The roofs of many old domestic and commercial buildings sometimes contain asbestos. This was once a popular constructional style and used to build many homes before 1978. When old asbestos ceilings are worn-out the asbestos fibers come out as sheets. Scientifically it is established that asbestos fibers are dangerous for health when inhaled in the surrounding air. It is recommended to remove old asbestos ceilings if they are worn out and replace them with brand new concrete roofs. However, asbestos removal is a difficult job and you need expert hands to do it safely. If you've had a home inspector identify the possibility of asbestos, it's best to hire an expert to come check and test. Here is what you need to know and understand about the safest procedure for asbestos removal.
Procedure for Safe Asbestos Removal:
- Hiring The Right Professionals Is A Must – First of all, the house owner should hire a licensed contractor who has prior experience and enough knowledge of asbestos removal. According to the local civic rules, only well-trained professionals having proper license and insurance can handle these jobs related to the removal of asbestos from old ceilings and other parts of buildings. Moreover, these professionals should be medically fit use only the latest equipments for accomplishing such tasks.
- Checking The Asbestos – The hired contractor should take samples of asbestos which are needed to be removed before initiating the asbestos removal process. An analysis is made to check the danger levels of that the asbestos material in any laboratory. There can be asbestos sheets which comprise of dangerous minerals and can be hazardous for health. Only experienced professionals can detect the probable hazards on making a first inspection of the site. Adequate safety measures will be taken accordingly by the experts while removing asbestos pieces.
- Precautionary Sealing Off The Space – The residents need to evacuate that part of the building and surrounding space before the experts engage in removing asbestos from the area. The specific building part is sealed with duct tape, polyethylene films and air suction devices to prevent the spread of asbestos fibers into the air in the surrounding environment. All the heating and cooling appliances are switched off and all the related vents are sealed before starting with asbestos removal works.
- Safety Measures By Workers –The complete removal of asbestos is termed as abatement and it is needed only in case the condition of the asbestos-containing parts is heavily damaged. Hence, the asbestos may be partially or totally removed from the building. All kinds of precautions are taken during asbestos removal process by the working professionals to protect them from the dangerous effects of asbestos fibers. The workers usually wear a mask with a respirator, hooded coveralls, gloves, and safety glasses while handling this type of jobs.
- Safety Measures After Completion – When all the removal works are over, the entire space should be thoroughly cleaned with the help of a vacuum cleaner which is fitted with HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters. All the asbestos pieces which are removed from the building should be placed in an air-tight container and carefully removed out of the place. All the clothes and tools used by the professionals during asbestos removal should be cleaned and packed off separately. It is even better if these workers can take a bath before changing into their usual dresses and then step out in the streets.
It is clear that the entire job of asbestos removal is complex and often even costlier than the total demolition of a building. Firstly, the lab analysis of asbestos samples demands some expenses. The expenses of lab analysis depend on the quality of the lab and the time it takes to deliver the report. This expense can increase if multiple samples from various parts of the building is needed to be tested. Some house owners want to remove asbestos themselves to save up on costs. However, they should strictly follow all the safety guidelines for performing the asbestos removal job.
Layla Flinn is a Sydney based writer and researcher, a regular contributor at Smooth Decorator blog. She writes about décor, gardening, recycling, ecology and business. She thinks all these topics fall under the self-improvement category. She believes in the power of sharing ideas and communicating via the internet to achieve betterment.