Every homeowner, builder, and tradesman has heard of – and fears – asbestos. It is a building material that can be found in any pre-2000 structure and will cause serious health problems. Asbestos is an integral part of many homes, industrial complexes and other structures throughout the country. Before its health connections were revealed, it was a highly cherished building material. Since then, every trade job and construction site must be careful to avoid disturbing existing asbestos infrastructure. A huge cleanup process is in operation with licensed removal experts on a mission to get rid of it once-and-for-all.
What is asbestos and why is it so bad?
Asbestos was a building material heavily used in structures before 2000. It was an essential part of construction, much like bricks, mortar, and cement. As a result, it was used in roofs, walls, and mixed with the cement itself. Over time, scientists noticed that the chemicals within asbestos had a terrifying nature. It was later discovered that asbestos was the root of lung complications. In some cases, the health problems were fatal. Left undisturbed, asbestos is relatively harmless. However, as soon as any construction work begins in the area, it can become airborne.
Why was it used?
Initially, the health problems weren’t widely understood. Asbestos was considered a brilliant fireproof insulation material. It was sprayed onto roof tiles, mixed with cement and packed into boilers and pipes. It’s a fibrous material that is excellent at keeping the warmth in and fire out.
How to spot it
Unfortunately, the tricky thing about asbestos is that it’s very difficult to find it. Because it was used so widely, it could be present in any building built before 2000. As we explained, it was mixed in with other materials and sprayed onto structures. It’s not immediately obvious to determine if asbestos is present. In this scenario, you have little choice but to order a survey by specialists. They will identify any areas that do contain the chemical. It is then your responsibility to manage it.
Can you work around it?
If you’ve discovered asbestos in your domestic property or commercial building, what can you do about it? Well, so long as the chemical isn’t disturbed, it’s relatively harmless. In a dormant state, it shouldn’t cause any trouble. However, if you’re bringing tradesmen onto the premises who might disturb it, you should take the necessary actions. If you don’t, they’re within their rights to file an asbestos compensation claim. Make sure you hire tradesmen who are trained and licensed to work around asbestos, or remove it entirely.
This job should be left strictly in the hands of the professions. This is not a DIY job! In order to work with the dangerous chemical, an RSE license is required. When it comes to removal, seek out the experts with relevant qualifications.
In most cases, it’s best to avoid any risky manoeuvres. If you’re in any doubt, contact the specialists. Get a thorough risk assessment and remove it as soon as possible. Even in a dormant form, lengthy exposure can cause long-term illnesses. It’s just not worth the risk.