Towards the late 70s and early 80s a major surge begun, toward having asbestos structures and buildings removed. Across the globe, governments began to ban and gradually phase out the production and usage of asbestos in manufacturing. Since then, lots of asbestos have gotten removed from structures, although there is ample more that remains in place.
To live in a house that has asbestos untouched or undamaged doesn’t unavoidably pose any health risk. According to the US National Cancer Institute, most persons who are suffering from key asbestos-related health complications have been exposed to asbestos over extended durations of time, for example factory workers where asbestos materials are produced.
However, before you opt for that DIY job, it would be worth to ask yourself the following questions.
- Are you conversant with the other alternatives like sealing, painting or covering it with some non-asbestos containing material?
- Will you be able to comply with the laws and safety procedures while you work with asbestos?
- Should you employ an approved asbestos remover?
Before you undertake any renovations or work involving asbestos, do thoroughly check and be prepared with the appropriate equipment.
As a homeowner you may take out ten square metres of bonded (non-friable) asbestos or less without needing to obtain a certificate. However, you still are obligated to take the requisite safety precautions. If the asbestos to be removed exceeds 10 square metres, then you have to get a certificate before you can remove it. The other option would be to hire a qualified contractor who is currently holding a certificate for asbestos removal.
You generally don’t require a certificate for any non-removal work such as removing bathroom wall tiles, drilling a hole or preparing for any painting. You however must still put in place precautions for preventing asbestos fibres from getting airborne, besides sticking to general work safety procedures.
The following safety measures have been strongly recommended when removing an asbestos sheet :
- Cordon off the entire work area with sturdy barrier tape to make sure those persons who are unprotected cannot enter into the area.
- Persons who are doing the removal ought to put on appropriate protective equipment and gear such as a respirator and disposable coveralls.
- Prior to the removal, wet down the asbestos material, except of course when that would pose a danger (e.g. on a roof).
- Breaking or damaging bonded asbestos ought to be prevented.
- Utilize plastic drop sheets and then using a damp or wet rag, wipe all surfaces after removal.
- Proper decontamination should be carried out after removal. This entails disposing coveralls and other disposables as asbestos waste plus comprehensive washing.
- Where feasible, the removal work ought to be carried out in areas that are well-ventilated.
The following should as far as is possible be avoided :
- Sawing, scraping, sanding, or drilling holes in materials containing asbestos. In addition, power tools of 240 volt and above must never be utilized because they are prone to dispersing fibres into the open air.
- Usage of powered coarse brushes or pads for stripping off wax from the asbestos flooring.
- Disposal in the domestic garbage bins of asbestos waste.
- Recycle, re-use or illegally dumping materials containing asbestos products.
If you believe that your home could be having asbestos, you ought to call a qualified contractor to come and carry out assessment. During the late 1970s, the United States Environmental Protection Agency and comparable agencies across the globe, especially in Europe started certifying professionals who could be involved in the identification plus removal of as asbestos.
Removal of asbestos could be dangerous to the untrained. That is why engaging the Asbestos Removal Company is has been strongly recommended.