Do It Yourself: Asbestos Removal

Asbestos is a dangerous substance which, when ingested, can cause numerous health issue, including mesothelioma and lung cancer. The safest method of asbestos removal is to hire a professional asbestos abatement team, but if you choose to remove asbestos yourself, specific safety guidelines and precautions must be followed.

Planning For Asbestos Removal

Before undertaking an asbestos removal project, you should have the substance tested to ensure it is indeed asbestos. You also need to determine whether removal is the most suitable option, since asbestos left alone may not be dangerous, and removal may actually be more hazardous.

Once you decide to remove the asbestos, you must take the necessary preliminary steps to ensure you can remove it safely. This includes assuring adequate ventilation, obtaining breathing systems that will allow you to remove the asbestos without inhaling fibers, and purchasing special clothing to wear for the removal process. In addition, asbestos removal is at least a two-person job, but it is illegal to hire anyone to remove asbestos other than abatement professionals, so you will need to find someone to assist you whom you do not have to “hire.” It is best that you not ask anyone with facial hair to assist you, and if you have facial hair you should shave it, because facial hair precludes you from taking all the appropriate precautions to ensure you do not inhale asbestos. You also need to ensure that your helpers have appropriate clothing, breathing system, and protective gear.

In addition to protective gear and special clothing, you also need to purchase the appropriate tools for the removal. This includes a hose, a water sprayer, a knife, a crow bar, and dish detergent.

You must also be aware of any government restrictions regarding asbestos removal, and obtain the necessary permits. Fees for an asbestos removal permit vary by state, and most states also require you to certify that you are taking full responsibility for the dangers of the removal and that you will take appropriate precautions.

Removing the Asbestos

They key to safely removing asbestos is to ensure the asbestos is wet throughout the removal process so that no fibers become airborne and get inhaled accidentally.

You should first use a sprayer and hose to wet down the asbestos. The asbestos should then be carefully scraped into special bags that are designed specifically for asbestos removal. The bags need to be double-sealed. This process is the reason that at least two people are required– one person should be removing the wet asbestos, packing it in the bags, and sealing it, and then she should hand it off to the other person, who should seal the second seal.

Once you are confident you have removed all the asbestos, you should wet down the entire room again to ensure no lingering asbestos remains. Remove any lingering asbestos by wetting it and sealing it in bags, including dust particles that remain. Do not sweep or vacuum asbestos dust particles up. After you have finished working on asbestos removal, you also need to thoroughly wet yourself and your clothing down to remove any lingering fibers. Remove your protective clothing and seal that also. Do not remove your breathing system until all the clothing has been removed and you have been wet down.

Disposing of Removed Asbestos

The asbestos should be sealed into special storage bins in specially designed double-seal bags after removal. The bins should be labeled and promptly taken to an appropriate landfill that is specifically designed for asbestos. You need to find this landfill before you begin the project and notify them regarding the amount of asbestos material you need to dispose of so you ensure they have adequate room.

You will need to get the area inspected for asbestos again after removal, to ensure your abatement was successful.


Submitted By Michael Morales

ARA Asbestos and Mold Removal Company
Decatur, GA 30030

Home Maintenance Tips

Home maintenance isn’t restricted to just repairs. In fact, regularly checking up on certain things may actually prevent them from breaking in the first place. But when things do go wrong (and they will), we have a few backup plans that you can tryout before you pick up your phone. Appliances and plumbing are the most frequent offenders, but are often the simplest to care for. From the gutters to the living room carpet, there’s a reliable method for keeping every part of your home clean, safe, and well maintained.

home improvement tips infograph

Must Do Home Maintenance:

The most immediate fix is to not have the problems in the first place.

Here’s a checklist of items every homeowner should get to regularly.

  1. Test your garage door opener monthly to ensure that it reverses when it’s blocked or when its sensor beam is interrupted.

  2. Vacuum the exhaust duct of your Dryer at least once a year. If the duct is plastic, please replace it (it can be fire hazard). The rigid sheet-metal ducting is best.

  3. Replace your furnace filters quarterly, or as recommended by the furnace manufacturer.

  4. Test all GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) outlets monthly. Press the test button and use a voltage tester to make sure the power goes off.

  5. Have your fireplace chimney inspected and cleaned on an annual basis.

  6. Inspect window and door caulking and weather stripping annually.

  7. Replace the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors yearly. If you have never checked yours, do so.