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Asbestos Removal Tips


This article offers some tips on safely removing asbestos. Different techniques are needed for the safe removal of asbestos containing materials (ACM) but they always need to avoid releasing asbestos into the air. The most common method for preventing this from happening is through the use of moisture. Water can adhere to the asbestos fibres long enough to make them drop quickly to the floor with the other parts of their matrix. The procedure seems to be simple enough but performing it correctly to ensure the safety of your family is very complicated, particularly when there are large quantities of very friable asbestos containing materials to be eliminated. The cost of hiring expert contractor to do the job may run into thousands of dollars even for removing non-friable ACM from a very accessible area. Thus, many believe that removing asbestos is often a last resort, particularly because living in a home where the asbestos is intact is not necessarily dangerous to health.

It should be noted that the elimination of non-regulated ACM can be legally done by licensed contractors for asbestos abatement, regular building contractors and the homeowners themselves. However, they will need to comply with asbestos regulations for ensuring the safety of the family, the workers and the environment. The advantage of the contractors is that they are more experienced in removing asbestos safely and they are more familiar with the laws governing this task. When substantial amounts of ACM are being removed, the work should be completely isolated from the rest of the home by turning off the ventilation systems and sealing the doors and windows with duct tape and plastic sheeting.

An important tip is to try to dismantle the ACM in big pieces to reduce the possibility of producing dust. Meanwhile, friable spray-on ACM is fairly easy to wet completely because the cellulose matrix is very absorbent. However, it is important to totally saturate the material. This may require several spraying cycles. The wetting agents are usually applied using a water hose or garden sprayers that are hand pumped. It is not advisable to use power tools because these can release and scatter asbestos dust.

Homeowners should carefully weigh their decisions because removing asbestos should be the last remedy. If the materials containing asbestos are intact, the task can be postponed. You can also hire an expert to perform asbestos sampling of the air to help in your decision. An asbestos inspector who is accredited and licensed by the state can also assist you in assessing the suspected ACM in your house and then evaluating the risks that are involved with their elimination, treatment or repair. If damaged ACM is found in the home, then the removal of asbestos becomes urgent. This may also trigger the decision to push through the elimination of all ACM in the home, although less-friable ACM can be repaired, enclosed or encapsulated as a temporary measure. It should be noted that the homeowner may be held liable if asbestos escapes into the air and also when people are exposed to it while the ACM is being transported to the dump.

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