How to Do an Asbestos Removal in Your Bathroom

March 24, 2017 >> by asbestos watch

Asbestos was used in buildings within the 1940s to the 1980s in Australia. The material is recognized for its heat isolation, durability, and fire resistance. However, it is well-known in the society that the material causes more harm than good and is no longer recommended for use in buildings. Actually, the Australian Workers Union is campaigning for the removal of all materials containing asbestos from Australia by the year 2030.

Materials containing asbestos in the bathroom are most likely to be found on fittings, floors, and walls. Asbestos acts as a compound that is added to an adhesive to bind vinyl tiles and make vinyl wallpaper. Part of the material was also utilized to make bathtubs.  Asbestos was generally used in the bathroom because of its water resistant property.

Safe Work Australia recommends that an inspection be carried out initially to figure out the kind of asbestos present, prior to proceeding with removal. Following inspection, the removal procedure can begin. This task must be carried out by a licensed contractor.

Make sure that you hire a contractor who follows all of the precautionary measures that apply in the removal of asbestos. For example, wearing protective gear to decrease the probabilities of coming into direct contact with asbestos and limiting access to the area being worked on should be priorities.

bathroom asbestos removal

Things to check before performing the work

When you start to consider in renovating your bathroom, the first thing to do is to identify the location of the asbestos. It might be possible for you to find so many asbestos in just a small area of your bathroom. Common area in the bathroom that could consist of asbestos is water tanks, vinyl floor tiles, bath fitting, ceilings, and wallpaper.

However, you should consider several things about the removal before you start as you do not have any license in doing it.

  1. Check on the laws: Most areas in Australia only permits a small asbestos removal area. A full measurement of your bathroom can be the first priority against the rule because the rules only allow a non-licensed removalist to do a 10 square meter of non-friable asbestos products. Nevertheless, a licensed removalist service should be asked for a favor so you will get a better safety guide during the process of removal.
  2. Asbestos identification: Based on the rule set up by safe work Australia, you should identify the type of the asbestos product you are going to work with. Basically, you can define whether the asbestos product is a friable or non-friable one just by seeing it. But a more detail identification must involve a lab test. An asbestos assessor can help you to identify asbestos in your bathroom easily, plus the assessor can give you access to a registered lab.
  3. Safety procedures: Since asbestos is a hazardous material, you must not ignore the safety so you can avoid being exposed to the fibers. Some safety gears such as respiratory mask, safety clothes and some other things should be wore during the removal process. A complete list of safety gears and procedures can be seen in another article in this website.
  4. Recheck the work: After the removal work, there is a high possibility that your bathroom still consists of asbestos, especially when you have worked with a friable asbestos. You can do an air monitoring to check if the bathroom is free from asbestos fibers.
  5. Safe your family: When you are working with asbestos, you may release the fibers into the air. When that happens, then your family gets the risk of being exposed to asbestos.  Moving your family out of the house during the removal process can be the best thing to do to keep your family safe.
  6. License check: A license is a proof of a contractor capability in handling asbestos safely, so it will be better if you ask for the contractor license.  Don’t forget that there are two kinds of license that can work with asbestos. The ‘A’ license is for friable asbestos and the ‘B’ license is for non-friable one. Just make sure you don’t get fooled by asbestos cowboys who can risk your life.
  7. Do a safe disposal: Not only the removal but also the asbestos disposal needs safety procedures. You can still release the fibers even after the removal task.  The fibers can stay in your clothes and you will spread them around the house. So, Do It Right!!

Safe asbestos removal techniques for your bathroom

Listed here are a number of ways used to eliminate asbestos out of the bathroom:

  1. Water Injection and Saturation: In this technique, very thick asbestos is fully soaked in water. The bathroom floor is more likely to have such thick asbestos. Water is injected straight into the asbestos by use of a special injecting head, which has water inlets and outlets. The injectors are later treated of as asbestos waste, due to their straight interaction with the dangerous substance.
  2. Dry Removal Technique: This technique is applied when operating inside a bathroom with live wires and good conductors of electrical energy. It is meant to prevent accidents like electric shocks. The technique can also be applied when operating in locations, which are enclosed totally or partially.
  3. Wet Removal Technique: This technique is extremely favored by most asbestos removal contractors because it reduces the chances of fibers getting airborne. Minimal or no dust is assured simply because the water in use is under low stress. Right here, the fibers are suppressed by pouring water over them under minimal stress. A detergent could be added to the water to increase absorption prices. The bathroom surface needs to stay wet throughout the process. Such a technique can be utilized to remove bathroom asbestos tiles.

Be keen to identify asbestos in your bathroom because it might be discovered around the stunning tiles, wallpaper and ceiling.  You definitely don’t wish to uncover such a harmful substance when it’s already too late.

Usually bear in mind that handling of asbestos must be done with a number of precautions in order to avoid inhaling its harmful fibers. Guidelines and regulations for asbestos removal also apply in a bathroom asbestos removal, no matter how big or little the room is.

Sources:

  1. www.deir.qld.gov.au – pdf file
  2. www.asbestos.vic.gov.au

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