Many of the structures that were put up before the nineties contained asbestos. At that time, asbestos was a popular construction material. This is because it is a strong material that is fire resistant. It was used as insulation in wood heaters, on electric motor boards and on vinyl floor tiles. Asbestos was also popular in corrugated or flat roof and wall sheeting.
Once it was discovered that damaged asbestos is harmful to health, it was no longer used and it became important to get rid of it. If your house was built before the nineties, you will need a professional to carry out asbestos removal from the roof.
Is There Safe Asbestos?
There are mainly two forms of asbestos, the non friable asbestos and the friable asbestos. Non friable asbestos has its asbestos fibers bonded with another material such as cement or vinyl. It contains a percentage of asbestos and cannot easily release asbestos fibers into the air unless it is damaged. Non friable asbestos that is in good condition does not pose a health hazard.
Friable asbestos can easily get crushed into dust from a little pressure from the hand. It is loosely bound and easily releases asbestos fibers into the air. Asbestos fibers that are breathed in are deposited into the lungs and with time develop into respiratory diseases such as lung cancer.
Care When Carrying Out Asbestos Removal
When you hire a contractor to carry out asbestos removal from the roof, there are safety measures that need to be observed. This will reduce the chances of asbestos fibers getting released into the air. Hand tools that do not require the use of power should be used in order to reduce the amount of dust that is generated. In case powered tools need to be used, they should be the ones that have been approved by the relevant authorities.
The asbestos roof should also be wetted before any work commences in order reduce the release of dust particles. In case wetting the roof poses a risk to workers, it should not be wetted. The asbestos sheets should then be removed with as little breakage as possible and should gently be lowered onto the ground. The asbestos sheets should be kept damp and wrapped in plastic. They should then be sealed and loaded onto a covered truck for transportation to a site that has been approved for asbestos disposal.
Cleaning The Work Area
The area around which the asbestos roof removal takes place should be cleaned up once the asbestos roof sheets have been removed. If the area needs to be swept, it should first be wetted down in order to contain the dust. In case a vacuum cleaner has to be used, it should be one that has been approved for asbestos work.
Once the area has been cleaned by the workers, even the clothing used should be sealed and disposed of with the asbestos waste. In case the clothing is required for further asbestos removal work, it can be cleaned at a laundry that has facilities to clean asbestos contaminated clothing. If no such laundry is available, then the clothing should be properly sealed in a container. It should only be removed during another asbestos removal exercise.