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Asbestos: the hidden danger in your renovation plans

A third-wave of asbestos-related cancer is emerging in Australia, as the rate of mesothelioma caused by fibre exposure during renovations increases dramatically, according to a new study.  When a building contains asbestos is renovated or demolished, asbestos dust is released into the air and its fibre becomes airborne.

If you live or work in this kind of building and you are planning on renovating your property, you risk grave repercussion from asbestos-containing material (ACM). This is why it is important to a contact professional asbestos removal expert to rid your property off any fibrous material.

Worry no more; get in touch with Asbestos Watch today!

Asbestos Watch, as an endorsement company for asbestos contractors, will connect you with A-class licensed contractors who conduct a safe asbestos removal process. Our endorsed contractors strive to deliver excellent services at competitive prices throughout Australia. Whether it is your workplace, business premises or home, they have the necessary abilities, experience, and equipment to remove the material safely and completely.

removing asbestos

Table of asbestos removal contents

Section 1: Surprising things you need to know about asbestos

Section 2: Hiring the right asbestos removal contractor

Section 3: How to remove fibrous materials completely

Section 4: Professional asbestos removal services in Australia

Section 1: Surprising things you need to know about asbestos

Many people understand the harmful effects of ACM, but it hasn’t always been this way. There was a time when this material was widely used. This might sound surprising, but the reality is that the adverse effect of fibrous materials was only discovered recently. When you go further to analyze many aspects concerning ACM, you’re sure to uncover many other surprising things.

Fact 1: You’ll find fibrous materials in so many unexpected places

The fact that ACM was widely used in the past means that it is likely to be found in so many unlikely locations. You might find it in certain areas that you didn’t expect. Being unaware of its presence can put you at risk of releasing fibres into the air and inhaling them.

It’s true that ACM use in domestic and commercial building materials had ceased as far back as the 1980s. However, a complete ban was only enforced in 2003. This means that numerous products may have still been in circulation, which may be found in a wide variety of places.

Some common fibre materials found in residential and commercial properties include;

  • Floor tiles and the mastic adhesive used to make the adhere
  • Pipe insulation
  • Fencing products
  • Siding shingles and roofing
  • Drywall compounds and textured painting
  • Wall and attic insulation including vermiculite

Considering this risk, it’s a wise thing to always take caution if you intend to renovate your living or commercial space. Even if it’s just a minor renovation that you feel confident to handle on your own, you just might need the services of a licensed removalist to assess any risk of ACM.

Fact 2: Stopping ACM use doesn’t stop the impact

In certain health conditions, stopping exposure to a hazardous substance and adopting a healthy lifestyle can help reverse the harmful adverse effects. However, this doesn’t apply with ACMs. When you’re exposed to fibers, the harmful effects may take 10 to 30 years before they appear, even if you ceased exposure to the fibers.

‘In 2014, 641 Australians died from mesothelioma’ – The Australian Mesothelioma Registry

Therefore, you must always be cautious to avoid any exposure to the toxic fibers. Also take note that such fibers are usually too small for you to see with your naked eyes. This means that an inspection by an expert would be the most effective method to detect any fibers in the air.

Fact 3: DIY renovators at high risk of cancers

A study led by Park et al. in 2013 showed that:

  • 60,5% of DIY renovators reported being exposed to fibrous materials during renovations
  • 40% reported their children and 53% reported their partner were also exposed to fibrous materials during DIY renovations
  • 58% of DIY renovators cut fibro sheeting – The most common activity resulting in fibre exposure
  • 37% of DIY renovators use a power tool to cut ACMs
  • Non-DIY renovators were unlikely to be exposed

Even if the ACM present doesn’t pose a danger in its current state, a renovation or demolition has the potential to disturb the material and release the toxic fibers into the air, which is why the removal procedure must be done by a professional.

DIY renovators at high risk of cancers

Further reading:

Section 2: Hiring the right asbestos removal contractor

Regulations surrounding the removal of fibrous materials require a fairly serious approach to the elimination of the substance, which is very commonly found in older homes and buildings throughout Australia. Health and legal issues surrounding the presence and proper removal/disposal of the material abound, and it is of particular concern when a building containing fibrous material is scheduled for renovation or demolition, especially in a populated area.

Asbestos removal must be conducted by professionals who are specifically trained and certified in the safe removal, containment, and disposal of the material. This is because the nature of friable fibre is such that is can easily be crushed, making it airborne and dangerous for the people around.

‘The law requires that a class-A licensed remover to be hired for the removal of friable fibres’ – Safework AU

This requirement is specified by law, but it’s also a matter of personal health and safety. So it’s best for all involved to follow the recommended removal methods and stick with professional inspections and removal services. 

Asbestos Watch can connect you with A-class licensed contractors who provide asbestos removal services throughout Australia. When it comes to testing and removing fibrous materials, it is best to contact one or more qualified contractors through us.

Why?

  • We offer an easy and straightforward process: Getting a competent contractor through us involves an easy and straightforward process that involves minimal hassle on your part. You can save your energy and valuable time by getting experts through us. Apart from having a website that is easy to navigate, it also has clear information on extensive services provided by our A-class licensed members. All you have to do is select your location and choose the contractors of your choice. You can ring them directly or fill in our ‘request-a-quote-form’. Our members will respond to your enquiries – as prompt as possible!
  • Our approved members are highly skilled and experienced: Our clients are at the heart of everything we do, this is why we only connect you with qualified and competent contractors who offer excellent services at competitive costs. All of our endorsed members are fully class-A licensed and highly skilled. They possess extensive knowledge and experience that enable them to deliver safe and comprehensive asbestos removal jobs.
  • Delivering prompt & quality services – every time: Our endorsed contractors are committed to achieving the highest standards of services for all clients. They are committed to the quality principle of ‘do it right the first time – every time’ in everything that they do. They want every client to feel that they have delivered outstanding service.
  • We see each client as unique and deserves specific solutions: Our approved contractors offer a focused range of services with a multitude of possibilities within each service. They do not believe in ‘one size fits all’, instead they look through your eyes at the challenges you face and put together valuable solutions to help you. They strive to deliver asbestos removal services that are tailored to suit your circumstances.

Section 3: How to remove fibrous materials completely

Asbestos removal is a complex and highly specialized process given the risks posed by harmful microfibers. The risks associated with fibre removal emanate from breaking, cutting, or drilling it, which releases the dangerous microfibers that cause various illnesses and conditions.

If you think that you have found fibrous materials in your building, don’t touch it! Instead, contact one or more A-class licensed contractors through Asbestos Watch. Our endorsed members will perform a 3-step process to rid off fibrous materials safely and completely from your property.

Step 1: A thorough inspection of fibrous materials

Professional inspections are necessary to determine the presence of the toxic material. Our endorsed members are able to assess and determine whether the suspected materials contain fibre or not and further evaluate their condition by a thorough sampling and testing. They will locate and record all location of fibrous materials in your property. Furthermore, our endorsed contractors will also make the information available for tradesperson that will conduct construction works there. They will identify material that was damaged and further completely eliminate it.

Step 2: A complete and safe asbestos removal

Our approved contractors employ two main techniques for a complete removal. The first removal method uses high-efficiency particulate resistance (HEPA) filters. This method is only suitable in enclosed spaces such as rooms and compartments since it involves creating a negative air pressure using filters, screens, and an air pump. The area undergoing asbestos removal will be sealed completely using HEPA filters and the air within it is sucked out using the special air pump.

This process creates a negative air pressure zone within the compartment. This zone does not allow the harmful microfibers to fly into the air freely as they would in normal air pressure. Thereafter, our endorsed professionals will all dressed in full-body protective gears – including certified respirators and underwear, cut the ACM into smaller pieces and place it in special containers. Afterwards, a special vacuum cleaner that is classified for asbestos removal is used to clean up the area. Then, our endorsed removalists will clean up in a special portable shower and perform decontamination.

The second removal method utilizes encapsulations. Our endorsed members will spray a special resin or polymer material on the ACM surfaces to bind all the fibers. This method is best used in outdoor scenarios where HEPA-reliant methods cannot work.

Afterwards, Our approved contractors will cut the material into smaller pieces using a special, wet, diamond-tipped saw that collects all the water containing any fibers that might escape in the process. Then, the materials are bound in special material and transported to a landfill for proper disposal with the teams cleaning after in a manner similar to those in the first method.

Step 3: Disposal of harmful waste to a legal facility

Our-A class licensed contractors will dispose of the toxic material at a legal facility approved by your local city council – promptly and safely. They will contact your local city council first to locate the nearest lawful disposal site. The toxic waste will be wrapped in a sealed and thick container, labeled as ‘Toxic Waste’. The container will be sealed with tape or paint before it is transported to the legal landfill site. Then, our approved members will carry the waste in a leak-proof vehicle and disposed of the waste safely at the landfill facility.

Section 4: Professional asbestos removal services in Australia

Whether you are a landlord, property manager, or a builder that needs help with asbestos removal projects, we can help!

Asbestos Watch will connect you to qualified contractors that are skilled and have many years of experiences in removing fibrous materials throughout Australia. Our endorsed contractors provide extensive services at competitive prices to completely remove ACMs from your property. They can handle all your fibre removal needs: whether you want the carcinogenic substance removed in your commercial space, home, or even or government property.

We are putting safety and quality at the center of all that we do

This is why we thoroughly screened our approved members to ascertain their ability in delivering excellent services for you. Over the years, our approved members have been established as the ‘go-to’ services providers for asbestos removal projects. They ensure that all works will be carried out in the most professional and timely manner as possible.

Trust only endorsed contractors in Asbestos Watch: they will take care all of your asbestos-related problems and deliver satisfactory results for you – prompt and right the first time.

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