Asbestos is a naturally-occurring mineral fibre that was popular in building and construction due to its strength, flexibility, wide usage, lightweight, affordability and waterproof nature. However once asbestos is worn or broken, fibres can be released into the air. These fibres can be inhaled causing chronic respiratory issues like lung cancer and in some cases these lead to a premature death. So when dealing with asbestos great care needs to be taken to ensure the safety of all those involved and the health of the general public.
Renovation is a often fun and can make you feel quite accomplished when done correctly, however asbestos can put a crinkle in your plans and dreams for your home or business, so how do we deal with asbestos in a safe and timely manner? Well here are your two golden rules for dealing with asbestos.
Number 1: Test Test Test!
The number one rule for dealing with asbestos is making sure you know what you are dealing with, so the first step is testing, Asbestos Testing Cairns, seeing the amount and location of all the asbestos in the structure can be very helpful when renovating, you might not even have to have the asbestos removed if you can work around it or have no plans to renovate that area of the structure. Of course testing will also let you know if their are any dangers with the state of the asbestos in the structure, ensuring not only your safety but the safety of everyone involved.
Getting testing done is surprisingly affordable and easy! They will come to you to collect a sample which they will take to an NATA accredited laboratory and return the results directly to you which can happen within 24 hours. However, multiple samples may take longer. Utilizing a professional will also help keep yourself and others safe as they will inform you of any risks of health risks or contamination. And who knows maybe you’ll get lucky and there won’t be any asbestos!
Number 2: Call in the Professionals
So you’ve got your test results back and you have some asbestos in your structure, so what now? Well you might be surprised but you actually have quite a few options depending on the location, amount and condition of the asbestos.
Some of these include:
- Encapsulation: The process of professionally covering the asbestos with minimal invasion of space, popular with roofs as it also doubles as paint.
- Removal: One of the most popular and most thought of options, removal is the process of professionally removing the asbestos from the structure and disposing of it in environmentally and law abiding ways.
- Enclosure: Enclosure is more of a short term option, it involves surrounding the asbestos in a airtight enclosure to ensure the fibres are not released outside of said enclosure. Can be bulky and is best done by professionals to ensure airtightness.
- Leaving it be: If you can go without renovating where the asbestos is located and the asbestos is in good condition you can sometimes just leave it be. It is recommended however to regularly check on the asbestos to ensure if it is damaged the correct protections can be put in place.
When you have chosen your preferred option, Asbestos Removal Cairns, the professionals can help you start the process to either remove or make safe the asbestos in your structure. It is not recommended that you attempt to remove asbestos yourself as the health risks are high. Professionals will enclose the area, wear disposable protective gear with professional masks to ensure they do not inhale any of the fibres as well as this they will often wet down the area to ensure the fibres can be easily disposed of. Depending on the amount or location it may even be illegal for you to undertake asbestos removal yourself as it can cause a public health risk.