Before you begin the process of removing asbestos in your bathroom, you need to identify its location. It might surprise you just how many books could contain asbestos in such a small floor area. Some of the most common areas are on wallpaper, bath fittings, vinyl floor tiles, water tanks and ceilings.
Here are essentials that you shouldn’t fail to arm yourself with before removing the otherwise toxic compound, especially as an unlicensed individual.
1. Confirm the legality.
The state permits removal work to be done by unlicensed persons but only over a limited area. It is best however to confirm the extent of this provision in your state’s jurisdiction. Measure your bathroom accurately before beginning.
Whenever possible, use a licensed contractor or person to guide you if needed be. A class A license holder is deemed to have passed all accreditation tests and certification tests that give them the capacity to handle over 10 square meters of both friable and non-friable asbestos. It is safer this way, unless you are a license holder yourself, in which case, doing the job for yourself would be the best thing to do, given most bathrooms are graded as small scale.
2. Identify what type of asbestos it is.
According to Safe Work Australia, you need to establish whether the asbestos is friable or non-friable so you can settle for the safest and most appropriate removal method. You will have to involve professional analysis for this one.
3. Safety measures.
As with all sensitive manual tasks, safety comes first. Wear a respiratory mask, use means that do not agitate the surface you are working on and wear overalls. Also, enclose your bathroom or seal all entryways and air outlets with thick plastic sheeting (at least 200 microns thick).
4. Get the room inspected.
After the work is done, especially that which involves friable asbestos gets the place inspected for any floating fiber that if inhaled or swallowed might cause mesothelioma, asbestosis and lung cancer.
5. Consider evacuating the family.
Move them to an alternative comfortable environment for as long as the work is in progress and move them back after clearance.
6. Ask for licenses.
Assumptions can kill. Certify that you are working with true professionals.
7. Dispose of the material well.
It should not come into contact with other domestic waste, and while working, you could consider wearing disposable clothing, so you eliminate the chances of the minute strands of asbestos fiber spreading to other clothes in the home.
For tiles on the bathroom floor, use a sealant to bond the material more tightly. The general risk of being exposed from asbestos on the floor, including on floor sheeting, however, is generally very low. Clean the bathroom floors gently even while scrubbing or buffing so the asbestos beneath the tile is not revealed.
In itself, asbestos is never a threat until it is loose and floats in the air. If intact, you could introduce a health hazard by attempting to remove it. The inspection should be done first and expert recommendation sought on the way forward. Be wise. If you see the previously mentioned areas in your homecoming loose, including any slight chipping, get them assessed and replaced.