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What a Homeowner Needs to Know About Asbestos and Its Removal

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Having asbestos in the home can be very frightening to a homeowner, as the material is dangerous if not downright deadly when inhaled. If you have a home in Australia and are curious about asbestos removal and disposal from your home, note a few things to keep in mind as to how to do this safely and legally.

1. Removing the asbestos legally

A homeowner in Australia is not obligated to have a type of licensed contractor remove the asbestos from their home for them; they are legally allowed to do this on their own. However, just because you are allowed to remove your own asbestos doesn't mean you always should handle this job yourself. Calling a licensed contractor (like Total Asbestos Services) can ensure the asbestos is removed safely and thoroughly, so that no one suffers the risk of exposure to the material and there are no traces of the material left in crawlspaces or other areas that a homeowner might overlook.

2. Removing asbestos thoroughly

If you do decide to remove asbestos on your own, for example, if you know that it's only contained in a small area of your home, be sure you have a breathing apparatus with a strong filter. A dust mask may not be sufficient to protect your lungs from inhaling fibers. Wet down the material so it won't become airborne. Don't use sanders or any type of tool that will circulate the fibers, but scrape it away instead. Once it's removed, use a wet cloth to wipe down the area of exposure and dispose of the cloth along with the asbestos itself. You might even wear coveralls and dispose of these with the asbestos so you don't have any fibers clinging to your clothes after your removal job is over.

3. Disposing of asbestos

Asbestos is not meant to be disposed of in the trash, as it can become airborne during trash collection. Instead, you need to contact a licensed site that handles asbestos containing materials, or ACM. They will be able to receive your bags of asbestos, the cloths used for cleaning, and even the coveralls along with gloves you were wearing for cleaning. You can find ACM handling facilities online and it's usually recommended that you call ahead of time and note their procedures for accepting materials; some will even come to your home and pick up the materials rather than having you transport them in your own vehicle. This can be more convenient for you and even reduce your risk of the asbestos spreading in your car.