Asbestos was once a commonly used material, particularly in fields such as property construction. This is why many older homes that were constructed before the asbestos ban several decades ago contain a lot of asbestos materials, including asbestos cement.
We now know that asbestos is a highly toxic substance and has led to serious health problems and a spike in asbestos claims. However, by the time these risks came to light, this substance had been in use for many decades.
This means that many homes may contain asbestos, with asbestos cement commonly used in areas such as shed and garage roofs, wall panels in garages and sheds, bath panels, and drain pipes, amongst other places. It is always best to leave asbestos alone if it is not disturbed. If you are looking to remove asbestos cement, there are some important rules that you should follow.
Important steps in the removal of asbestos cement
If you have any doubts about the removal of asbestos cement, it is always best to call professionals who have experience and expertise in this area. However, you can remove asbestos cement yourself providing you follow some important safety rules and precautions. This includes:
* Preparation of the area: You should make sure that the area you will be working on is properly prepared. This means getting it cleared of any unnecessary items and covering the floor and any surfaces with polythene sheets.
* Personal protection: When you’re dealing with asbestos, personal protection is vital. This means wearing protective clothing such as a disposable overall, a disposable paper mask for the face and disposable gloves. Make sure that your overalls also have a hood so that you can protect your hair and scalp.
* Dampening the area: The first thing to do is use a hosepipe, or even a plant sprayer, to dampen the area you will be working on. Remember, you only need to dampen it – avoid soaking it, as this can make removal more difficult.
* Removal of asbestos: Once the area is damp, you can start removing the asbestos, but do so without breaking it up. As you remove it, place it in polythene sheets and tape up to seal it in.
* Clear the area: Any debris that has been left behind after you have removed the asbestos cement can be cleared by hand whilst still wearing your protective disposable gloves. You can then wipe the area down with a damp cloth.
* Disposal of clothing: Once you are done, make sure you treat your disposable clothing as asbestos waste and wrap and seal them, as you have done with the asbestos cement itself.
* Following completion: Once the job has been completed, you need to make sure you wash both your face and your hands thoroughly.
You need to make sure that the asbestos waste from your removal is properly disposed of. You can find out the procedures in your area by contacting your local authority.