DIY Asbestos Removal Procedures
In Australia most states will allow the removal of up to 10 squares of asbestos containing material without a licence. In this guide, we will explore the steps for DIY asbestos removal and recommended safety precautions you should take. Remember asbestos is very dangerous once it is airborne so you should always take extreme care when handling asbestos materials. In a recent interview with Jack Newman from Pro Asbestos Removal Sydney , he said “while it is legal to remove small amounts of asbestos yourself, it’s still very dangerous if you don’t take all the required safety procedures. Make sure you purchase all the safety gear and equipment before you start any asbestos removal project”.
What is Asbestos?
This term refers to certain naturally occurring minerals that there are six types of which are known. The big issue with asbestos is that it is made up of fibers which are resistant to heat and many chemicals that you may subject it to.
Also, it has been known to cause cancer, in people who have been subjected to it. Known as mesothelioma where it affects the lungs particularly the lining. In this guide to DIY asbestos removal, you will find what you need for your protection.
Characteristics and Risk
Asbestos is usually odorless and has not taste which means that you can ingest it unknowingly, which is what makes it imperative that you locate and completely destroy it. Lung cancer and asbestosis are just two of the things that you risk getting when you have been exposed to this miracle mineral.
Places That You Can Find Asbestos
There are many places that you can find asbestos as it has been used to make so many appliances that you will find in the house. You will also need to make sure that you know where to look for asbestos deposits so that you can get all of it when you are cleaning. Here are some of the spots that you will need to look at.
- Floor tiles that are old
- Roofing shingles
- Sheetrock seams
- Plumbing seams
- Insulation material which is fire proofing (boilers, sheets and ducts etc.)
- Ceiling tiles
- Vermiculite attic insulation
How it Gets Distributed
The thing about the asbestos that is released here is that it will disintegrate and form a dust that when inhaled over time will cause you to develop lung cancer and other health problems that come with having it in your system. The asbestos is also found in old plumbing pipes and the fibers that it is made up of can be swept up into drinking water that you have in your home. The vets and fans also contribute to the spread greatly.
Asbestos Regulation in Australia
The asbestos regulation in Australia is governed in all states by the statutes and codes of practice that are set up by the government. These rules and regulations are found on the Australian Government’s Asbestos Safety website.
- The work, health and safety legislation -This one regulates and manages the control and removal of the asbestos that is found in the workplace which is also inclusive of all residences that are workplace when there is a contract that allows a contractor to work in removing the asbestos.
- Public health legislation – this one is applied to the asbestos related activities that will or may be carried in and or around non-workplace settings.
Steps for the Removal of Asbestos
We have included the major steps in this guide to DIY asbestos removal to help do this right. You will need to follow all of them to make sure that you do not miss anything.
Step 1: Safety Gear
Safety gear is very important seeing as you will be dealing with potential dust made of asbestos and exposure to fibers that are small and easily penetrate your skin and enter exposed orifices like your eyes and mouth and also wounds.
- Disposable rubber gloves and disposable overalls
- Safety goggles for the eyes
- Rubber boots
- Isolation material for the area to clean.
Step 2: Removal Process
Before you follow this guide to DIY asbestos removal, be sure that you can or get a pro. The
steps to follow are these:
- Wet cleaning – this means that you mope the area that you think has asbestos and discard the rags after use. While on rooftops, consider other methods as this may cause slipperiness.
- Vacuum – use High Efficiency Particulate Air vacuums that are specially made for this. They will
pick up very tiny particles including the dangerous asbestos.
- Steam Cleaning – this is for carpets that have been exposed to this substance. The heat and the
specially made steam machines will help get all the asbestos out.
Step 3: Cleanup and Disposal
When you have finished cleaning, you will need to wrap asbestos material and prepare it so its ready to be picked up and dropped off to an approved Government waste facility. For pick up and disposal contact a licensed asbestos removalist in your area.
Asbestos disposal facilities will be found where you can drop them off. As you have seen in this guide to DIY asbestos removal, this is a hazardous substance that needs to be avoided.