Although asbestos use is banned in Australia, homes built in the 20th century may have asbestos walls, floors and roofs. Asbestos contains carcinogenic fibres that cause asbestosis and malignant mesothelioma when inhaled. As such, one must observe caution when removing asbestos. Below are some FAQs on asbestos removal.
How Can You Know If Your House Contains Asbestos?
Asbestos roofs are easy to identify. However, it is not easy to tell if your walls and floors contain asbestos. Check the pre-purchase building inspection report to know if the house contains asbestos. Alternatively, you could purchase an asbestos testing kit and send samples to an approved laboratory for testing. This is the only sure way to establish which areas in the house contain asbestos.
Can You Remove Asbestos?
In Australia, unlicenced individuals are allowed to remove a maximum of 10 square meters of non-friable asbestos. However, it is always advisable to seek abatement services from an approved company. Below are a few tips to observe when conducting DIY asbestos removal.
- When removing asbestos inside the house, lock all doors and place a warning sign to ensure family members do not access the area.
- Clear the room by removing clothes, furniture and any other items that may get asbestos contamination.
- Cover walls and floors with polythene sheets. Wear personal protective clothing such as helmets, gloves, goggles, masks and respirators.
- Damp the workplace to eliminate exposure to asbestos fibres.
- Do not attempt to drill or saw the asbestos.
- Clean the area with asbestos-approved vacuum cleaners. If you opt to use rags, dispose them together with the removed asbestos.
How Should You Dispose of Asbestos?
The removed asbestos should be put in asbestos-approved waste bags. Do not break the asbestos during packaging. Label the bags, and indicate what type of asbestos they contain. Vehicles transporting asbestos should have a warning sign showing they contain dangerous goods.
Professional Asbestos Removal
The primary advantage of hiring an asbestos removal company is that the professionals will observe maximum safety standards when removing and disposing of the asbestos. Conduct some background research before contacting the abatement company. The company should have a valid asbestos-removal licence, and experienced and qualified personnel. Most companies will retest the house to ensure it does not contain asbestos. Further, they will test the air for asbestos contamination.
Asbestos removal is now easy with the above tips. It may be difficult for homeowners to get the equipment required to remove asbestos in their homes safely. As such, it is always advisable to hire a licenced asbestos removal company.