One thing that many people need help with is asbestos.
The stuff was a lot of use in the past because it was great insulation, was mostly fire-resistant, and easy to find. It was cheap, making it common material for construction. The problem was that people didn’t find out it caused a load of health problems until after it was used for almost everything.
Newer homes don’t have any problems. The older ones have the lining, though.
Charlie, Doc, and I helped someone get rid of some fencing in his yard. The job was part of an overall cleanup thing the neighbourhood had going on. The owner found asbestos and wasn’t sure he was up to handling it himself.
Ever-resourceful, Doc got a hold of some asbestos removal gear for us. He had a special vacuum cleaner since he says the regular stuff isn’t good enough. He also had safety gear like masks and suits. We called in a couple of other people too because we wanted to be sure by closing the area off.
Yes, asbestos contaminating the air is a thing.
Naturally, we all made sure to wear stuff we wouldn’t mind losing.
Charlie was the first one in, digging into the fencing and materials. Good news for us, most of the fibres were still intact. That meant we had less of a problem getting it out, and lower risk of any of us getting contaminated.
We had to be very careful not to break the pieces we found. See, if the asbestos is intact, it’s mostly safe. You’re not in any danger of the fibres getting out and contaminating everything.
When the sheets aren’t intact, that means the fibres have spread. You might breathe it in if you’re not careful, and you’re going to need to contain the area.
Doc made a comment that the whole job was a lot easier because we didn’t have to do a lot. The fencing was pretty much already there, waiting for us to scrape the outer covering off and clear the sheets.
Doc used to do asbestos removal, you see. He’s seen this sort of thing a lot. Over lunch that day, he told us about how he and crew once had to go through a huge house that was lined with the stuff. Every room had it built into the walls, and it took them weeks to finish the job.
What was worse was that in about half the house, due to botched renovations or shoddy work, the sheets weren’t intact. He talked about how the crew had to quarantine the house room by room because they didn’t want to risk contaminating anything.
He said they’d go into a room and use plastic sheets and duct tape and some gear to make sure it was contained. Then they’d break everything down to get to the sheets, vacuum the fibres, and then take down the containment. After all that, they’d go to the next room to do it all over again.
I can only imagine what a headache that must have been.
In comparison, the fence was a lot easier. The owner needed the fence replaced anyway, so we had his permission to pretty much wreck it. The only reason we didn’t go crazy was that we didn’t want to damage the sheets.
Of course, if you have a big project like this, Doc recommends professionals. Guys like asbestosremovalperthwa.com.au can handle the task, from cleanup to disposal. You can DIY it if it’s just small potatoes and the sheets are intact. If it’s not, definitely call professionals.