It’s not worth the risk trying to remove asbestos from your home. Used as a common building material to build homes, offices, schools, and other structures, asbestos has now become a less popular material to use. It was used because of its heat resistant properties.
Even though it isn’t banned in the United States, the use of the material has been limited. Studies have proven that asbestos can be really dangerous to you and your family’s health. When damaged materials that contain asbestos aren’t removed by a professional and experienced team, you might endanger your family and your own life.
Why is Asbestos Dangerous?
When the material is inhaled it can cause pleural plaques, mesothelioma cancer, asbestosis, and lung cancer. These medical conditions can also be caused due to ingesting. If you don’t use the proper safety equipment to remove damaged materials, then the chances are great that you’ll ingest the hazardous fibres.
These little fibres are microscopic and can not be seen by the naked eye. They are only 0.01 microns in thickness, compared to a human’s hair that’s almost 18,000 times thinner.
For this reason, it’s important to bring in the professionals who will have the relevant gear and equipment necessary to protect you and your family. If you live in Wollongong, Illawarra, you have to find a qualified asbestos removal company to help you out.
Here are a few things you have to consider:
Choose The Right Type
Asbestos abatement companies specialize in different services. Ranging from demolition to stolk building and abatement to environmental services. Make sure that you hire a company that is trained and equipped to deal with the kind of job you need to have done.
Experienced companies like stolkbuilding.com.au/, can provide a bunch of different services.
After pre-assessments have been done, the company will be able to tell you exactly what kind of work should be done. This is dependent on the severity of the containment and scale of the job. Different asbestos abatement work will typically include class 1, 2, and 3 jobs.
Class 1 – Removing of materials that were installed to prevent heat and materials suspected to contain hazardous asbestos
Class 2 – Removing of nonthermal materials containing asbestos within the shingles, wallboards, floor tiles, and sheeting.
Class 3 – Maintenance and repair of asbestos materials that were damaged. Class 3 work is typically performed when houses are undergoing restructuring or renovating and asbestos materials should be removed permanently.
Before you hire a company, make sure that they will be able to provide you with the right techniques of performing different services.
You won’t trust an untrained plumber to work on your home’s waterpipes, in the same way a professional asbestos removal company’s staff should be well trained. Even though it’s not legally required that homeowners use licensed companies, it is recommended that you find a company with licensed and trained staff.
Licensing should be done through the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration). When a company has these licenses, its staff will also have the necessary training.
Professional workers are trained in the following:
- Preparing the area with protective gear
- Following strict safety regulations and rules
- Applying decontamination procedures before and after work
- Establishing and setting up decontamination units
- Using PPE (Personal Protective Gear) in the correct manner
- Handling asbestos waste with care
- Disposing of hazardous materials in the correct way
- Following specific steps to ensure the removal is done safely, securely, and up to standard
The company is responsible for providing their workers with the proper protective gear. Because asbestos can be extremely harmful, a removal company’s workers are at greater risk than anyone. For this purpose, you have to hire a company that values its workers and their safety.
Common protective gear worn by workers are rubber boots, disposable overalls, disposable gloves, protective medical grade eye goggles, high-quality respirator, and HEPA vacuums.
It’s important that anyone working with asbestos wear personal protective equipment. This means that the company you are hiring should have specific and concrete PPE regulations. Read this guide to PPE required equipment when working with asbestos.
Before finalizing a contract, you should be sure that the company knows what procedure to follow. Doing something wrong in the affected area can pose a lot of health risks. You can request that the company in question send you a guide on their asbestos removal procedure.
Typically, the procedure is as follows; First an assessment of the area is done and type of work and area is established. Then the site has to be prepared by disabling all electrical and HVAC systems, a decontamination enclosure is installed, all openings and surfaces are sealed with duct tape or plastic sheeting, a specialized vacuum is installed to remove airborne asbestos, and warning signs are put up in the area.
Once the work area has been prepped, the workers will start cleaning up by using a high-efficiency particulate air vacuum.
Another important factor to look out for, is that the company uses the correct disposal methods. Asbestos-containing materials should be sealed while it’s still wet. Typically stored in a leak-tight and air-tight container.
Once the contaminated materials have been safely stored, it should be taken to a landfill. Licensed companies will have entry to qualified landfills that follow specific rules to ensure fibers don’t escape into the air.
Have a loot at the removal company’s vehicles. Waste can’t be transported in an open cap truck. Vehicles follow specific requirements and has to be labelled according to legal guidelines. This ensures the safety of everyone involved.
When it comes to removing hazardous materials from your home, you shouldn’t compromise quality services over costs. You can find a removal company in Wollongong that best cater to your needs. By investing in professionals to remove hazardous materials from your building, you are ensuring a healthier life for your family.