When you discover asbestos, it can increase your renovation costs. Learn how to deal with asbestos swiftly and effectively.

Asbestos exposure has a devastating effect on human health. Inhaling asbestos fibres can cause mesothelioma, asbestosis or lung cancer. The more fibres you inhale, the higher the risk of contracting such diseases. In danger are people living or working in older buildings.

Renovating your “historic” home is a smart move. But if it has asbestos, this guide is a must-read.

Asbestos in the Home

Naturally occurring, asbestos was used in construction because of its strength, flexibility, affordability and insulation properties. Banned in 2003, asbestos has left a bad legacy, with thousands of Australian homes containing asbestos. Most houses built before 1990 have asbestos in the insulation, cladding, roofing, guttering, fencing and piping.

Dealing with Asbestos

What if you have great renovation ideas but no idea how to manage asbestos? Before the renovation, hire an asbestos removalist in Adelaide SA. The expert will test, remove and dispose of asbestos. Anyone who handles asbestos should be licensed and certified. This applies throughout Australia.

Cost of Removing Asbestos

Costs vary depending on the type and amount of asbestos being removed. Expect to pay more if hidden asbestos is discovered. Areas where asbestos “hides” include drywall, insulation (walls, attic and crawl spaces), flooring (tiles and linoleum) and popcorn ceilings.

If you’re employing a builder, besides renovating your place, they should manage asbestos removal. Have a list of questions to ask the builder. First, find out how removing asbestos can affect your household. This way, you can limit the risk of exposure.

DIY Asbestos Removal

Be equipped with the right tools and protective gear.

  • Respirator: Ordinary dust masks won’t protect you from inhaling asbestos fibres. Buy a half-face filter respirator.
  • Disposable Clothing: Wear disposable coverall to prevent footwear and clothing contamination.
  • Footwear: Avoid footwear with laces. Laces get dirty easily and are difficult to clean. Put on gumboots or steel cap work boots. Once you finish working, decontaminate, bag and discard the boots as asbestos waste.
  • Gloves: Use gloves and trash them. Clean your hands and fingernails after the job.

Basic removal tools include a…

  • Knife
  • Crowbar
  • Spray pump
  • Vacuum cleaner (fitted with a HEPA filter)

Don’t use a…

  • Broom
  • Brush
  • Compressed air sprayer
  • Domestic vacuum cleaner
  • High-pressure water pump

Use thick plastic bags to deposit and discard the asbestos waste. Decontaminate all tools after use.

Final Touches

Before you get down to business, check out this checklist compiled by the Department of Health. With the right tools in hand and tips in mind, do-it-yourself asbestos removal is no sweat. For safe and swift asbestos removal and disposal, consider hiring an asbestos removalist.

Since it’s not possible to tell if something contains asbestos by looking at it, use the Find and Identify Asbestos Tool. For more information about managing and removing asbestos, make use of the Working Safely with Asbestos Tool. In both projects (asbestos removal and home renovation), work with experts to get the best results.