The presence of friable asbestos is a major safety hazard in many homes across Australia. Airborne asbestos is carcinogenic when inhaled, and this is why homeowners are so desperate to have inspections and tests performed to check for its presence. If asbestos is present in the home, it will need to be removed. Many homeowners employ asbestos services without having a clue about what the work performed entails. But it makes good sense knowing if you are getting your full money's worth. Here is a breakdown of what asbestos abatement basically involves.

Performing a visual inspectionf

The first thing your asbestos service will do is to perform a thorough visual check of your ductwork, walls, roofing felt, ceilings, attic insulation, siding, pipework, and all other areas of your house where asbestos may be present. To tell for sure whether or not asbestos is present by just looking at the material, testing is also required. This is because the material is often mixed with other construction materials.

Taking samples for testing

Samples will be taken for the purpose of testing at the laboratory. The results will give 100% confirmation as to whether asbestos is present. Asbestos testing involves viewing the sample with a polarised light microscope to identify the type of asbestos present. Your asbestos service staff will not touch any suspected asbestos material that looks friable. Where it is suspected that asbestos particles/fibres have already been released into the air, air monitoring is carried out. This could be due to accidental interference with materials suspected to be containing asbestos while samples are being collected.

Removing the asbestos

Once it is confirmed through lab analysis that asbestos is present, asbestos removal begins. Most removal experts will use a vacuum system equipped with High Efficiency Particulate Arrestance (HEPA) filters to clean the dust from the areas of concern. But before they embark on any work, they will erect fencing around the work site and place signs warning unauthorised persons not to access the work area unless granted permission. In addition, they will make sure to seal all windows, doors and any other openings where airborne asbestos may leave the room or building. Also, they will wear clothing that asbestos fibres cannot penetrate as well a respirator mask equipped with a HEPA filter to prevent inhalation of any contaminated air. All these safety measures are required because the removal is a dangerous process that demands optimal containment of any friable asbestos.

The costs of the abatement process generally vary depending on the square footage involved.