So there’s asbestos present in your home.
What now? There are a few paths you can take.
Here’s what you need to know about to ensure you are making safe and responsible decisions when handling asbestos in your house.
Is the asbestos-containing product in good condition?
If there is asbestos present in the products in your home such as your roof or your walls, but these products are still in good condition, then there is generally no immediate need to remove them. Dormant asbestos is not harmful to your health. When asbestos is disturbed, and its particles are released into the air and enter your lungs, is when it causes health risks.
If the asbestos-containing products in your home are in good condition, a simple solutions could be to spruce them up with a new coat of paint or other surface finishes. This ensures that they remain dormant.
Not sure if you have asbestos?
If you’re renovating your home and are aware of the presence of asbestos, you need to take all safety precautions necessary by law. If you are not 100% sure if there is asbestos in your home and you are renovating, it is strongly recommended that you act as if there is, or have your home scientifically tested. The ultimate precaution is always to make sure you are minimising the number of airborne asbestos particles.
Homeowners removing more than ten metres squared of non-friable (bonded) asbestos, must be in possession of a certificate from QLD health to undergo asbestos removal. Friable asbestos can only be removed by a licensed professional. Find out more about the types of asbestos here.
It’s also vital that to remove asbestos you need to be wearing the appropriate safety gear such as a respirator, gloves and coveralls. You must also always be aware of prohibited activities by QLD law, intended to minimise exposure.
Prohibited Activities when removing asbestos
- Never use power tools
- Do not use high-pressure water cleaners
- Do not use compressed air or abrasive blasting
- Do not use household vacuum cleaners to suck up asbestos particles (this requires a specialised vacuum)
Transportation and disposal of asbestos
By QLD law, you must hold an environmental authority to transport regulated waste to carry 250kg or more of asbestos via vehicle (approximately a quarter of an average household trailer). There are specific sites that are approved by the local government in your area which will take asbestos waste; you cannot just dump it at any tip. Each of these sites may have requirements and conditions for the disposal of asbestos at their sites which will need to be followed.
Choose a licensed contractor or business
As you can see, there are many factors to consider when disposing of asbestos. While you may think that undertaking the process yourself is more cost effective, this is not the case.
A professional asbestos roofing company will know all the safety precautions required, have all of the right equipment to carry these out, and take care of the work and safe removal and disposal. Hiring a licensed professional will save you time and money. Ultimately, they will be better equipped to carry out work, and therefore provide better safety for yours and your families health.