Asbestos is contained in many of the building materials used in the construction of homes. Examples of materials around the house that might contain asbestos include drywall, vinyl floor tiles and external cladding among several others.
If you're moving into a newly-bought house that was built a long time ago, you're bound to have certain questions about the risk of exposure to asbestos. Here are answers to three common questions that homeowners often have about asbestos removal.
What Indicates That There Is Asbestos?
This is perhaps the most common question that new homeowners often have about asbestos removal.
While it would be ideal to be able to establish the presence of asbestos with a simple inspection, this is often not possible for the untrained eye because asbestos occurs in building materials as very small fibres.
There are often no signs of the presence of asbestos in a house and that's why homeowners are advised to have an asbestos survey carried out a qualified professional.
Is It Legal to Remove Asbestos on Your Own?
Yes. DIY removal of asbestos is legal. However, it is seldom recommended. An asbestos survey will identify all areas around the house where asbestos is present. Homeowners are advised not to assume that they can undertake asbestos removal on their own simply because they know where the asbestos-contaminated materials are.
There might not be legal restrictions concerning the DIY removal of asbestos, but there are legal requirements for the safe handling and disposal of asbestos waste. For example, asbestos-contaminated materials are not allowed in skip bins. The disposal of such waste is also not done at your regular dumpsite.
Rather than being concerned about the legality of DIY asbestos removal, you should be more concerned about the safety of such an undertaking.
Who Is Qualified to Remove Asbestos?
Asbestos abatement companies are your best bet for the safe removal of asbestos-contaminated materials in your home. The same company that does the asbestos survey is bound to have trained and skilled contractors on its list of employees.
You can also choose to hire an environmental consultant who has special training in asbestos handling and management.
In conclusion, the fact that you cannot see asbestos fibres using your naked eye does not mean that exposure to asbestos is any less harmful. The earlier you undertake to eliminate asbestos-contaminated materials from your residence, the better for you and your family.