If you have found asbestos in your residence, remember that you have the option of not removing it. Asbestos is dangerous only when it releases fibers in the air. So if the material is in good condition, you have the option to leave it alone and not go in for residential asbestos removal. Or you can get it repaired or encapsulated.
Who should remove it?
If you so wish, you have the option of removing it yourself, but you have to follow the prescribed procedures for residential asbestos removal strictly. Certain types of work, for instance, removing a certain kind of insulation asbestos found on boilers are very risky and these should be done only by certified residential asbestos removal contractors.
However, if you do decide on residential asbestos removal, you have to use the services of one of the state-certified contractors engaged in asbestos abatement. These experts know residential asbestos removal techniques, which ensure that the material is removed safely, and effectively, a task that is not possible for individual homeowners to undertake themselves. Experts also carry out air monitoring after the removal has been carried out, to make sure that your home has a safe, acceptable standard of air.
7 Methods and precautions to be followed
- Usually, two methods are used for residential asbestos removal. The glove bag technique uses a pressure bag, which is extremely safe. Poly bags with built-in gloves and arms are used along with filtered vacuums with wet removal technique.
- Full Containment is the other method used in residential asbestos removal. Heavy polythene sheets are used to create a room with a floor and four walls, which seals off the working area. A heavy-duty air filtration mechanism is used for cleaning the air while wet removal is carried out. The workers wear respirators and suits.
- You have to shift out all furniture or any other object from the area. Cover the area with thick plastic sheets. Turn off the air conditioning or furnace and cover air vents with plastic. You have to wear coveralls to protect your clothes from contamination and a respirator with a high efficiency air filter while you are doing the removal and cleaning up.
- You should not inhale or ingest any asbestos; so you use water to suppress dust, which may float while removal is going on. Use a garden sprayer, hose or even water bottle before and during the operation so that fibers are not released in the air.
- While engaged in residential asbestos removal, be careful not to break or tear any of the material so that asbestos fibers are not released. All the material should be placed in leak-proof, tight containers or heavy plastic bags, which should be sealed with tape.
- It is necessary to ensure that there is no visible dust on the surface areas and the entire area has to be wiped with soapy water. The plastic covers, along with air filters and coveralls, should be carefully rolled up and placed in leak-proof containers. You should immediately wash out the clothes worn underneath protective coveralls and then shower yourself thoroughly.
- After the residential asbestos removal is over, the homeowner will be given a letter with a laboratory report explaining the air tests that were performed after the asbestos was removed or encapsulated.
Residential asbestos removal is not a task to be taken lightly. The health hazards that asbestos are capable of causing can be deadly, so it is incredibly important to take the risk seriously. When taking on the task it is necessary to follow the correct procedure, dispose of the asbestos properly, clean yourself of any of the fibers, and finally, get the air tested to ensure that the air is healthy and clean.