06 Feb 2020

Asbestos Removal

Asbestos Removal

Asbestos removal can be a scary thing and if not treated with the right respect can be dangerous. Over the last few years, all my sites have had some sort of asbestos removal required so I am somewhat an expert in this field now – my digger driver tells me that I attract sites with Asbestos. Haha!  

Personally living in a home which has the asbestos intact doesn’t necessarily pose a health risk. Only when Asbestos becomes disturbed or damaged, asbestos fibres can be released into the air is when it is a serious health risk. I’ve noticed in houses the painted asbestos material is extremely durable and can stay around your house for years.

 One of the most visually identifiable asbestos products is corrugated cement roofing sheets and corrugated cement fence and I have come across hundreds of sqm of these. 

 Some of the places I have found asbestos in old houses

  • Under the lining in the kitchens
  • Corrugated Roofing
  • Corrugated Fencing
  • Buried underground from previous builders.
  • Ceilings 
  • Old fireplaces
  • Decks
  • Behind electrical boards
  • Cladding and soffits
  • Gutters and drainage pipes

So what are the consequences of Asbestos?

Concentrations of all forms of asbestos may result in including various asbestos-related diseases including cancer. The two forms of cancer associated with the inhalation of asbestos are Lung Cancer. I have personally known someone that has died from Asbestos poisoning and don’t wish that upon anyone.

Asbestos can be removed yourself (even though I don’t recommend it) but only in certain limited circumstances, and only if you carry out stringent safety procedures according to the Health and Safety at Work (Asbestos) Regulations 2016.

People do seem to make it a big deal but I have found that the removal process using a subcontractor is fairly easy when you have the right team.  

 

How to get asbestos removed:

  1. Survey the site –  The first step would be to get a qualified surveyor in to do a survey. These people visit a site and thoroughly look the property and if they have doubts on a product take samples away for testing.

    They will then issue a report and you will find the location of the asbestos the Class it will be.
    There are two classes and these are to with the severity of it:

Class A Asbestos: Class A asbestos is known as ‘friable asbestos’. The name is given to asbestos materials that are powdery or can become dust from being crushed when dry.   

Class B Asbestos:  Class B asbestos is considered ‘non-friable’ as it is bonded asbestos, normally mixed and sealed into products. These are bound tightly and cannot be easily crumbled to expose asbestos fibres. 

  1. Once the report is issued, and you know where you stand you can then pass this information onto the Asbestos removal companies.

    There are many companies who do this and with removal costs, I recommend you do shop around, there is a lot of discrepancies – it can range from $55/sqm to about $250/sqm for the same service.

    The removal company will be trained in the correct procedures to safely remove the asbestos, and more importantly the right disposal techniques ( no, you can’t just take it to the tip!).
  2. The actual removal process is rather straightforward, the company will come in ( in the appropriate protective gear if required) take off/remove any asbestos materials and take it away with them for disposal. 
  3. Once the work is completed another clearance report is issued – and you will be able to proceed with your work.

If you are thinking of renovating, buying, or building and are unsure if you have Asbestos on the property I would always recommend getting a surveyor in – then follow the steps above for safe removal.

 

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