Removing Asbestos Material From Your Home

Posted by : indra budiman | | Published in

This information might be important to the health of your family someday.

Asbestos-containing materials can be found in two forms in your home. These forms are called friable asbestos-containing material and non-friable asbestos-containing material. The distinction between friable and non-friable asbestos lies in the physical condition of the material.
Friable asbestos-containing material is material that can be reduced to powder by hand pressure. Insulation and textured ceiling spray are two common examples of friable asbestos-containing material.
Non-friable asbestos-containing material is material that has asbestos fibers bound in a hard or durable matrix. The asbestos fibers in non-friable asbestos-containing material are typically not easily made airborne. These types of materials are usually considered much safer than friable asbestos-containing material. Non-friable asbestos-containing material can, however, be damaged to the point that it becomes friable. Examples of non-friable asbestos-containing material include asbestos siding and roofing material. Usually, non-friable asbestos-containing material can safely be removed from residential property either by a licensed asbestos abatement contractor or by the homeowner. If the homeowner chooses to remove the material himself, certain precautions should be taken. The following are some suggested removal techniques for common non-friable asbestos-containing materials:
Transite Siding - First, mist the material with water to reduce the chance of fibers becoming airborne. Next, the material should be removed with as little breakage as possible. This can be done by cutting off the heads of the nails or screws that hold the siding in place and sliding the panels away from the wall. Once the material is unfastened from the wall, carefully lower the siding to the ground. Finally, wrap the siding and seal it with duct tape.

Asbestos Flooring - There are several methods for safely removing asbestos flooring material. One such way is to use heat to loosen the flooring from the subfloor. While holding a heat gun over an edge of the flooring, use a putty knife to lift the asbestos flooring away from the subfloor. Continue heating and lifting small areas at a time until the material is completely free. Once the asbestos flooring has separated from the subfloor, the material should be wetted down and wrapped in plastic. Another method for removing asbestos flooring is to use a putty knife to pry the flooring up while continually wetting the material. The water should keep any fibers that are released from becoming airborne. Dry ice can also be used to freeze the adhesive holding the flooring to the subfloor. When the adhesive freezes, the floor covering should be released from the subfloor.
Asbestos Roofing - Asbestos roofing shingles can be removed as a non-friable material provided it is not severely damaged during removal. Asbestos-containing asphalt shingles can be removed by prying the shingles away from the nails and lowering them to the ground. As in all asbestos removals, the material should be wet during the project. However, on steep pitched roofs, too much wetting may result in a slick surface increasing the chance of a fall. If it is not safe to wet the material during removal, extra precautions should be taken to remove the material with as little breakage as possible. Once the material is lowered to the ground, it should be misted and wrapped in plastic.
Although the removal of friable asbestos-containing material in private residences is not generally regulated, the Department does not recommend that any person engage in such activity unless trained to do so. Contractors specializing in asbestos abatement can be found in your local yellow pages. If you are unsure about the contractor and their expertise then be sure to ask them.
Generally, asbestos-containing material does not have to be removed from residential property. In fact, asbestos-containing material does not have to be removed from any structures unless it will be disturbed during renovation or demolition acitivities. As long as asbestos-containing material is in good condition and will not be disturbed, it does not pose a significant health risk.