Usually if asbestos material is in good condition it’s best not to disturb it as asbestos does not pose a health risk unless disturbed and fibers are released. However, any type of disturbance could release asbestos fibers and be inhaled into lungs that can lead to the risk of developing lung cancer, mesothelioma or asbestosis.
Repairing usually means sealing or covering asbestos material. With any type of repair, the asbestos remains in place. It usually is less expensive than abatement but it may make it harder and more costly to remove later. In most cases, removing asbestos will be required when remodeling or repairing major damage which poses a risk of releasing asbestos fibers. Abatement is directed toward safely removing and containing airborne asbestos fibers that will be released during abatement. The handling of asbestos is a highly regulated and controlled substance controlled by various federal and state agencies including OSHA, EPA, DOT and HDOH. When removing asbestos, you should only hire a State of Hawaii licensed asbestos contractor.