Guide to Safely Remove Asbestos
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  • July 08, 2019
how to remove asbestos

So, you’ve got an asbestos problem at your home. 

You may think you can get rid of it yourself without much of a hassle. However, while it’s true that you can safely remove it yourself, it’s not recommended and requires a lot of work to do so safely and legally. 

Fair warning: if you’re considering removing asbestos from your home yourself, you should definitely think twice before doing so. Failure to properly remove asbestos could lead to health risks that can cause cancer, among other diseases, in anyone exposed to the minerals. 

With that being said, if you’re going to try and tackle this process yourself, it’s best to do so properly, and as safely as possible, to protect your own health, as well as that of your loved ones.

We’ll give you a five-step breakdown on how to remove asbestos, as well as a few things you should be on the lookout for during the process.

Also, we’ll help keep you, and your area, clean and safe.

Let’s get started.

1. Be Safe

Without a doubt, the most important thing to consider when dealing with asbestos is safety. Because dealing with asbestos is so dangerous, it’s actually illegal for a non-professional to remove more than a certain amount in some areas. Be sure to check with your local authorities before proceeding with the removal process to ensure you’re not breaking any laws. 

As we stated earlier, asbestos consists of minerals that can make humans very sick, so it’s crucial that you protect yourself and others around during this process.

You’ll need to cover yourself from head-to-toe in personal protection equipment (PPE). Everything from your feet to your face and eyes should be covered when dealing with asbestos. You’re not going to want to eat or drink while working in the area, either.

Do not remove your suit, or any other protective equipment item, while exposed to asbestos. That includes during the cleanup process, which we’ll get to in a bit. 

2. Prepare the Area

Once you’ve got your equipment on, it’s time to prepare the area. 

Remove any items from the area, including rugs, to prevent contamination. Once the area is clear, erect 6mil plastic everywhere that will be exposed to asbestos.

That includes any outside area that you plan to utilize during the removal process.  

You must rent a negative pressure machine to ensure not to spread the asbestos fibers, and must do 6 air exchanges per hour.

Tape plastic sheets over all doors, windows, air conditioning vents, and other areas that could leak the contaminants to other rooms during the removal process. Also, have any guests or other residents leave the area completely until the process is finished.

Don’t forget about pets during this procedure, either. It’s wise to remove them from the home completely until the process is completed. 

3.  Remove the Asbestos Properly 

Now, let’s get to the fun part: removing the asbestos

First, it’s important to note that power washing asbestos is dangerous and illegal, so avoid that completely. When removing asbestos cement sheets, lightly (and gently) wet them to keep the dust down. 

Do not use power tools of any kind when removing asbestos. Avoid drilling or cutting into any asbestos materials, as it can stir up the dust and spread it, which is obviously dangerous.

Once you’ve removed the asbestos sheets, lay them in a plastic sheet and wrap them completely. Tape the plastic closed, and the label it, so anyone who comes in contact with it knows what it is.

4. Clean Up

Once you’ve properly removed asbestos from your home, you’re not done yet. You still have to properly clean your area and safely transport your waste to a local waste facility that accepts asbestos materials.

When cleaning up, be sure to safely remove all plastic that was used during the process. Like the asbestos sheets themselves, fully wrap all used plastic (and other materials like wipes) in plastic, then tape and label it.

Do not use a normal household vacuum cleaner of any kind to remove any leftover particles. You’ll need to rent a HEPA vacuum cleaner to use during the cleanup process that meets code. 

Sweeping also stirs up the dust, so it’s best to avoid that as well. Wet all areas with soap water that appear to have gotten contaminated to limit the amount of dust stirred up during the cleaning process.

5. Legally Dispose of the Asbestos

You’ll need to find a facility in your area that can receive the waste legally, as you can’t just dispose of it anywhere. Be sure you, and anyone traveling with you, are clean and wearing new suits. Additionally, the asbestos must be transported in a covered, leak-proof vehicle.

Throwing the sheets in the back of a pickup truck, even while wrapped and tape is a bad idea and could lead to exposure. 

It’s crucial that you dispose of the sheets immediately following removal. Do not leave it to be done the next day, or the next week, as you’ll be risking damage to the bags and the asbestos spreading.

How to Remove Asbestos

Well, there you have it! Now you know how to remove asbestos from your home!

Not as easy as you thought, huh?

Remember, safety is without a doubt the most important thing to keep in mind during this process. Take every single precaution to ensure the safety of you and others around you. 

Also, don’t forget to check with the laws and regulations in your area. in Ontario its regulation 278-05 that must be strictly followed. You could be looking at a big fine, otherwise, so it’s really best to avoid the situation completely.

We highly recommend you contact a professional to remove any asbestos from your home. One wrong step could be detrimental to you, and your loved ones, which is why it’s wise to let the professionals handle it for you.

If you’re looking for a licensed professional to take care of your asbestos problem, contact us today, we’ll be glad to assist you.

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