Before 1985, asbestos use in Sydney was not forbidden in the construction industry like it is today, therefore chances are some materials in your home contain it. The first thing to do when you believe you have this material in the house is not to panic. If the object is not damaged or broken, there’s nothing to worry about as it is dangerous only when materials are subject to sanding, grinding or any other procedure that makes dangerous fibres fly and float into the air. For instance, ceiling walls painted very long time ago with asbestos-based pain are 100% safe if they are not scratched or deteriorated. The presence of asbestos is harmless provided that it doesn’t get into your lungs.
Australia is among the countries with the highest incidence of mesothelioma and other related cancers. Because mining was so widespread and because the blue and brown asbestos, which are the most dangerous, were used here, probably all buildings dating from before 1985 contain some harmful stuff. All insulation materials contained some type of this harmful material. So did cement and some paints. If they show any signs of wear and tear, they should be removed from the house, as they are a potential risk for people who live there.
If you notice any breakage or damage, even if it’s a minor one, you should wipe up the spill immediately with a wet cloth. Never attempt to vacuum clean the powder, because it will spread fibers in the air. After you cleaned the spill, seal the crack with some paint before taking further action.
Have the testing done by licensed assessors
If you suspect the presence of this toxic substance in your home, the first thing to do is find a certified contractor and have him come and do a thorough inspection of your house. Based on his report and recommendations, you are going to know what you should do next in order to remove the threat from your living space. If the report says removal is necessary, you need to find and hire a licensed asbestos removalist. It’s very dangerous to attempt to do this by yourself, so don’t even think about it. It’s not illegal to remove it yourself, but it’s a high risk operation that may affect you, as well as all people in the vicinity, your neighbours included.
The biggest danger is represented by loosely-bound asbestos. This should be handled and removed by professionals only, therefore it needs a licensed removalist firm. If you need to get rid of the firmly bound type, your state guidelines may accept you remove it with unlicensed contractors if so you wish. Nonetheless, it’s always better to choose licensed removalists for any job that involves handling, from the simple reason that they are aware of the danger and know what measures to take to minimize it. All licensed removalists Clear Asbestos Removal adhere to safe government standards, while unlicensed contractors may not.
This is an overview of the main stages of professional removal by licensed experts:
The experts test the air in each room for the presence of air-borne fibres. They have special equipment which collects data and uses it further in the removal process.
The actual removal is done by experts with many hours of training in their job and wearing complete protection equipment. They proceed at removing all hazardous materials from walls, ceilings, floors or other places such as insulation of the pipes.
The job of such an expert doesn’t end with the removal of all traces of fibres from your home. The removed materials needs to be disposed of safely. This is why they put everything in double thick polythene bags which are clearly labeled according to the state legislation. The bags are transported to special waste facilities, then all traces are removed with brooms or rags. All cleaning supplies that were used in this process are also double bagged and disposed of in the same way. In extreme situations, the protective equipment that has been used during the operation is also disposed of in a similar manner.
Licensing is the most important thing when choosing your licensed removalists, but there are also other factors you need to consider when hiring a contractor:
Staff training and equipment
The removal contractor should employ high quality protective equipment and tools for an efficient and safe removal, transport and disposal of all hazardous materials. Protective equipment should include special overalls and protective goggles, respirators, gloves and anything else that’s mentioned in your state regulations. Good contractors have the possibility of continuous air quality monitoring by using on-site computer analysis.
The longer the experience of a specialist, the better for you. On the job experience cannot be substituted by books and courses. You want a team that’s been trained on the job, a team that cleaned many houses before getting to clean yours. It is very important that the removalists are able to get you rid of all asbestos in your home with minimum amount of fibre release in the air.
Don’t go for the first company you find. Always ask for 3-4 quotes and compare them. If one of them seems to good to be true, it probably is, so stay away from that contractor. These fibres are extremely dangerous, so you can never be too cautious when it comes to choosing your contractor.