Do you think you have asbestos in your home? If so, you might be wondering if you can do a DIY asbestos removal. If that sounds like you, read this article before you begin.
1. The legality of DIY asbestos removal
In most states in Australia, including NSW, you can legally remove up to 10 square metres of non-friable asbestos. For reference, that’s about one wall of a small to medium size bathroom. On top of that, you are only allowed to remove non-friable asbestos yourself. Non-friable means that the material cannot be crumbled or pulverised into dust when dry using just your hand pressure. For example, materials containing asbestos that have been mixed with other hard bonding materials, such as cement, are usually considered non-friable because they are impossible to crumble with hand.
The catch is even non-friable materials can become friable over time or through exposure to the elements. That means hard materials that contain asbestos to some degree could be considered friable if they are old or have deteriorated. If the asbestos is friable, or larger than 10 square metres, you are obligated by law to get the asbestos removed by a professional.
2. Incorrect handling during removal can make asbestos fibres airborne
During professional asbestos removal, our certified tradies will carefully locate and remove asbestos. We seal it, wrap it in plastic sheets, and dispose of everything we remove safely and legally. The care taken during this process is paramount. Disrupting asbestos fibres or incorrectly storing asbestos sheets before disposal can be extremely dangerous. If the asbestos is not sealed and handled correctly, disturbed asbestos fibres can become airborne. Airborne asbestos fibres are what causes the dangerous illnesses associated with asbestos, including lung cancer and asbestosis.
3. You might not catch all the asbestos-containing materials
Because it tends to be used in older houses, even non-friable asbestos can be sandwiched between or under other layers of materials in a home. This can make DIY asbestos removal tricky. To reduce structural and aesthetic damage, it’s best to get experts in asbestos removal to keep your Central Coast home in perfect condition.
In addition, if your home is built before 1990, it’s highly likely you have asbestos in more than one area of your home. Typical places to find asbestos on the Central Coast include roofing, flooring, external cladding, eaves, old electrical boxes, and fencing. DIY projects can get expensive and time-consuming if you don’t identify all the areas of your home that contain asbestos when you begin working.
We live in a beautiful, naturally scenic part of the world on the East Coast of New South Wales. Many of the houses of the Central Coast are traditional coastal constructions and were built prior to 1990. This gives the area a truly unique atmosphere. Unfortunately, it also means we have a high concentration of homes built with asbestos-containing materials. If you suspect your home has asbestos and want advice, testing, or asbestos removal you can get in touch or drop off a sample at our testing centre in Kariong.