Asbestos Board Removal
Removing asbestos from an insulation board is one of the trickiest tasks involving that material. Even though the internet forums are full with examples of people attempting to proceed with this task without professional help but that attitude too often is nothing but sheer recklessness. In cases such as this one, the need for the help of certified specialists is really dire and their expertise can be really invaluable. Especially when you consider the fact that people’s lives and well-being are at stake. So, let’s get this question out of the way – can you do it yourself? We suggest you’d better not, since the lack of knowledge how to properly handle asbestos removal may have hazardous consequences for health. Asbestos has a long history of implementation in the UK.
It was actually one of the most affordable and durable construction materials available between the 1920s and 1980s. Thus, it should not come as a surprise that millions of people across the world jumped on the bandwagon and had it utilized in their buildings. The list of potential implementations is genuinely mind-boggling from today’s perspective: it was used in insulation, piping, roofing material, floors, ceiling, fireproof material and even clothing. At a certain point in time, even NASA was keen on using it for its shuttle missions. Soon after that first reports about its toxicity started pouring in and the material has fallen out of favour. Despite introducing unanimous legislation banning its use in any kinds of buildings, asbestos is still quite commonly found in a lot of buildings all over the world. Sadly, even decades after it was deemed carcinogenic, thousands of people develop exposure-related symptoms and suffer from acute respiratory tract diseases. If you happen to have an asbestos board that needs to be removed, here are some steps we can recommend.
To start with, it is highly advisable to not tamper with the suspected material without any protective gear or experience. Asbestos should be investigated by professionals who can successfully identify its various kinds and can be entrusted with the task of providing the most secure removal environment. The site should be made easy to access for the professionals and out of bounds for other individuals who could find themselves in danger of inhaling the toxic fibres. If the material turns out to be deteriorated or close to this state, chances are that prompt action will have to be taken. Otherwise, the experts investigating the suspected areas may advise on the best course of action that will both be safe and as adjusted to the client’s needs as possible. Any waste resulting from the removal of the asbestos board will also be taken care of by our company which saves you the hassle of finding a proper disposal site and incurring additional costs.
Removal of a single asbestos insulation board (AlB) panel – examples
If there is a need for conducting a removal of single asbestos insulation board, see the examples of how it should be carried presented below. Please, bear in mind that this applies to removal of less than 1m 2 asbestos board.
How to prepare an area before starting work?
- Provide secure access
- Restrict the access so that no unauthorized people may enter it
- Set warnings (for example by using tape and proper notifications) and close the doors
- Provide appropriate light
Which equipment is required for this work?
- Polythene sheeting (500- and 1000-gauge specifically)
- Warning signs and asbestos warning stickers
- Warning tape and duct tape
- Class H (high hazard) vacuum cleaner (BS 8520)
- Sealants: permanent sealant and polyvinyl acetate (PVA) one
- Thick paste, for instance, a wallpaper paste
- Tools: paintbrush and screwdriver
- A waste bag for asbestos
- Clear polythene bag
- Water bucket and cloth
- A wetting agent and a sprayer (for instance a garden type)
- Personal protective equipment (PPE): disposable hooded overalls, laceless boots
- Respiratory protective equipment (RPE)
- Start off checking the condition of asbestos insulation board – if the condition of it is good enough, and there is no risk of damaging it, you may proceed – all the instructions you may find in the guidance sheet provided by the Health and Safety Executive
- If there is a possibility that AIB may get damaged or already is, please, contact licensed contractor (certified by HSE).
What is the most common use of asbestos insulation board?
Thanks to asbestos fireproof qualities, asbestos insulation board was mainly used as fireproofing material, for example in fireproofing panels used in fire doors. Apart from that, one could find asbestos in ceiling tiles, partition walls, soffits, or lift shaft liners, among others.
May I carry asbestos insulation board removal myself?
Yes, but this depends on a type of asbestos and one’s ability to differentiate between these two: loosely bound and firmly bound. The first one is also highly friable, which means that it is more likely to be disturbed, and thus become extremely dangerous once being inhaled. The second one is non-friable and therefore is less likely to be crushed and release fibres into the air. Dealing with asbestos removal by yourself it thus possible, but not recommended, but if you decide to do it, we strongly advise you to remember about disposable protective equipment, and if in doubt, always consult professionals. In case of presence of friable, i.e. firmly bound asbestos, you should contact a licensed contractor certified by HSE since such a task ought to be conducted by an experienced professional who can provide you with effective and safe asbestos removal services.