Asbestos was widely used in many building materials before the 1970s. Today it is usually used as insulation for pipes and ducts, attic insulation, floors, walls and ceilings. Asbestos is now widely recognised as a serious health risk and is encouraged to be removed worldwide by certified asbestos inspector.
However, this should not frighten you unnecessarily. If asbestos-containing materials are undamaged, it is best to leave them alone. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says it is even more dangerous to interfere with asbestos. Asbestos removal may be necessary if the asbestos-containing material is crumbled, damaged or flaky. However, if you are planning a conversion that could disrupt the material, the best solution would be to remove it.
Identification of asbestos fibres
Perhaps the most popular construction products that you may come across every time you undertake renovation in older buildings are sheets of fibre. This has been widely used since the early 1950s after the end of World War II. It has gained a great reputation for its durable nature and is cheap. Therefore, it has become widely used in the construction of cheaper houses in a cheaper style.
The most likely variety of fiber that can be found in an old building is a flat type of fiberglass sheet, often used for the outer covering of houses, hangars and garages. The sheet simply nailed to the timber frame structure, making construction work inexpensive and fast. No wonder it is widely used. From time to time it can be seen at home in places such as toilets and facilities.
Basics of asbestos removal
Asbestos removal is basically a two-step process. The first step would be to test the asbestos material to see if it actually contains harmful asbestos fibres. The second step will be the competent removal of asbestos. To this end, the following points should be taken into account:
Contact the authorities or the asbestos programme of your country or territory for guidance. In Australia, all aspects related to asbestos removal are covered by health and safety regulations.
Look for certified contractors and inspectors who have been trained and licensed in testing and removing asbestos.
To avoid possible conflicts of interest, it is advisable that suspicious materials are tested by one testing company and disposal is carried out by another company.
Be ready because in some cases it may be necessary to temporarily relocate the entire household while working.
Hiring the right contractor
It is recommended that a contractor should be recruited who holds a removal removal licence issued by the respective country or territory of that country. They are more likely to be well trained and familiar with all the legal requirements for the disposal of hazardous waste, such as asbestos.
Before starting work, you may wish to obtain a written contract or agreement that clearly states all the waste disposal activities of the contractor, including aspects such as housekeeping and asbestos removal.
Upon completion of the work, you must obtain written proof that all legal and environmental procedures have been followed by the contractor in an approved manner. If possible, have another safety test carried out by a licensed government inspector for asbestos, in accordance with the Australian Health and Safety Strategy 2012-2022. The vision of this strategy is to promote a safe, healthy and productive working life for all.