Asbestos was widely used in construction, manufacturing, and other industries due to its heat resistance, durability, and insulating properties. However, it was later discovered that asbestos exposure could cause serious health problems, including lung cancer and asbestosis.
As a result, many countries have banned the use of asbestos in construction and require its removal from buildings and products. This article discusses the process of asbestos removal from buildings and what to expect during the process.
Read this well before hiring an asbestos removal contractor in Melbourne.
Table of Contents
The Process of Asbestos Removal
Designing a clear-cut process is vital in asbestos removal projects. It keeps the workers safe and efficient. Here is a general overview of how asbestos removal goes.
Hiring a Licensed Contractor
The first step in asbestos removal is hiring a licensed contractor specialising in asbestos removal. The contractor should have the necessary permits and licences to perform the work in your area and the appropriate insurance to cover any accidents or damages that may occur during the removal process.
It is important to research and choose a reputable asbestos removal contractor in Melbourne with a track record of successful projects.
Assessment of the Asbestos Containing Materials
Before the removal process can begin, your contractor will identify and assess asbestos-containing materials in the building. They do it either through a visual inspection or by taking samples of suspected materials and sending them to a laboratory for testing.
The assessment will determine the type and amount of asbestos present and the level of risk it poses to workers and occupants of the building.
Preparation for Asbestos Removal
After the asbestos assessment, the building must be prepared for the removal process. It involves sealing off the area where the asbestos is present to prevent the spread of asbestos fibres to other parts of the building.
To create a containment area, the contractor may use plastic sheeting, duct tape, and other materials. They may also use negative air pressure machines to ensure that they capture and filter any airborne asbestos fibres out of the air.
The actual removal process will depend on the type and amount of asbestos present, as well as the location of the materials. The contractor may use a combination of methods to remove the asbestos:
- Wetting the materials to prevent the release of fibres
- Cutting and scraping the materials
- Using specialised equipment to remove the materials
Sometimes, the contractor may encapsulate or enclose the asbestos-containing materials rather than remove them.
Disposal of Asbestos Waste
After removing the asbestos, it is important to dispose of the waste responsibly. Asbestos waste is hazardous; thus, you must have it disposed of by local, state, and federal regulations.
Your asbestos removal contractor in Melbourne will typically package the waste in specially marked containers and transport it to a licensed disposal facility.
Final Clearance Inspection
The major part of the work is over, but there is still one more essential step. After removing asbestos, a final clearance inspection is necessary to ensure that all asbestos fibres have been removed and the area is safe for reoccupation.
It involves a visual inspection and air sampling to confirm that the levels of airborne asbestos fibres are below the regulatory limit.
What to Expect During Asbestos Removal
Asbestos removal can be complex and time-consuming, and it is important to understand what to expect during the process.
Disruption to Daily Activities
Asbestos removal can disrupt daily activities, as the contractor will restrict access to the area by sealing it off. It can cause inconvenience and may require building occupants to relocate temporarily during the removal.
Noise and Dust
The removal process may generate noise and dust, which can be uncomfortable for occupants of the building. The contractor will take measures to minimise noise and dust, but it is important to be aware that some discomfort may occur.
Asbestos removal is a hazardous process, and it is important to take the necessary safety precautions to protect the health and safety of workers and occupants of the building. Here are some safety precautions your contractor should be taking during asbestos removal:
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Workers removing asbestos wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect themselves from exposure to asbestos fibres. It includes respirators, disposable coveralls, gloves, and boots.
- Air Monitoring
Air monitoring ensures that levels of airborne asbestos fibres are below the regulatory limit. It may involve using air sampling equipment to test the air in and around the work area.
- Controlled Access
Restricting access to the work area is a must to prevent unauthorised entry and to ensure that workers and occupants of the building are safe from asbestos fibres.
Communication is key during asbestos removal to ensure everyone involved knows the risks and safety procedures. It includes holding safety meetings and providing regular updates on the progress of the removal process.
Asbestos removal is a complex and risky process that requires specialised knowledge and training. It is important to hire a licensed asbestos removal contractor in Melbourne who has the necessary permits, licences, and insurance to perform the work safely and efficiently.
We hope this guide gave you a detailed picture of asbestos removal. With all this information, you can ensure the whole process goes safely and effectively, reducing the risk of exposure to asbestos fibres.
On that note, our recommendation for a reliable demolition company is Merhi Group.
They have the skills and experience to handle projects from asbestos removal to big-scale demolitions. Get in touch with them if you ever need help from a reliable demolition company in Melbourne.