Asbestos Removal – How to Safely Remove Asbestos

The safest way to handle asbestos is not to disturb it. Even slightly damaged material is a health hazard because it can release fibers.

Asbestos Removal

Homeowners should consult an experienced professional before making home changes that might disturb asbestos. An inspector can conduct home inspections and take samples of suspect materials for analysis. For more information, visit

The most common building material that carries asbestos is insulation. It was used extensively before the ban on asbestos in the mid-1980s. Generally, any insulation that is in good condition should not be disturbed. If it is ripped, cut, or damaged, however, the asbestos fibers can become airborne and threaten your health.

If you suspect your home has asbestos in the wall insulation, ceiling insulation, or ductwork insulation, contact a professional as soon as possible. These professionals are licensed to inspect your building and collect samples for testing. They can also advise you on whether or not the insulation needs to be removed.

An asbestos survey is usually required if you plan to carry out renovation or demolition work that will disturb the building materials. It is a highly specialised survey that requires a high level of expertise. These surveys are more detailed than general building surveys and should only be undertaken by a certified asbestos inspector.

While homeowners aren’t required to have their houses surveyed for asbestos, they should take precautions when carrying out any kind of renovation that may require disturbing the building materials in a private residence. In the event that you do have asbestos in your house, only licensed asbestos contractors should be engaged to perform an inspection and removal.

If your contractor is licensed and has experience working in the industry, they should be able to explain what types of safety inspections are necessary for a job, the procedure for sampling and removal as well as the disposal process afterward. They should also be able to provide references from previous clients.

Sampling Asbestos

If asbestos is discovered in a home, the next step is to have it tested by an accredited laboratory to determine its level of risk. A certified asbestos professional should take samples for testing, as there are many dangers associated with handling, sampling or removing the material. This includes releasing dangerous asbestos fibers into the air that can be inhaled by family members, workers or bystanders who are nearby.

If a homeowner wants to take their own samples, they should first wet the area to prevent the release of dangerous asbestos fibers into the air. Then, they should use a plastic sheet to catch any dust that may fall while taking the sample. They should also wear a respirator and disposable overalls to avoid breathing in any asbestos particles that are released into the air.

The homeowner should then place the sample in a clean container such as a 35 mm film canister, a small glass or plastic vial, or a high quality resealable plastic bag. They should then write their name and the date on the bottom of the container, as well as where it was taken from. They should keep the container in a safe location, away from children and pets, until they have sent it to an accredited lab for testing.

If the material is in good condition and will not be disturbed, it is usually safe to leave it alone and just have a professional inspect it. If, however, it is damaged or is going to be disturbed by remodeling or repairs, a certified asbestos professional should be called in to test for the presence of asbestos.

In addition to the appropriate safety precautions, homeowners should be sure that they use a NATA accredited laboratory for the testing of their samples. The lab should be able to provide a comprehensive report including a detailed breakdown of all the asbestos materials present in the home. The lab should also be able to provide details on how each type of material was manipulated and processed in order to determine its potential for containing asbestos.


Asbestos is a dangerous and harmful substance that can cause mesothelioma and other diseases when inhaled or ingested. While asbestos is not banned, it’s no longer used in construction materials and must be removed from homes or commercial buildings when found. Hiring a professional to perform abatement is the wisest and safest decision for anyone with suspected asbestos in their home or business. Professionals are fully trained, follow strict regulations and procedures, and carry the proper abatement removal equipment to keep themselves, others and the public safe.

The abatement process involves physically removing asbestos from building materials. Before starting the process, professionals wet asbestos-containing materials to ensure that no airborne particles are released during cutting or scraping. They also take precautions to limit the dispersal of any asbestos dust, including sealing off work areas from occupied spaces and using a negative air machine to draw air out of the abatement area through a series of filters before exhausting it outside. They also avoid crushing any asbestos materials on the ground to prevent creating more airborne fibers.

Any contaminated materials that need to be transported from the abatement area are double-bagged in 6 millimeter thick asbestos bags, taped, and put in a hazardous waste bin. To further protect people in occupied spaces, contractors disable HVAC systems in the abatement area and use duct tape to seal all drywall, ceilings, and walls in the work area. In some cases, the contractor may need to seal off a whole room or building from the rest of the property by putting up plastic sheeting.

When the abatement is complete, workers re-clean the work area by HEPA vacuuming and retest the work site for asbestos. They must remove containment barriers and provide a report to the homeowner or building owner that includes copies of the waste shipment records, abatement site logs, work permit records, inspection reports, laboratory analysis results, and copies of all licensing.

Homeowners and building owners who attempt to self-remove asbestos or hire unlicensed asbestos abatement contractors risk fines, imprisonment, and/or removal of the offending materials. Anyone with concerns about asbestos in their home or office should contact the Environmental Protection Agency, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and their county or state department of environmental quality.


Many homeowners attempt asbestos removal projects on their own. However, doing so without proper training and procedures can lead to health problems. This is why it is important for homeowners to follow the steps described below to ensure a safe and effective removal.

The first step in the abatement process is to seal off the area where you will be working from the rest of your home and outside areas. This will protect the rest of your family from breathing in fibers that may escape from the work area during the removal process. This step also helps to prevent contamination of other parts of your home that will be used after the abatement is complete. Plastic sheeting, tape, and duct tape are often used to seal off the work area. In addition, HEPA air filters are placed in the work area and clean air exhaust ducts are installed to help keep the air clean.

Once the work area is sealed, workers use the appropriate personal protective equipment to remove the asbestos. This includes respirators that are rated for the type of material you will be working with, face masks that have two straps to hold them in place, and disposable coveralls and gloves. It is also essential to wear eye protection to protect your eyes from the dust.

All materials that contain asbestos should be wrapped or covered in a plastic bag to prevent exposure during the disposal process. They should then be placed in leak proof containers (plastic bags that are 6 mil thick or more, cartons, drums, or cans) and sealed securely with duct or packaging tape. All waste should be wetted to minimize the risk of fibers escaping during handling or transport.

If the asbestos is not friable, it can be placed in a non-hazardous waste landfill. However, if it becomes friable during the disposal process, it will be considered hazardous waste and must be placed in a separate landfill with special securing requirements to prevent the release of fibers into the environment.

The only way to know if a material contains asbestos is to have it tested by a certified laboratory. While various commercial testing kits are available for sale, they are unreliable. A more cost-effective option is to have the material professionally analyzed.