Learn The Steps For Safe Asbestos Removal
How to Remove Asbestos From Your Home?
The Australian Government National occupational health and safety commission gives a basic process for the safe removal of asbestos. For the safety of everyone involved, it is often recommended that only asbestos removal professionals should handle asbestos disposal and removal. However, it also leaves room for DIY asbestos removal.
Although the best practice is to leave asbestos removal to professionals, some states like NSW allows you to do it yourself, provided you take necessary precautions. Apart from competence and safety precautions, you can only remove not more than 10 square meters of bonded asbestos. If you want to remove more than this, you must obtain the NSW safe work bonded asbestos removal license.
Call the professionals
The main reason why asbestos is often overlooked around the home is that it can be hard to identify. This is because it can mix with other household substances. As such, it can be in your attics, basement, water heaters, concrete walls, etc. It can also be on the siding, roofing shingles, and other exterior parts of your home.
Due to the tricky properties that asbestos has; exposure due to broken friable materials can cause it to become airborne. Unfortunately, breathing or ingesting the particles can pose a serious health risk. For this purpose, let a professional test your home. Professional asbestos removal service can safely monitor the removal and ensure protocols that won’t endanger anyone.
After testing, if the result is positive, let the certified professionals remove the materials themselves.
Do-it-Yourself Asbestos Removal Guide
Before your start
We should mention that DIY asbestos removal is not legal or recommended in some stages. In states like these, you should leave the removal to a professional. However, some territories let a non-licensed person remove non-friable asbestos if the area is not bigger than 10 square meters.
Note the following:
- If you are not licensed, you must be competent enough to remove asbestos or you must be considered competent enough. By implication, you must have the right equipment and must possess industry experience.
- If you are not licensed, you must still recognize that it poses a serious risk to human health.
- Most insurance policies don’t cover asbestos removal. Hence, you will ultimately be responsible for expensive costs.
If you understand the requirements above and still want to go ahead, it must be that you have the right skills for the job. It will also help if you have experience with asbestos removal and the right equipment to reduce the risk of exposure.
Asbestos Removal Safe Practices
Protect yourself with personal protection equipment
Before undertaking asbestos removal, protect yourself with the Australian standards-approved personal protection equipment. This includes gloves, mask, footwear, coveralls, eye wears, etc. The PPE should be such that it can protect every part of your body without risking exposure. They should also be disposed of to avoid future contamination.
Don’t do the following
- Do not smoke, drink, or it. This is because any of these activities can make you eat or inhale the dust. Instead, you should wash your face and hands before breaks and when you are done for the day.
- Don’t use a power tool. This is because power tools may disturb the asbestos fibres and make them airborne.
- Don’t drill or cut into asbestos. Vents, flues, fireplaces, roofing, and other asbestos products should not be drilled. Instead of drilling, remove the entire product and replace it. You also should not drop the sheets to minimize breakage.
Besides knowing what you are doing, it is essential to let friends and members of your family know what you are doing. This way, pets, and humans can stay away from the work area until you have cleaned up after yourself. You should talk to your neighbours or anyone that can be affected by the removal.
Prepare for the removal
- Protect the work area with plastic sheets. Plastic sheets will help to prevent contaminating the ground. However, the sheets must not be from recycled material. You should also dispose of it after use to avoid reuse and contamination. We recommend you use up to 200mm thick bags or plastic sheeting.
- Seal the doors, windows, and vents to prevent dust from getting inside your house. You can also ask your neighbours to seal openings to their homes to avoid complications.
- Move the equipment to a safe place and bar children and pets from playing near the restricted area.
- After closing the doors, seal the work area with plastic sheets and tape from the inside to avoid contamination.
- Like you did with the outside, use 200mm thick bags and plastic sheets to protect the ground. As mentioned, the sheets must not be reused.
- Protect the floor with tape plastic and cover the ducts, air conditioning, and vents. You should also seal every other place where dust can get into the house.
- Remove curtains, rugs, and soft furnishing from the work area. If they are too heavy for moving, cover them with plastic.
- Move everyone else out of your way.
With all of these in place, you can proceed with the removal.
After Removal Procedure
Clean up after removal
- Stack asbestos on bags or plastic sheets and wrap it with tape. We recommend that you double wrap it to avoid complications. As mentioned, the tape should be thick and not re-used for any other reason.
- Don’t skid one sheet over the other during stacking to avoid the release of the fibres.
- If any sheet is broken during the procedure or crushed, remove it immediately.
- Don’t take any equipment or material out of the work area. This means that you must dispose of your PPE in a bag together with the asbestos waste to prevent dust from leaving the work area.
- Use vacuum cleaners that meet the asbestos removal requirement to clean the work area. It is crucial to use this type of vacuum cleaner and not a household cleaner. You can also pump mist from a spray pump pack to reduce dust.
Asbestos transportation and disposal
- After wrapping asbestos waste in disposable sheets, label it for easy identification.
- Then, transport the labelled waste in a leak-proof and covered vehicle.
- Only dispose of asbestos waste in a landfill site that lawfully allows asbestos disposal. Don’t put the waste in a domestic waste bin.
Hazardous construction material like asbestos should be handled with care. By implication, you should demonstrate the highest level of competence and carefully during the removal. Remember, you have friends, families, and yourself to protect. If you don’t feel up to the task, call a professional.