The Appropriate Asbestos Removal Process

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Carrie's Construction Tips

Welcome to my blog. I'm Carrie and I would like to share some of the top tips I have learnt about construction and repair work in the home. My passion is for buying old property and carrying out work on them to bring them into the 21st century. I started out doing this a couple of years ago. I used some money I had inherited to buy a wreck of a place and if I am honest, I didn't have a clue what I was doing. I was really lucky to find some great contractors who helped me out a lot and taught me lots of very cool things.


The Appropriate Asbestos Removal Process

16 October 2017
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog

Asbestos is a material usually found in houses built in the 1970s or earlier. Over time, it was discovered to cause both cancerous and non-cancerous health issues over time. Therefore, it is prudent to eliminate it when renovating, remodeling or tearing down a home that has asbestos installed. Ensure that you call a professional asbestos removal company to carry out the work. While you might not be directly involved in the removal process, it is vital that you know and understand the appropriate removal process.

Hiring a company-- The entire process of asbestos removal is heavily regulated in Australia meaning that any company you might want to hire must be fully licensed, insured and bonded. The workers are also required to wear specific protective gear and respirators to prevent inhalation. Furthermore, they are mandated to follow stringent rules when inspecting, removing and disposing of the material. It is important to note that the level and category of authority that will be involved in the process will depend on the size of the area under question and the individuals who will remove the material.

Inspection--The process will begin with the professionals first identifying any areas that are suspected to have asbestos. Such areas include roofing, insulation, walls, ceilings, floors, boilers and steam pipe tapes, fireplaces and a host of other places. After that, a sample is collected and tested by either looking through a microscope or conducting an air test. Once identified, the condition is examined to determine whether it should be removed or enclosed. Any damage identified must be followed by removal of the asbestos. An air test must also be carried out after abatement is complete before people are allowed to enter the room without protective gear. This is usually done using a transmission electron microscopy, which is usually more accurate, or a phase contrast microscopy analysis. After an air test, a report of fewer than .01 fibres per cc is considered safe, and people can be allowed back into the house.

Removal--The removal process involves the room being completely sealed off using industrial grade plastic to prevent people from entering or fibres from getting out. HEPA filter fitted fans are then installed to exhaust air from the affected room and to prevent cross-contamination of fibres with other rooms by creating negative air pressure. This provides conducive conditions to remove and tear out anything that contains asbestos safely. Removal is followed by bagging the materials, sealing them and loading them onto an insulated truck to be hauled off to a landfill that accepts asbestos.

The area where the work was done should be subsequently cleaned, vacuumed and wiped down before people are allowed back or any work is allowed to commence.