It is only appropriate to start this blog post with a warning: Asbestos fibers are extremely harmful to your health and should only be removed by a professional asbestos abatement company to completely eliminate risk to your health. Inhalation of asbestos fibers can lead to a number of debilitating and even deadly medical conditions.
Although we recommend professional asbestos remediation any time asbestos is found, should you choose to do it yourself there are several things you need to know—which we will highlight in the sections below.
Protective Equipment for Safe Asbestos Removal
Wearing the right protective equipment is essential to safely removing asbestos from any structure. Asbestos fibers primarily impact the body when inhaled, so an appropriate breathing apparatus is critical. For many construction jobs, ordinary single-strap dust masks are sufficient, but not for asbestos remediation. Asbestos fibers are microscopic—several times smaller than the width of a human hair—and can find their way through standard single-strap dust masks.
At a minimum, you should utilize a twin-strap disposable P2 mask, but ideally, you’ll want to use a half-face filter respirator for maximum protection.
When the work is complete, do not immediately remove your mask. The mask should remain on until your contaminated clothing has been removed, bagged, and sealed. Asbestos fibers will attach themselves to fabric and removing your mask before removing the contaminated clothing may cause you to inhale fibers.
Since clothing used during the remediation process must be disposed of, we recommend using disposable coveralls with an attached hood (or disposable hat) and disposable gloves. Simply washing clothing is insufficient; the clothes must be thrown away after use for maximum protection.
Do’s and Don’ts of Asbestos Removal
When removing asbestos, you should always work in a well-ventilated area.
You should do everything possible not to disturb the asbestos fibers as this can cause them to become airborne. Start by spraying asbestos covered surfaces with a low pressure water hose. This will help minimize the amount of fibers that become airborne during the removal process.
When you are removing building materials containing asbestos, remove them with caution. Do not approach this project like a standard demolition. Removed materials should be carefully removed and stored. Excessive force and carelessness can increase the amount of asbestos fibers in the air.
The do nots are mostly the opposite of what you should do. Never user a high pressure water hose to wet surfaces, as this can loosen asbestos fibers.
Do not toss materials containing asbestos around or slide them across one another, as this will also increase the amount of asbestos fibers in the air.
Additionally, do not crush, sand, cut, or scrape asbestos covered surfaces. This will only increase the number of fibers in the air and create an unhealthy environment around the job site.
Professional Asbestos Remediation
For effective—and safe—elimination of asbestos from your property, youneeda trained and licensed asbestos removal company. The asbestos removal team at Action Restoration has the experience, skills, and tools necessary to ensure that the asbestos in your building is removed as safely as possible. Our professional asbestos removal team will take all necessary precautions to protect you and your employees or family members from harm during the asbestos abatement procedure.