Asbestos is a very dangerous material with the potential to cause many kinds of cancer and other health conditions. Unfortunately, it was also very popular in many building materials for many years. Which means that if you have an older home, there’s a good chance that you may have asbestos roofing.
If you’re considering removing asbestos roofing yourself, there are several things you need to consider. Here’s what you need to know.
Types of Asbestos
The first thing you need to know about asbestos removal is that there are different types of asbestos. They are broadly categorised into friable and non-friable types. Friable means that the asbestos will release fibres into the air if it is disturbed. You can’t see them, but you can inhale them, and they are very dangerous.
If you are not sure what kind of asbestos you have, it’s best to speak to an asbestos removal specialist to confirm this before you make any removal plans.
Amount of Roofing
The next thing you need to know is how much roofing you want to remove. Not all Australian states allow DIY asbestos removal, but even those that do usually limit it to 10 square metres. If you’re replacing the roof of an average sized house, you will very quickly exceed that.
PPE and Precautions
Even if you have non friable asbestos and you only have to remove a small amount of roofing, and assuming you live in a state where you can do this yourself, you still need to adhere to a long list of personal protective clothing and equipment regulations, and there are many precautions that have to be taken.
Everything from where you can dispose of asbestos roofing to how to deal with any water runoff that might be generated during the removal is highly regulated. Not complying with those regulations can lead to hefty fines – even if you simply did not know the requirements.
Choose a Professional
While DIY is a great way to make home improvements if you’re handy, even if you’re allowed to remove your asbestos roofing, it’s probably a good idea not to.
With so many rules to follow and processes that are laid out in great detail, you’d have to invest in a large amount of equipment, tools and protective clothing. You’d need to know how to use those tools perfectly, and how to mitigate all the many risks associated with working with asbestos.
If you do happen to get this wrong, you will not only be putting your health at serious risk, but you could also be fined a lot of money.
So, while most DIY projects are a great way to save a little money and get great results, asbestos removal is definitely something you want to leave to the professionals. Find a qualified asbestos removal contractor, and save your time, energy and money for other projects around your home.