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Asbestos Removal Tips

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Asbestos removal is a risky affair. If you inhale the asbestos fibres, you risk chronic illnesses such as lung cancer, asbestosis, mesothelioma, and scarred lungs. So how do you remove asbestos? Below is a detailed guide. 

Australian citizens can conduct DIY asbestos abatement if the non-friable asbestos they intend to remove does not exceed 10m2. However, given that you do not have any training and skills in asbestos removal, you should ask an abatement company to remove the material. As a rule, the abatement company should have an operating licence from your state. Moreover, it should have adequate insurance and a highly skilled workforce. Finally, ensure the company disposes of the asbestos appropriately. 

The abatement company inspects your home to determine the type and volume of asbestos. For instance, supposed you wanted to remove an asbestos roof, you could be shocked to find out the walls, hot water pipes, boiler and floor have asbestos. The assessment helps you prioritise the removal works. For example, you could forego the roof and opt to remove all the asbestos inside your home since it poses an immediate health risk. 

Below are some safety measures to follow when removing asbestos: 

  • Preferably, move your family out of the property to ensure they do not come into contact with the asbestos fibres.
  • If the asbestos is located externally, ask neighbours to shut their windows during removal.
  • The abatement company must prepare the site. For instance, when removing asbestos inside the house, the removalists cover the room with plastic sheets to ensure asbestos fibres do not land on your furniture or floor.
  • The asbestos removalists must have the recommended safety gear. It includes overalls, respirators, goggles, gloves and boots.
  • The removalists must dampen the asbestos to prevent the spread of fibres.
  • The removalists should not use power tools such as drills when removing the asbestos. Besides, they should not break the material. 

Once removed, the asbestos is wrapped and put in approved disposal bags. After this, the abatement company transports the material to an asbestos storage facility or landfill. Vehicles carrying asbestos must have warning signs. Should an accident occur when transporting the material, first responders will know that the car has dangerous materials. 

The abatement company also cleans the working area and room to remove any asbestos fibres. Typically, they use industrial vacuum cleaners with high-quality filters. Finally, the company conducts an air test to establish whether there are asbestos fibres floating around the room.