Can You Remove Asbestos Yourself?
As specialists in the licensed removal of asbestos, the Avanti team have experienced first-hand the devastating effects of asbestos inhalation. As a result, we would always recommend always using professionals to deal with this dangerous material. We do, however, receive few enquiries concerning the non-specialist removal of asbestos, so we wanted to put the record straight on the dos and don’ts of dealing with this substance.
If You Find Asbestos in the Workplace
If you own, or manage, a workplace premises that you think contains asbestos, you have a duty to manage the risk responsibly. The Control of Asbestos Regulations (2012) states that you should “take reasonable steps to find out if there are materials containing asbestos in non-domestic premises, and if so, its amount, where it is and what condition it is in.” You are legally required to seek the professional services of a licensed asbestos removal company to carry out a survey.
Discovering Asbestos in the Home
Asbestos was widely used in UK construction right up until the 1980s. Consequently there are still a huge number of homes across the country that contain asbestos. For the most part this carries no risk, as undisturbed asbestos isn’t a danger to health. If, however, you discover asbestos during a DIY project, or as part of a refurbishment, you will need to take steps to stop the fibres becoming airborne.
If You Decide to Remove Asbestos Yourself
You are permitted, legally, to remove asbestos from your home yourself. When people contact us for advice on this we always recommend thorough research prior to taking any action. Inhalation of airborne asbestos fibres is extremely hazardous to life, so every step in the removal process needs to be carefully considered.
There are a number of steps that you should take when removing domestic asbestos:
Visual Inspection – look at the condition of the asbestos. If it is undamaged it is better to leave it in its inert state. If damaged seek advice on how you might contain it safely without removing it.
Analysis – if you are unsure whether or not exposed materials contain asbestos, you can have a sample analysed at a UKAS accredited laboratory.
Asbestos Disposal – Your local council will have rules on the disposal of asbestos. There will also be a designated site for asbestos disposal. You will need to contact the your council to ascertain their conditions for disposal, and the associated cost.
Containing the Health Hazard – when removing asbestos, remember the hazard this could potentially create for your family and neighbours. Inform people living nearby and seal the area where you are working to contain any airborne asbestos fibres.
Avanti Provides Professional Licensed Asbestos Removal
Whilst we are always happy to offer advice and support to individuals wishing to remove domestic asbestos, we wouldn’t recommend this course of action. The Avanti asbestos removal team has worked together as a professional team for over a decade now. We are licensed professionals which means that we have gone through a rigorous training to prepare us for working with a highly hazardous material.