Before the mid-1980s, asbestos was one of the most preferred materials especially in home building. It had a lot of commendable physical properties like strength, insulation, and flexibility, which made it a practical choice among property owners. It was also affordable and versatile. In houses specifically, it can be used in different areas such as:
- Roof sheeting
- Wall sheeting
- Carpet and tile underlays
- Concrete formwork
- Vinyl sheet flooring
- Waterproof membrane
Later on, though, asbestos was proven to be dangerous to people’s health. Constant exposure to asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) for a long period can result in diseases like asbestosis and lung cancer.
To ensure that your family is safe from this kind of risk, you should look into hiring asbestos inspection and asbestos testing specialists. With their knowledge and equipment, they can give you a detailed report on the status of your property. Asbestos removal will definitely be recommended if they find ACMs in your house.
Who are qualified to perform asbestos removal?
Asbestos removal contractors, or asbestos removers, are the right people to talk to if you want to get rid of ACMs. They are trained and licensed professionals, so you can rest assured that they will handle the job safely and properly. However, you should take note that asbestos removal contractors are different from asbestos assessors.
Asbestos assessors are only qualified to do inspection jobs including asbestos air monitoring. Meanwhile, asbestos contractors are experts in the actual removal of ACMs. These asbestos specialists have different licences too, so when checking their qualifications, make sure that they are really trained for the job that you need done.
In some cases, property owners are allowed to carry out asbestos removal jobs if:
a. It is a minor non-friable or bonded asbestos removal job; b. the area does not exceed 10m2; and c. the work can be done within an hour in a 7-day period.
What should be done when dealing with asbestos removal?
Safety should be your number one priority during asbestos removal. There’s no use panicking as you may only end up doing something that will aggravate the situation. So just stay calm and follow these easy steps:
If you’re not sure about what ACMs look like, call an asbestos assessor.
Yes, you can refer to Google images to have an idea about what ACMs look like, but you still need the expert opinion of professional asbestos assessors. They can verify the material and offer recommendations that will solve your problem.
If you accidentally break asbestos, wipe the dust off with a damp cloth.
A damp cloth will help minimise asbestos fibres from being released into the air. Once you have done this, make sure to wrap the used cloth in two plastic bags and throw it in your rubbish bin. If the damage seems more serious that you initially thought, look for an emergency asbestos removal specialist right away.
For DIY asbestos removal, make sure to wear an appropriate attire.
A Personal Protective Equipment or PPE is recommended for this type of activity. After using your PPE, you should dispose of it properly. To be sure, make sure to wrap it in two plastic bags.
Dispose of your asbestos waste in council-approved sites.
You can ask your local council where these sites are. Also, ensure that you follow regulations on asbestos disposal. If you don’t want the hassle of going out there to dispose of your asbestos waste, you can hire companies offering asbestos waste disposal services instead.
What should you look for in asbestos removal experts?
There are serious risks to asbestos removal. One mistake and the health of people who will be exposed to asbestos fibres is definitely going to be compromised. That is why the procedure must be done by trained and experienced professionals. To know whether you’re hiring a qualified contractor, make sure to take your time in checking these things:
There are two general classes of licence for asbestos contractors, and they are Class A and Class B. Class A contractors can remove friable asbestos products. Friable asbestos is the most dangerous as it is loose and dry; therefore, it can easily be pulverised and released into the air. Class B contractors, on the other hand, can only work on non-friable or bonded asbestos products. This type of asbestos is typically more solid, so its fibres don’t easily get into the air.
Make sure that the asbestos removal companies are backed with insurance. No one can tell when a mishap will happen, so it’s best to be prepared for accidents at work. A public liability insurance can cover damage not only to your property but to your neighbour’s as well. Meanwhile, workers’ compensation can cover an injury that happened during work.
Find out what other customers can say about your prospective contractors. Sometimes it’s not enough for them to have technical qualifications; you also need to make sure that they’re honest and professional when dealing with customers. Check out the ratings and customer feedback on the businesses’ Service Seeking profiles. This is a quick way to know if they’re highly trusted by your fellow customers.
How much do asbestos removal services cost?
Asbestos removal services vary in prices depending on the scope and complexity of the job. For instance, the cost of asbestos roof removal may be different from asbestos fence removal. So when posting your job on the site, make sure to include specific details such as the areas in your home where there are ACMs.
The average price of asbestos removal services is $45/hr. You can compare up to 12 quotes from different businesses; just make sure to take your time so that you can get the best deal. It would also help if you could have a chat with them before deciding on which contractor to hire. This is a good opportunity to clarify things about the job including pricing. Ensure that there are no hidden charges so that in the end you won’t have to spend more than what you have expected.