Asbestos Removal: Five Things Homeowners Should Do to Protect Themselves from Exposure

Many homeowners may not know what steps they should take to protect themselves when asbestos-containing materials or residues are being removed from their homes. Such homeowners may end up making mistakes that can increase their risk of exposure to asbestos fibres during that removal exercise. This article discusses some things that homeowners should do in order to avoid that inadvertent exposure to asbestos.

Close All Openings 

The first thing that you should do when asbestos-containing materials (ACM) are being removed from your home is to close all doors and windows. This measure is particularly helpful in case the abatement activities are being conducted outside the home. Closed doors and windows reduce the likelihood that asbestos fibres will be carried by air into the home.

Avoid Power Tools

You should never use a power tool to remove any material that is suspected or known to contain asbestos. Power tools can easily damage that asbestos-containing material. Such damage can cause harmful fibres to become airborne and be breathed in by your family members. Use manual tools so that you remove those ACMs without damaging them.

Keep It Wet

Another protective step that you can take is to keep the ACM wet with water until it is safely removed from your property. Keeping the material wet will prevent any fibres from detaching and contaminating the air inside your home.

Contact Disposal Sites Early

Each jurisdiction usually has sites that are dedicated to the disposal of hazardous wastes, such as ACM. It is advisable for you to contact those sites early enough so that you know what they require before hazardous wastes are taken there. This proactive approach will save you from having to stay for long with the removed ACM as you take steps to meet disposal requirements that you hadn't anticipated. Shortening the time that the removed ACM stays on your property reduces the likelihood of exposure.

Use Recommended Containers

Exposure to fibres from asbestos can be minimised by wrapping that ACM in thick plastic sheets. Duct tape should be used to seal those sheets so that there is no chance that fibres will escape from inside the package. The packages should then be carefully lifted to the transport vehicle for disposal.

Asbestos is a dangerous material that poses long-term health risks to anyone who gets exposed to it. It is therefore better to contract professionals to remove the asbestos found in your home so that you don't put your family in harm's way.