If you are considering removing any asbestos in your house and hiring professional help, we will suggest some tips on how to choose your company. But before that, let’s get our facts straight first. You might be wondering what is asbestos and why would you want it removed?
Well, Here’s Why-
Asbestos is one of the naturally occurring deposits in the world. It is a mineral made up of thin fibers. This was popular and had its peak in the late 1960s (see more). It became a prominent additive to a variety of products because it is resistant to heat and chemicals.
The six main types of asbestos are chrysotile, actinolite, amosite, anthophyllite, crocidolite, and tremolite. All of these are fibrous. This mineral was commonly used in roofing, insulation, flooring, cement, floor tiles, ceiling tiles, drywall, adhesives, shingles, and other fireproof products.
As early as 1897, an Austrian doctor had already attributed pulmonary troubles in one of his patients due to inhalation of asbestos dust. In 1898, there was also a report from a milling company of this mineral in the UK that there was widespread damage and injury of their workers’ lungs due to the dusty surroundings of the mill. Since then, damage caused by asbestos became known, and other milling companies were closed.
Until now, there are still houses that were built with materials containing these harmful fibers, especially those made a long time ago. This is why materials at home containing it need to be removed to avoid damage and illnesses it may cause you.
Damage And Illnesses Caused By Asbestos
Due to inhalation of the tiny fibers of asbestos, it causes damage to us. Following are some recognized effects of inhaling asbestos fibers:
Asbestosis is a chronic lung disease. When the fiber is inhaled, it goes to your lungs and could scar your lung tissues. You then would experience difficulty in breathing.
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer. It occurs in the outer layer of the internal organs, most often, the lungs. This is an aggressive and deadly form of cancer.
Although only a small percentage, asbestos is one of the causes of lung cancer. This is said to develop 15-35 years after asbestos exposure. Symptoms include shortness of breath and coughing of blood.
Choosing The Right Asbestos Removalist
Now that you are aware of the effects of this mineral, you might want to check how to get the right removalists by now. You may start checking on different companies and get a quote from them. But before that, know first how to choose a company. Following are some tips:
Check The Company Background
I know this is a fundamental thing to do, but sometimes one forgets to do this. We must check a company’s background through their website or in magazines, or anywhere you can check. Check the history, the records, how long they have been operating, how big their company is, are they legal? This is an important thing to do because you would know if the company is trustworthy or not.
If the company is a member of a trade association, that’s an added point. If they are a member of the association, they make sure they are always following the standard. Also, they will be updated with the latest developments.
Check The Qualifications Of Their Workers
You want to seek help from a professional because you need someone who knows the job well and an expert on this matter. Check if the workers are licensed.
This is important because only a person with proper training, experience, and knowledge is competent enough to identify if your material has asbestos and remove them. Speaking of that, yes, you must have it confirmed first if the material that you want to be removed is containing these harmful fibers.
However, not all the time, a person can both identify and remove asbestos because they are both different. That is why if you choose a contractor, ask them if their people are also trained to identify these harmful fibers other than removing them. You have one more option to get your material tested to see if it has asbestos through any laboratory accredited by NATA or the National Association of Testing Authorities, Australia.
There are three types of license:
- Class A removal license
- Class B removal license
- Assessor license
Class A removal license – a license holder can remove any amount of asbestos-containing material (ACM), including any amount of friable ACM, any amount of asbestos containing dust or debris (ACD), or any amount of non-friable ACM.
Class B removal license – a license holder can remove any amount of non-friable asbestos or ACM and ACD associated with the removal of these harmful fibers or ACM.
Assessor license – license holders of this are required to do the work related to Class A removal. They conduct air monitoring and clearance inspection for Class A work. They also issue clearance certificates about Class A work (link: https://www.safework.nsw.gov.au/licences-and-registrations/licences/asbestos).
Check Reviews About The Company
A company can make their image beautiful on their website, or some of the licenses may be fake. Still, I believe testimony from someone who experienced their service is a reasonable basis for your decision. You may check it on their page or any other places where you can see it. It would be good if there is someone you know who has tried their services so you can ask them how the performance was.
What Are Your Responsibilities As A Client?
As a client, you need to work closely with your contractor. You need to also give time from the planning stage to the site visit until the end of the work. It would be best if you had everything arranged for the work to go well.
- Making the place safe for the workers before the job starts by planning their access, planning emergency procedures, risk assessment, etc.
- You have to be responsible for informing concerned people: your neighbors if it is your home that’s being worked on; all employees in the building if it is in the office.
- Hire a third party to do the audit during work.
- Accomplish a waste consignment note to make sure wastes are disposed of properly after the job.
- Update your asbestos register to take note of the job done.
Do not forget that from the start-up to the end of the work, make sure that the project is sufficiently funded.