics of the overall load, including paint colour, backing colour, and texture. If there are multiple types of drywall, we will need to find a matching date stamp sample for all types of drywall. If you have three types of date-stamped drywall, you will need at least three matching date-stamp sample pieces.

Acceptable for Drywall Removal

Once the building’s age has been confirmed, or a date stamp has been located, we proceed with a thorough assessment to determine whether the drywall meets our acceptance criteria. We consider various factors, depending on the age of the building:

Date Stamp for Newer Buildings (Post-1990):

  • We verify the presence of clear date stamps on the drywall, indicating that it was manufactured and installed after 1990.
  • Additionally, we ensure that the samples provided match the overall load in terms of drywall type, paint colour, and texture.

HBMI Report for Older Buildings (Pre-1990):

  • For buildings constructed before 1990, we require an HBMI report confirming the absence of asbestos.
  • The HBMI report must be completed by a certified drywall tester/assessor and must align with the specific pick-up address. (Some HBMI Reports have longer acceptable testing terms due to ongoing projects that span many years.)
  • We also verify that the drywall load matches the details outlined in the report, including sample locations, drywall type, paint colour, and texture.

Analytical Testing Result for Older Buildings (Pre-1990):

  • In the absence of an HBMI report, homeowners must conduct analytical testing on the drywall.
  • This testing involves taking at least three samples, accompanied by a declaration letter from a qualified tester.
  • The declaration letter provides essential details such as the reason for testing (usually the building’s age), sample locations, and the tester’s credentials.
A 505-Junk employee wheeling a bucket full of drywall out of a building during a drywall removal project.

Understanding the Difference Between an HBMI Report and Analytical Results

It is very important to understand the difference between an HBMI report (Hazardous Building Materials Investigation Report) and Analytical Testing Results.

Any drywall that does not have a date stamp that originates from a building older than 1990 will require an HBMI Report, or a pre-filled summary table to support Analytical Testing Results filled out by a CERTIFIED drywall tester, also known as CERTIFIED ASSESSOR.

What is an HBMI Report?

The Hazardous Building Material Inspection (HBMI) report consists of all potentially hazardous building materials present in any building. This is required before engaging in any demolition or renovation work. A Commercial client is typically familiar with this because it is required by Work Safe BC.

What are Analytical Testing Results?

Homeowners are not required to purchase an HBMI report as it is costly and DIY home renovations are usually smaller in scale. If the home is older than 1990, the homeowner must take at least three samples of the drywall to be tested in a laboratory. Analytical Testing Reports are specific results of sampled drywall and drywall joint compound, mud and tape. These analytical results should be accompanied by the chain of custody report. These are to be used in tandem with a declaration letter from the qualified tester. This declaration letter states the name of the qualified tester, the address where the drywall originated from, why they decided to test the material (usually building age older than 1990), and where in the home the samples were taken from.

How to Find a Certified Assessor 

If you do not have a Certified Assessor on your team, you must outsource your drywall testing to a certified company. We recommend  Omni Hazmat. We have found Omni Hazmat to be the most professional, quick, and cost-effective solution to this necessary step of compliance when we’ve required testing for commercial and residential sites.

Their team has been very helpful in expediting drywall testing for our commercial clients. They understand the timeliness associated with processing their reports, ensuring you don’t experience any unnecessary downtime while awaiting your results. 

Drywall Recycling Procedures and Tips

  • If you are installing new drywall, we recommend that the you first cut out a drywall date stamp and put it aside for disposal purposes. Often the offcuts from installing new drywall may not show a date stamp. Putting a piece with a date stamp aside would avoid testing and allow for drywall removal.
  • If you are removing old drywall from a unit, especially if the unit is pre-1990, we recommend testing the drywall before starting any demolition to ensure it is free of asbestos.
  • If you have already started removing the drywall, we recommend that you keep an eye out for any date stamps and put them aside in a safe place. Having multiple pieces with date stamps will prevent having to test the drywall for asbestos.
A pile of drywall in an office building after demo. Two 505-Junk employees are sorting through the pile  to prepare for the drywall removal.

Why 505-Junk is the Best Partner for Drywall Removal in the Lower Mainland

In conclusion, at 505-Junk, we understand that drywall is a recyclable component of most, if not all construction projects. We also recognize the challenges and complexities involved in drywall removal, particularly when it comes to complying with safety regulations regarding asbestos. Our commitment to providing seamless and compliant drywall removal services is unwavering. By adhering to strict regulations and employing industry best practices, we ensure that your we handle your drywall removal project efficiently and responsibly. Trust 505-Junk to assist you in navigating the new regulations surrounding drywall removal. Let us help you regain your space without the stress.

Contact Us Today to Schedule Your Drywall Removal!