Removing Asbestos

Written by Lee Wyatt (last updated September 10, 2021)

Asbestos, as most people know, is an extremely effective material that was proven to be fairly dangerous and linked to several dangerous (and potentially deadly) illnesses. Due to this, removing asbestos has become a necessary part of any safe home renovation. Considering how dangerous this material is, you really should have it removed by the professionals. This really can't be overstressed, and bears repeating, if you have the funds you should have the job completed by certified professionals.

  1. Identify the material. The very first step in removing asbestos is to actually identify the material. What this means is to determine whether the material is siding, insulation, pipe wrappings, and so on. While each type of material typically requires specific unique methods, there are some general methods that will cover most situations.
  2. Get your permits. Even if you are going to be doing your own asbestos removal, you still need to get the proper permits to handle the material. These can typically be obtained by your state or local regulators, and is also the perfect time to ensure that you know the proper method for disposal. Do not be surprised if you have to pay a pretty penny to have your application go through. In addition, these local agencies often have handbooks or pamphlets that detail the methods and requirements of disposal so make sure that you get one of these to ensure you do the job right.
  3. 3. Get the proper equipment. Considering how toxic asbestos is, you really need to make sure that you have the proper safety equipment on hand to deal with the situation. At the very least you will need to have a full body chemical suit, a hazardous material certified breather mask, rubber gloves, and boot or shoe coverings. On top of that, you also want to make sure that you have the properly certified disposal materials on hand, along with any other equipment that may be required by local regulations.
  4. Don't work alone. With a project like this you really should have some help. Keep in mind that most states require that anyone who is paid for a job like this needs to be certified professionals, so you will need to make sure that your friends are not paid for the work, or you could be breaking the law.
  5. Prepare the area. Before you can actually begin removal, you need to actually prepare the area that the work will be done in. A good rule of thumb is to put down a drop cloth around the area to help catch any and all material that is accidentally dropped. Furthermore, you will want to remove any and all furniture, knick-knacks, and other items from the room or home so that it doesn't become contaminated. Keep in mind that when you are removing asbestos from your home, you cannot live in the home so you will also need to find another location for you and your family to stay.
  6. Begin removal. When you have all the materials and tools ready to go, it is time to begin removing the materials. Typically this can be done by carefully removing and bagging up anything that you remove. Do not be surprised if you end up also having to do a bit of scraping with a putty knife, or something similar to ensure you remove the asbestos.
  7. Clean up. When you have removed as much of the material by hand that you can, you should also use some mechanical help to ensure that you do as thorough of a job as possible. For example, if you are removing asbestos insulation, you may want to consider using a shop vacuum to get any and all remains.

Once you have finished removing all of the asbestos from your home, you still have one task left to complete. That task is to properly dispose of the material. Since asbestos is considered a toxic material, unless you really want to get in trouble with the law and receive a large fine, you really don't want to through this material out with the rest of the garbage. Check your local regulations as to where and how you should dispose of the material.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...


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