Asbestos was a common material used in building construction in Australia until the late 1980s. If your house or office was built before this date, it most likely contains asbestos. Asbestos is a health hazard and if you plan to renovate or demolish a property that contains it, you must be aware of the risks and take the necessary precautions.
Here’s everything you need to know about asbestos removal and demolition.
What is asbestos?
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral fibre that was once widely used in a variety of building materials due to its strength and heat resistance. It can be found in cement, sheeting, insulation, pipes and guttering in residential and commercial properties built before the mid-1980s. Asbestos is now classified as a hazardous material and its use in building products is prohibited in Australia.
What are the dangers of asbestos?
Asbestos fibres are extremely fine; when they become airborne, they can be inhaled into the lungs where they can cause serious health problems such as mesothelioma, a cancer of the lung lining. There is no safe level of asbestos exposure and the risk of developing health problems from asbestos exposure increases with the number of fibres inhaled, the length of time you are exposed and your overall health. People who have been exposed to asbestos in the workplace or who live or work in buildings that contain asbestos may be at a higher risk of developing health problems as a result of asbestos exposure.
How is asbestos removed safely?
Asbestos is typically removed from a site by professional demolition companies that are asbestos-certified. These businesses must be licensed and follow strict work practices to ensure the safety of their employees and the community. The work must be completed following an approved asbestos removal plan.
The process of removing and demolishing asbestos is a multi-step process that includes identifying and assessing asbestos, preparing the site, removing asbestos materials and demolition, cleaning up the area, and disposing of waste. Demolition specialists must take several precautions to ensure the safe removal of asbestos from a site. These may include sealing off affected areas to prevent the spread of dust or fibres; using industrial vacuum cleaners to remove any loose asbestos; mixing the materials with water before disposing of them in approved containers; and wearing protective gear such as masks, gloves and coveralls to minimise exposure.
Additionally, before beginning work, demolition companies are often required to take precautions such as sealing affected structures with plastic sheeting or boarding up doors and windows. No matter how carefully demolition is performed by qualified professional demolition specialists, there is always a risk of asbestos fibres being released into the air. This is why it is critical for people in the vicinity of a demolition project to be aware of the potential hazards and take appropriate precautions.
If you plan to demolish or renovate a property built before 1987, you should assume that asbestos is present and take appropriate precautions. This includes scheduling an asbestos inspection and, if asbestos is discovered, hiring a licensed asbestos removalist to safely remove it.
Brajkovich Demolition and Salvage are Perth demolition contractors who can handle any size or type of demolition project. Our goal is to complete small and large jobs in Perth and the surrounding areas safely and successfully. Give us a call today if you need an experienced team to assist you with demolition services and asbestos removals.