The Best Asbestos Removal Tips
Top 8 Asbestos Removal Techniques
When it comes to removing asbestos, you are going to want to do it right. Professionals get rid of the dangerous material.
Asbestos exposure can cause numerous health risks like cancer and lung damage just to name a few. So when removing asbestos what are some of the tips to do it safely and properly?
In this article, we are going to list the eight best asbestos removal tips to help give you a better understanding of how professional asbestos removals are carried out. Let’s find out each one of them below.
1. Know all your rules, laws, and regulations beforehand.
Before anything can be done, whether you are doing a DIY job or professionals are coming in, you are going to need to have an understanding of the laws that are in place. In some states, if the asbestos area is small enough you can legally remove it yourself. However, in the ACT under no circumstances are you to touch any asbestos products unless you are a licensed professional. It is best to contact the local council/government so you can obtain the right licenses.
2. Make sure you can identify potential asbestos products/materials before work begins.
This can be hard for the average Australian. More often than not, a NATA (National Association Of Testing Authorities Australia) accredited testing facility member will take a sample back and test it.
3. Work safely.
- You should cover up and wear personal protective equipment that is approved by Australian standards.
- Wear gloves, overalls that can be disposable, and a hat.
- You should not smoke, eat or drink when in the work area where asbestos is present because you could eat or inhale it. Before mealtime, wash your hands and face with soap.
- Never use power tools as they can release asbestos fibres into the air.
- Wet asbestos areas down gently with water. NEVER use a high-pressure tool as they can break asbestos sheets.
- Don’t drop asbestos sheets. Lower them slowly as breakage could release fibres into the air.
- Let people know. Notify any family members, friends, and neighbours to stay away from your house while work is being done.
4. Prep the area correctly.
For outside, you should lay some plastic sheeting under where you are going to work. Doing this stops dust and fibres from contaminating the ground underneath. Move ALL of your kid’s toys and equipment far away from the site. Make sure you have ALL your windows and doors shut. Close up/seal up any vents. What this does is stop dust from getting inside the house. Tell your neighbours to do the same.
For the inside, it is nearly the same. Close all doors and use plastic sheets and tape to seal off the asbestos area. What this does is helps stop the spread of fibres to other areas of the house. Cover the floor and seal all vents in the house. In the work area, you should remove all rugs, curtains, and any pieces of furniture you can. Lastly, seal off all areas where dust could potentially get in such as the gaps under your doors.
5. Get a professional to do the job.
In Australia, the laws are quite strict and in the ACT you are not allowed to remove ANY asbestos products. Qualified workers and companies have to do the work. Even if you could do it yourself, you are taking a risk. From how to set up the work area, removing the products to disposing of them correctly, reduce the risk by letting the pros do their job.
6. Disposal of asbestos.
Perhaps the most important thing of all. Removing the asbestos products correctly. You should wrap any damaged asbestos material in a double wrap of plastic and tape it up. Make sure you clearly label the plastic bags so people know what is inside the bags.
Only certain places allow for the deposit of asbestos. Only specific areas are allowed to, by law to have asbestos products in the landfill. Keep in mind it is illegal to re-use, dump asbestos and recycle it. Also, you CAN’T put it in your normal rubbish bin.
A good tip for transportation is to make sure you have the proper vehicle. Put all the waste into a car/van/truck that is leak-proof, and it fully covered. You do not want to take all the precautions when removing it, only to be lacks when you are transporting it.
8. Cleaning up.
When you have any type of asbestos material, you need to place it very carefully onto plastic sheets that are double wrapped. Then you tape them up. Make sure you clearly label the plastic, so people know about the dangerous material in the bag.
Tips to aid in the clean-up
- No skidding because this can release fibres into the air.
- Always remove sheets, NEVER leave them laying on the ground because they can be crushed or broken by other people.
- Clean up EVERYTHING- No dust can leave the work area. Not on shoes or clothes etc. Make sure they are put into plastic bags and put them with the other asbestos material.
- Use a special vacuum- Household vacuums are a no-go. A professional vacuum that complies with AS/NZ 60035.2.60.
- NEVER DRY WIPE ASBESTOS MATERIAL. This stirs up dust fibres. Use a spray to dampen the material to limit the release.
Do I need a license for DIY asbestos removal?
In some states and territories, if the area is under 10 square metres then you do not. However, in some states, ONLY professionals can take asbestos away.
I am exposed to asbestos, what happens?
You are at risk of asbestos-related diseases which only show up decades later. At this stage there is no cure.
How long does asbestos removal take?
This will depend on how big an area is needed to be removed. As a rule, contractors and workers take as long as they need to ensure ALL asbestos is removed.
These are some tips that you can follow regarding asbestos removal. Hopefully, we have given you an insight into what can be done about asbestos and how to remove it properly. As always do your research to get all the necessary information.