Up until the middle of the 1980s, asbestos had a range of uses in different industries. It was a versatile material used in manufacturing various products. One of its uses was in the home building industry, specifically in areas such as:
- Wall sheeting
- Carpet and tile underlays
- Concrete formwork
- Vinyl sheet flooring
- Roof sheeting
However, it was later discovered that asbestos is dangerous to the health of people especially if there had been a long and constant exposure to asbestos fibres over the years. As a result, diseases like asbestosis and lung cancer can be contracted.
If your home was built during the era when asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) were still widely used, you should look for professionals specialising in asbestos inspection and asbestos testing. They can verify if such substance really exists in your home and recommend if asbestos removal is needed.
Types of ACMs
There are two general types of ACMs, and asbestos removal contractors are licensed according to the type of ACM that they are qualified to remove. So when looking for asbestos removal companies, it’s important to consider what type of ACM your property has.
Often described as loose, friable asbestos products can be crushed into finer substances. This makes it easier for the asbestos fibres to be released into the air, and when asbestos particles are freely floating around, they become more hazardous as they can be easily inhaled by people. Friable ACMs are also known to contain high levels of asbestos; that’s why you should find qualified professionals to provide asbestos removal services.
Non-friable or bonded asbestos
Bonded asbestos products typically have a smaller amount of asbestos mixed in them. They are also solid and rigid, so they aren’t easily crumbled or pulverised. Because the asbestos fibres in bonded ACMs are tightly bound, they are oftentimes not released into the air. Thus, they are less dangerous than friable ACMs. You can even perform a minor removal of this type of ACM by yourself.
Tips on asbestos removal
Here are some tips to ensure your safety or lessen risks when dealing with ACMs in your property:
When you accidentally break asbestos, you should immediately wipe off the dust with a damp cloth. A damp cloth can minimise the release of asbestos fibres into the air. After using it, though, make sure to double wrap it in plastic bags and dump it in your rubbish bin. It would also be better if you could label it before putting it in your garbage bin.
When removing asbestos, you should wear disposable Personal Protective Equipment or PPE.
However, keep in mind that you are only allowed to carry out this task if you’re dealing with non-friable asbestos and if the area where you’re removing ACMs from is not bigger than 10m2. Also, make sure that the job can be done within an hour in a 7-day period.
Ask your local council where you can dispose of your asbestos waste.
There are only specific areas where you can dispose of your asbestos waste. These areas are usually approved by the local council, so it’s best to check with them where these areas are as well as the rules on proper asbestos disposal. If you want to be sure or if you don’t want the hassle of personally going out there, you can hire professionals to collect your asbestos waste.
What to look for when hiring asbestos removal companies
Asbestos removal can be risky; that’s why you need to make sure you’re hiring a reliable and qualified person for the job. Here’s a checklist that you could follow when selecting a business:
✓ Skills and experience
You need professionals who are skilled and experienced in this trade. These pros can give you peace of mind as they can do the job correctly and safely. Apart from that, they can also move more efficiently, and in case of difficult situations, they can come up with solutions quickly.
Of course, skills and experience are not enough; ensure that the businesses are licensed too. This will assure you that they have the qualifications to perform the necessary task. However, keep in mind that there are typically two classes of licences for asbestos removal contractors: Class A (friable asbestos removal) and Class B (non-friable asbestos removal). Moreover, an asbestos removalist varies from an asbestos assessor; these two have different licences as well.
This is very important for asbestos removalists to have. With the dangers of their job, no one can guarantee that nothing will go wrong throughout the procedure. A workers’ compensation is for covering injuries that may happen while work is being done on site. Meanwhile, a public liability insurance can be used to cover damage to your property.
Feedback from the businesses’ previous customers will show you how dependable and professional they are. It will give you a glimpse of how they work and the quality of work that they can produce; so read up on reviews about the businesses you’re considering. Check out these comments on some of the best asbestos removal companies in Perth:
”It was an excellent job done on time and as planned, very very happy. I have no hesitation recommending this guys.” - Carmelo from Bentley, WA on GJ Demo
”He was fantastic. Worked very hard, came same day as quote and cost was far cheaper than previous quote I had received.” - Annie from Mount Hawthorn, WA on Ants Asbestos Removal
”you guys did a good job! very happy with the work, although not all that i asked for (communication failure, i suspect) - and you really cleaned up after yourselves. will definitely recommend to anyone who needs this type of job done.” - Josephine from Yangebup, WA on G J Demolition
Cost of asbestos removal services
Asbestos removal services cost around $45/hr. However, prices may vary depending on some factors like the size of the job, complexity, and difficulty of access. Make sure to have a chat with the businesses and clarify their pricing before officially hiring their services. Ask them about the inclusions in their rates and find out if there are hidden costs.