Asbestos presents a wide range of risks such as asbestosis and lung cancer. As such, you must observe caution when removing the material from your home. The extract below details some best practices that you should follow when conducting asbestos removal.
1. Wear Protective Clothing When Handling Asbestos
In Australia, most homes that contain asbestos were built during the first half of the 20th century, before the material was identified as toxic. As such, this asbestos could have been damaged and become brittle. It is, therefore, imperative that you wear protective clothing when inspecting your home for asbestos. It includes an overall, gloves, goggles and a mask.
2. Determine The Type Of Asbestos In Your Home
There are two categories of asbestos: friable and non-friable. Friable asbestos is commonly found on boiler insulation, pipe lagging and fire retardant material. The distinguishing feature of friable asbestos is that it is loose and can easily crumble. On the other hand, non-friable asbestos is bonded with compounds such as cement, making it rigid. It can be found on roofs, floor tiles and waterproofing. Non-friable asbestos becomes friable once it is exposed to physical damage.
3. Asbestos Removal Tips
Below are some tips to observe when removing asbestos:
- Seal the area you intend to remove the asbestos. Additionally, clear the room to ensure the fibres do not rest on clothes, home appliances and furniture.
- Shut down the AC system and fans since they could blow and circulate the asbestos fibres.
- Damp the asbestos by spraying water mist. It will prevent the asbestos fibres from spreading.
- Do not use power tools such as saws and drills to remove the asbestos.
- Do not eat, drink or smoke at the site. You could consume or inhale the fibres.
- After removal, clean the area with a vacuum cleaner that has a high-efficiency particulate air filter (HEPA).
- Conduct an air test to ensure the room does not have any contamination. If it does, repeat the cleanup.
4. Asbestos Handling And Disposal
Put the asbestos in plastic sheets approved to carry asbestos waste. If possible, you should also dispose of the protective clothing worn during the abatement. Remember, this gear will have asbestos contamination. After this, you should transport the asbestos to an approved landfill or storage facility.
5. Consider The Services Of An Abatement Company
In Australia, you are only allowed to remove 10m2 of non-friable asbestos. As such, you will need the services of an abatement company if your home contains friable asbestos or non-friable asbestos that exceeds the 10m2 requirement. The primary advantage of hiring an abatement company is that the company has the skills and equipment required to remove asbestos with minimal risk. Besides, abatement companies have a hazardous waste transportation permit.