You’ve probably heard of asbestos and how it can be dangerous to your health. So, if you discover it or suspect that it might be present on your property, whether it’s a home, workplace, or industrial property, it needs to be handled with great care, and preferably by a professional.
But how do you know who can help you? Well, we’ve put together some tips on how you can find the best asbestos removal companies for your needs. But before we tell you exactly what to look for in an asbestos removalist, first, let’s talk about why you need to be careful with asbestos.
What is asbestos and why is it bad?
Asbestos is a very small, natural fiber that is found in rock formations. It is a lightweight fiber that is extremely flexible, strong, heat resistant, and almost indestructible.
Once it was discovered, these features meant that it was an asset in building and construction, as these fibers could be used for a wide variety of applications. They could be mixed with other materials, like adhesives to create almost indestructible glues that could work in all sorts of conditions or concrete to create even stronger building materials like cement sheeting. It could also be used on its own, as loose fibres, for insulation.
In Australia, it was most commonly used between the 1950s to the late 1980s, and it was mainly used in the building industry, with many of the homes built during this period having asbestos present in some form or another.
It wasn’t until 2003 that asbestos use was completely banned and the reason for this was there was more awareness of the risks it posed to people’s health.
You might be wondering how something that is made from natural fibers is dangerous. Well, the asbestos fibers are very small and actually not able to be seen by the naked eye when they are airborne. Once they become airborne, they can travel distances and stay in the air for quite some time. It’s also easy for people to swallow them, especially unknowingly.
When you swallow these asbestos fibers, they can become lodged deep in the lung tissue and the body is usually unable to get them out. So, the body will end up forming scar tissue over them in an effort to heal, which can then cause numerous respiratory issues and lead to incurable diseases. The most common illnesses associated with asbestos are asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma.
While it is important to understand the health risks associated with asbestos, it’s also important to know that just because asbestos is present, it doesn’t mean that it is always dangerous or a risk. Asbestos is classified as either being friable or non-friable. Friable asbestos is dangerous and means that it can be easily disturbed, and the fibers can become loose and airborne. Non-friable asbestos is also known as bonded asbestos and is only dangerous when it is disturbed, which can occur when it is cut into, water blasted, sanded, or drilled into, amongst other actions.
If you’re planning a renovation or home maintenance, it’s a good idea to have your home inspected beforehand, so you can be aware of any presence of asbestos and minimize your risk of exposure.
As exposure to asbestos fibers has so many health risks, there are a lot of rules and restrictions around the removal and disposal of asbestos. In many cases, if your home has asbestos in it, you won’t be able to remove it yourself legally, which is why it’s important you find the right professional to help you.
So, how do you find the right professional asbestos removalist? Keep reading to find out.
Here’s What Your Asbestos Removalist Should Have
1. Many Years of Experience
When it comes to handling asbestos, it’s so important that the people managing it are experienced and understand the requirements. And this is for a few reasons. To start, the associated health risks are too serious to be relaxed. While most of these illnesses only develop after repeated, long-term exposure, every person is different, and it might only take a short period of exposure to cause harm.
Secondly, there are government rules and regulations in place that dictate how asbestos needs to be removed, how much an ordinary, unlicensed person can remove themselves, how it needs to be disposed of and where. If any of these rules are broken, you could face very expensive fines, in addition to the potential asbestos exposure.
It’s a good idea to work with a team that has at least 10 years of experience, working in all sorts of projects, not just residential or commercial properties, as they will have seen a wide variety of the different kinds of asbestos materials and had a lot of practice in removing it.
2. The appropriate licenses and training
As we mentioned above, there are rules and regulations around how much asbestos can be removed by an unlicensed person. This is to ensure your chances of exposure to these fibers are lessened.
There are two levels of asbestos removal licenses, and you essentially want to work with someone who is a class A unrestricted licensed asbestos removalist. This way, they are not limited in the amount of or type of asbestos they can remove from the property.
They will have also undergone a lot of training to achieve this license, so you can rest assured that they can do the job properly.
3. Excellent Customer Testimonials
One of the best ways you can learn about a company is to read their reviews. People usually only write reviews when they have had really, really good service or really, really bad service. It’s important to keep that in mind when reading the reviews. One or two bad reviews might not be an issue, but if a company has many mixed reviews, it’s a good idea to stay away from them and choose someone else with a better reputation.
You can also ask the company if you can speak to a past or current customer of theirs to learn more about their experience too.
If you keep the above tips in mind when looking for asbestos removal companies, then you’ll find the best one for your asbestos removal needs.