Although DIY asbestos removal from your home is not technically illegal in most regions of Australia but regulated, it is imperative to consider safety protocols and all the regulations surrounding asbestos management.
Noticing asbestos in premises can be a dreadful event for most homeowners and commercial building owners. Unlike simply discarding excess cladding material, asbestos removal is not as easy as it seems.
Long-term exposure to asbestos results in lung diseases such as asbestosis and mesothelioma – caused due to breathing asbestos fibres.
Lack of awareness and neglecting safety protocols may affect your health significantly. Therefore, removing asbestos sheeting requires careful consideration and expert support. Hiring an expert asbestos abatement company for asbestos removal in Sydney can ensure you receive overall safety and professional assistance.
Yet many homeowners, wanting to cut costs on their asbestos roof repairs and removal, wonder if DIY asbestos removal can be possible. Although DIY asbestos removal is not technically illegal in most regions of Australia but is governed by strict regulations, it is imperative to consider necessary safety protocols and all the regulations surrounding asbestos management.
If you’re wondering how to safely remove asbestos, continue reading. Our “How to remove asbestos” guide covers the most critical information on safe asbestos removal and disposal. But first, let’s understand the basics:
What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a highly heat-resistant fibrous silicate mineral used in the mid-80s building structure as an imperative construction material. Most Australian homes constructed during the mid-80s and early 90s have Asbestos Containing Materials (ACMs) in their building structure.
Since ACMs were highly resistant to heat, water, and erosion, construction professionals preferred using this building material over any other alternatives. In fact, most houses constructed or renovated before 1990 have asbestos in their building structure.
However, the Australian government banned ACMs in building structures on 31st December 2003. Asbestos is usually referred to by its unique colours that determine each type:
- Blue asbestos – Crocidolite
- Brown asbestos – Amosite
- Grey asbestos – Anthophyllite
- White asbestos – Chrysotile
Friable asbestos was commonly used in commercial building constructions. Unlike non-friable asbestos, such asbestos-containing material (ACM) can be easily crumbled by pressure and is hazardous and should be handled with care by a licenced expert.
Loose-fill asbestos in residential homes should be directly reported to the NSW Heads of Asbestos Coordination Authorities (HACA).
Non-friable asbestos cannot be crushed, crumbled, pulverised or turned into powder manually. Unlike friable asbestos, non-friable asbestos can be removed safely. However, it is imperative to handle non-friable asbestos properly and carefully because of its potential hazardous properties.
Here are a few common examples of non-friable asbestos:
- AC sheeting
- Asbestos cement
- Fibro sheeting (flat and corrugated)
- Floor tiles
- Electricity and gas metre boxes
- Roof shingles
- Water and drainage
- Vinyl flooring
Is It Safe to Remove Asbestos on Your Own?
Removing non-friable asbestos by following necessary regulations/ guidelines and considering safety equipment can be possible. However, it depends on the state regulation and guidelines. For instance, The ACT law requires homeowners to hire a licensed asbestos removal company for asbestos removal and disposal.
The law in other states and territories requires homeowners to remove non-friable asbestos from their residential properties in a minimal amount. However, such ACMs should be entirely sealed and classed as non-friable asbestos.
We recommend our customers not to handle asbestos removal in NSW without any prior experience and qualification for removal or disposal. Any casualties can result in health and life hazardous situations.
Important Things To Keep In View Before Starting a DIY Asbestos Removal In Your Home
If you are hiring a non-licensed asbestos removalist for non-friable asbestos removal in your property, make sure they have extensive knowledge, experience, be equipped with the necessary tools, and complete training for this job.
Most asbestos removal tasks usually take place in larger areas. In such cases, you should consider the assistance of a licensed asbestos removalist to handle the removal work.
If you are a home renovator and planning for DIY asbestos removal, it is imperative to have years of experience, advanced equipment, and necessary skills to reduce the risk of asbestos exposure.
How Much Asbestos Can Be Removed From Your Home?
When it comes to DIY asbestos removal, it actually depends on your location and their state regulations surrounding asbestos management. A non-licensed asbestos removalist or DIY renovator can remove up to ten square metres of asbestos from their properties.
The regulation is applied to all states and territories, except the ACT – you need to have proper licensing to undertake a DIY asbestos removal job.
Although the Australian government enforces strict regulations surrounding DIY asbestos management, it is highly advisable to consider expert assistance.
The health and life hazards associated with asbestos removal and management make it one of the most dangerous jobs for those undertaking a DIY removal job.
The Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency presents some strict guidelines for DIY asbestos removal:
- Only non-friable asbestos are allowed to be removed.
A DIY asbestos removalist can remove less than 10 square metres of non-friable asbestos from a property.
- Any individual undertaking DIY asbestos removal must be competent, i.e., have extensive knowledge, experience, be equipped with necessary tools, and completed training for this job.
- Most insurance policies will not cover health injuries relating to asbestos removal. Therefore, as a non-licensed removalist, you may have to bear the cost individually and also pay exorbitant clean-up and repair costs.
- Anyone coming into contact with any asbestos materials should be notified to the local council, neighbours, and vicinity.
How to Safely Dispose of Asbestos?
Apart from the safe removal of non-friable asbestos, you need to follow an appropriate process for correct disposal. Any causality before or after disposal may further increase the risk of the health hazard of those living inside the house and neighbourhoods.
The EPA has set various guidelines related to the disposal of asbestos waste. You can check the guidelines here.
Choose Licensed Asbestos Removal in Western Sydney
Dealing with asbestos – non-friable – can be hazardous to your life. Therefore, we strongly recommend choosing a licensed, highly experienced, and knowledgeable asbestos removalist. Besides, hiring a non-licensed asbestos removalist may increase the risk of life and health hazard.
Our asbestos removal experts hold Class B Bonded Asbestos Removal Licence and are fully trained to remove non-friable asbestos safely. For any information on our asbestos removal services, call us at 1300 04 3366 today.