Why you should leave asbestos removal to a licensed professsional
It is not unusual to find asbestos as a building material in older homes, especially if they date from before the 1980s. You may be tempted to save money by removing the hazardous material yourself. However, there are many good reasons why it should be left to a licensed professional.
The legal situation
Firstly, you may not legally be allowed to remove the asbestos. Although the situation varies from state to state, in some states it is illegal altogether, and other states place restrictions on the amount that can be removed by a non-licensed person. You should also bear in mind that even where it is legal, it is unlikely that any insurance policy will cover you in the event of any illness or accident.
Asbestos is a carcinogen that can lead to scarring or cancers in the lungs. It is not usually a problem when undisturbed, but once you start removing it, you run the risk of breaking it and releasing the fibres into the air. It can then be lethal. There may even be loose fibres in the air before you start that you aren't aware of. A professional will know how to treat the material whilst keeping everyone safe.
Following on from the above, asbestos removal can only be done safely with the correct personal protective equipment. This means clothing and footwear that is impervious to the fibres as well as a respirator. It is also vital that this equipment is a proper fit - a loose-fitting respirator can give the fibres an opportunity to enter the airways. Not only do you need the right equipment, but you need to be used to it - wearing heavy equipment in summer can lead to heat stroke or heart problems.
There are other accidents that can easily happen to an inexperienced DIYer. The asbestos sheets themselves can be very heavy and can lead to muscle and joint injuries. The need to work at a high height can cause accidents with ladders, and there is a danger of electrocution caused by the necessity to keep the asbestos wet. A professional will be well aware of all the potential problems and will have safety measures in place to guard against them.
Asbestos is a dangerous material that needs specialist knowledge and experience to remove. Leave it to a licensed professional, and keep yourself and your family safe.
To learn more, contact an asbestos removal contractor.