Asbestos is a harmful substance that can cause extreme health problems in people. Removing and disposing of this material, safely and securely is vital to keeping the occupants of your home or workplace safe. If you suspect you have asbestos in your building, keep reading to find out how to identify asbestos and how to keep safe our comprehensive list of do’s and don’ts.
What Is Asbestos?
In simple terms, asbestos is a group of fibrous minerals that are used to strengthen and fireproof different materials. Common uses for asbestos include:
● Vehicle parts
● Building materials
● Electrical parts
These name a few of the cases where asbestos might be used for strengthening or fire resistance. Asbestos can come in many different types that all look different, but it is commonly identified as a straight, fibrous material. When asbestos fibres are damaged or interfered with, they become a risk, releasing fibres into the air and causing various health problems in people.
Why Does It Need To Be Removed?
While asbestos can be useful for building materials, exposure to this carcinogenic material can cause severe health issues in people and it is the number one cause of work-related deaths in the world. Those who are occupationally exposed to asbestos are at a higher risk of one of the following health complications:
● Pleural effusions
Asbestosis is a severe lung condition, caused by asbestos which can lead to more intense complications. As of right now, there is no treatment for asbestosis, but you can find symptom relief by avoiding irritants. Mesothelioma is a type of cancer, almost exclusively caused by asbestos exposure.
Because of its numerous health risks, asbestos is now illegal to use in buildings and materials here in the UK. Homes and properties built after 2000 don’t need to worry about this, however, asbestos is still present in many properties and it will need to be removed to ensure that people are safe.
Dealing With Asbestos
You may opt for either repair or removal when it comes to asbestos in your home. This will be largely dependent on the severity of your case.
Repairs can come in a couple of forms. Encapsulation is the first, where a sealant is used to bind the asbestos fibres together so that they don’t move or spread. The second is covering or enclosure, where something is wrapped around the asbestos to prevent the release of fibres, like a protective wrap or jacket.
Removal is usually required if there is a perceived health threat or you are looking to remodel areas of your house. If asbestos has extensively damaged parts of your home, this may also be a good reason for removal.
Our List Of Do’s & Don’ts
If you suspect that you have any asbestos in your property, home, or commercial building, you must have it removed as soon as possible for safety reasons. By following these do’s and don’ts, you are minimising the potential risk and damage to your property or your occupants.
● Leave it alone - You will only interfere with it, potentially increasing the risk of asbestos fibres getting into your lungs and around your house in different living spaces. The safest thing to do is to leave it alone until a professional can help.
● Make all occupants and neighbours aware of the asbestos - By notifying those around you, they are made aware of the risks and can behave with caution to the potential risk.
● Keep activities to a minimum - If your asbestos is in an unused room in your house, try and steer your occupants clear of the high risk areas and keep activities to a minimum, as you don’t want to disturb the asbestos and release any dangerous fibres.
● Clean or wash everything you were wearing - If you came into contact with asbestos or you were near it, wash all your clothes and wash your hands thoroughly to reduce the risk of anyone inhaling the fibres.
● Hire a professional - Whether you are having your home tested before a renovation, or you are experiencing fire & water damage, calling a professional for asbestos related issues is the safest way to go about it.
● Try to handle it yourself - You will only put yourself and others at risk by not wearing the right PPE, or correctly handling the asbestos. Do not take any action until you have been told to by a professional.
● Continue to use the rooms with asbestos - It is dangerous if disturbed and continuing to work or do activities around asbestos only increases the risks that it already poses.
● Dust, sweep or hoover any asbestos fibres - This will ultimately increase the spread of asbestos fibres and put your occupants at risk of serious health conditions.
● Use cleaning products near asbestos, - This will also worsen the safety hazard.
Identifying asbestos can be quite difficult on your own, and you don’t want to put yourself at further risk from any fibres or damaged materials. We recommend that you call a professional if you suspect that there is asbestos in your property and they will be able to remove it safely.
Asbestos Roof Removal
It can easily slip your mind that asbestos would have been used in roofing too. Roof tiles can contain asbestos and be potentially unsafe to you and the occupants of a building. If you look at your roof tiles, some of them may have an identification mark which will help to confirm whether they have asbestos or not. If you cannot find a marking, your tiles will have to be tested for asbestos in a secure facility.
Calling in a professional is the safest way to identify any problems and to safely remove and dispose of your asbestos.
Hiring The Right Professional
Before you go ahead and call any asbestos removal companies, there are two types of asbestos professionals you can call.
● Asbestos Inspectors - They will inspect your home or commercial building, assess the conditions of the property and take any necessary samples for testing. If it is then discovered that you need a removal or a repair, an inspector can refer you to a quality asbestos contractor.
● Asbestos Contractor - This is the person who will remove and safely dispose of your asbestos. Typically, they are accredited and properly trained to carry out the job, and you can always ask for credentials if you are feeling unsure.
How Much Will Asbestos Removal Cost?
When beginning the asbestos removal process, a survey will need to be carried out by an asbestos inspector, to evaluate the damage and necessary fix. Usually, the survey alone can cost from £200 up to £1,000.
Next, the process of encapsulation starts, where a protective adhesive material is applied to the asbestos to prevent any further release of dust or harmful fibres. This can usually cost around £8 per square metre. However, full removal can become up to £50 per square metre. Here in the UK, depending on the severity and risk of your case, you may be eligible for removal from the council at a reduced rate.
Reboarding is also something to take note of with asbestos removal. Some areas of your property will need reboarding and this can cost you up to approximately £400 or potentially more, depending on the work you need to have done.
We understand that it can be extremely worrying to wonder if you are at risk of asbestos and how to take the right safety precautions. Our dedicated and experienced team is here to help you through every step of the removal process. Our priority is to keep you and your occupants safe, while carrying out a seamless, high quality job.
For any further enquiries about what we do or how we can help you, feel free to get in touch with us today and speak to one of our team members