Asbestos based insulation materials are still common in many domestic and commercial properties. Safely removing asbestos is still a common problem facing homeowners who are doing home improvements work.
The only way to dispose of asbestos is safely and correctly. The right asbestos disposal solutions to remove asbestos safely and correctly depend largely on the amounts of asbestos you have to dispose of.
Whatever the amount of asbestos, private companies and home owners doing home improvement work should normally dispose of asbestos by using an asbestos removal specialist. I would always recommend using a specialist service because of the potentially lethal dangers involved in handling asbestos.
Removing Asbestos Safely – things to avoid
- Asbestos should never be disposed of in a general waste bin. Waste is handled and partially treated manually. Asbestos in your bin poses a danger to the health of the operatives who are dealing with your waste.
- The removed asbestos materials must be safely bagged and tagged. All bags of asbestos waste need to be clearly labelled so that all handlers of the bags know that this is hazardous asbestos waste.
- All materials used in the process of asbestos materials should be safely bagged and tagged including clothing, dustsheets, masks and other disposable items.
- Never sweep or vacuum the site after or during the removal. This will cause dust to spread. Dust should be cleaned up with a damp rag.
- When dismantling asbestos sheets, sheets should not be broken into smaller pieces. Where possible, sheets should be unbolted.
- Asbestos structures that are to be dismantled, such as roofing, should be dampened first to reduce the spread of dust.
- Any structure being dismantled should only be dismantled in calm weather conditions. Windy weather can spread dust over a wide area.
- Appropriate clothing including asbestos proof gloves and asbestos masks should always be worn when handling asbestos.
Asbestos Disposal Providers
Because of the dangers involved in handling asbestos, it is highly recommended to employ an expert company to perform the removal of asbestos during your home improvements work. In the UK, the company removing the asbestos must be a HSE registered contractor and must contact the Environment Agency to register the actual removal of the asbestos.
Typically, asbestos removal providers will accept the following common forms of asbestos waste that you may have from doing home improvement work:
- Asbestos ceilings
- Asbestos roofs
- Asbestos floor tiles
- Asbestos cement
In addition to removing the asbestos safely, good providers will also often supply additional equipment and services including:
- Supply of the appropriate asbestos Personal Protective Equipment
- Free asbestos advice and consultancy
- Specialist asbestos containers such as enclosed skips or double bag systems