In Australia, if your home was built between the 1950s and the late 1990s, there is a chance that it has asbestos in it.
Asbestos was commonly used in the building and construction industry because the small asbestos fibres could be mixed with other materials, like adhesives and cement, to create products that were very strong, durable and heat resistant. That’s because asbestos fibres are almost indestructible – which is a desirable quality for building materials.
However, in 2003 asbestos use was banned in Australia due to the risk exposure to the asbestos fibres has for people’s health. The small fibres can be inhaled or ingested and become trapped deep inside your lungs, and because the body has no way of getting it out, it can cause scarring, which leads to a number of different, incurable diseases.
The asbestos fibres are very small and not usually able to be seen by the human eye, especially when airborne. And while asbestos is strong and durable, when it’s disturbed, these fibres can become loose and you’re at risk of being exposed to them.
That’s why, if your home was built between the 1950s to the late 1990s, it’s important that you’re aware of if and where asbestos may be present. You can find this out through an asbestos inspection. If asbestos is found in your home, depending on its condition, it might need to be removed, which is where a professional asbestos removalist comes.
A professional asbestos removalist can safely and efficiently, remove the asbestos present in your home, making it a super safe environment for you and your family. However, not just anyone can remove asbestos, and not all asbestos removalist companies are create equal. Here’s what your asbestos removalist should have as a bare minimum.
1. Trained, Qualified and Licensed
Not everyone can remove asbestos, and like we said above, not all asbestos removalists are created equal. A normal person can remove a very small amount of asbestos (non-friable) from their home themselves, however, the way in which it is disposed of is highly regulated as well. Which is why you should always work with a removalist. However, there are various licenses in the asbestos removal world, meaning that some removalists can only remove certain amounts or types of asbestos too.
Essentially, you want to be working with an asbestos removalist who holds a class A license and is unrestricted. This means they can remove any kind of asbestos from your home and any amount. They will usually have lots of training and experience at removing asbestos from many different kinds of properties, which leads us to our next point.
2. Many Years of Experience
Experience is paramount for proper asbestos removal. Asbestos materials come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and are tucked away and hidden in the strangest places. Only someone with many years of experience is going to know exactly what they are looking for.
Ideally, you want to work with a company that has removed asbestos from both residential and commercial properties, and who has removed friable and non-friable asbestos too. Proper experience means the chances of exposure are significantly lessened.
3. The Don’t Cut Corners
We mentioned earlier that the disposal of asbestos is highly regulated. Which is true. But the whole process of identifying and removing asbestos is as well. This is because it is extremely dangerous to people’s health when they are exposed to it. If you risk working with an unlicensed removalist or try to do it yourself, you’re not only putting your health at risk, but you’re also risking huge government fines if the people you work with are not doing the right and legal thing.
4. Fair Prices
Your asbestos removal shouldn’t cost you an arm and a leg but it also shouldn’t be super cheap. When searching for a removalist, we suggest that you get quotes from a few different companies so you can get a ballpark estimate of how much you should be paying. Many removalists offer a free quote service, and if they want you to pay for a quote, we’re telling you now, walk away.
If a company is charging a lot less than anyone else, that might also be a sign to not work with them. You don’t want to work with someone who might be cutting corners to save on costs.
5. Customer Reviews
The customer reviews and testimonials of a company can usually tell you as to whether the company is worth working with. Before you commit to a company, check them out online and see what people have to say. Remember to not take every review to heart but if they are all negative or just average, it might be a good idea to avoid them.