We always want to stress this over and over to any homeowner who comes to us to seek help, pieces of advice, and sometimes assistance in dealing with asbestos that they suspect to be present in their cement siding – it is risky and hazardous. This is not because we want to terrify or intimidate them, but a home project like asbestos siding removal can be very dangerous to any person’s health and safety if not handled properly. There are important tips and precautionary measures that must be taken and practiced before signing up for an asbestos siding removal project. In our years of working together, particularly in this kind of project, we have mastered all the vital steps to a successful asbestos abatement activity, as well as the things to be mindful of and consider.
We are not going to lie; this type of project truly requires close attention and attentiveness. From the detection phase to the removal proper to the waste disposal stage – each step must be seriously taken care of because the health risk of this kind of removal project is really high; most especially the waste storage and disposal. We extremely recommend that you consider getting a dumpster rental service before doing this project as this can be space-consuming, messy, and dangerous when toxic waste gets in contact with any person. Some dumpster rental Elgin IL companies offer services for homeowners who are conducting home remodeling and remediation activities to assist them in storing waste and rubbish properly and safely. Their dumpsters come in a wide variety of sizes that clients can choose from depending on their needs and considering the sizes of their projects. Renting a dumpster is an efficient way of sorting your clutters and storing them safely at the same time. There are a few things that you can get and benefit from getting a dumpster rental service, most especially when your yard is not spacious enough to accommodate your remediation waste; not to mention having someone to collate and collect all the clutters at a time or schedule that you can conveniently set.
Now, there are some words of caution that we need you to be aware of before starting with the asbestos siding removal project – you are liable, responsible, and in-charge of all the aspects of the project that you are going to venture in. Although we know that you are determined and decided to take this on and do the procedure by yourself, we highly suggest that you hire a professional to do the work with you. Only a certified asbestos abatement contractor is allowed to practice and deliver such service legally. You or any member of the family may lend a hand, given that it will be a no-pay labor. Do not get too confident with the doability of the do-it-yourself steps that we have in hand for you as we are still imposing that this particular project may be dangerous to any person’s health. Be extra careful and keep in mind that release of asbestos fibers in the open air is unavoidable throughout the process, and there are no known safe levels of exposure to asbestos up to this day.
This is not pure warning; however, we want to impose that the work and its whole process will be challenging and difficult. It is equally prudent to hire a pro as it is wise to do the project all by yourself. Asbestos removal projects can be physically stretching and hazardous; so equip yourself with the following facts:
- Normal breathing is far different from breathing through a respirator. In most cases, breathing through a respirator can inflict stress to your heart and lungs.
- The whole process can include climbing stiff ladders, and wearing of uncomfortable protective gears.
- Poor visibility can be experienced as you will be required to wear eye protection.
- Common sense dictates that additional caution must be taken with electrical wiring as it is unavoidable not to use water to moisten the asbestos.
- You may need to mount high spaces during the project, so be very careful and alert to keep yourself away from any accidental fall.
Before committing your time and effort to the project, you must first equip and supply yourself with facts and evidence that your siding is indeed contaminated by asbestos. If you are suspecting that it is, you must prepare a small swab or sample for laboratory test and analysis. There is no need to worry about the cost as it is very minimal. You may refer to the yellow pages to look for the nearest laboratory that does the testing; accredited laboratories are grouped under Environmental Services and Laboratories.
Taking a lab sample is easy: damp and chip off a small portion of siding, preferably a square inch in size. Place it securely inside a resealable pouch, and bring it to the laboratory at the soonest possible time for necessary analysis and diagnosis.
There are instances that asbestos contamination is visibly evident. In cases like this, we recommend that you skip the laboratory test and just proceed to the removal project already to treat the siding.
When asbestos is proven to be present by the laboratory though the sample, you may decide and ask yourself whether or not you want to take on the removal project because more often than not, asbestos only causes some serious problems when fibers are released to the open air. As long as asbestos siding is not being disturbed, there is a great tendency that it will not in any way release asbestos fibers. The safest and least costly thing to do by then is to just leave it alone.
However, in many cases of home remodeling projects, homeowners are forced to do asbestos removal specifically when they need to move a siding that is chemically polluted by asbestos. There will be no option left aside from taking on an asbestos removal project for them to complete their home remodeling plans.
This step-by-step guide to properly do the asbestos removal in the safest way possible is all based on our experience working as a tandem in home remediation projects such as this one. Each homeowner who aspires to take on this project may encounter different situations and scenarios throughout the entire process.
- Collate all necessary supplies and manpower.
Be reminded that if you are not confident enough that you can complete the removal project properly and successfully all by yourself, it is important to consider hiring a certified asbestos abatement contractor to help you. Assess the contractor before hiring them because only the certified ones are legally allowed to practice and deliver such service.
Prepare all required protective gear and clothing. It is a prerequisite whenever you plan to do a remodeling or remediation project of any sort that you must have all necessary protective equipment ready. For asbestos removal projects, you must gather the following: respirators, eye protection, rubber boots, coveralls, rubber gloves, and both asbestos waste disposal bags and stickers. Asbestos waste disposal stickers are specifically used to tag and label large debris that do not fit in the waste disposal bags.
Aside from all the body protection that will avoid workers from getting in contact with toxic asbestos fibers, necessary tools and supplies must also be prepared. These tools include a permanent marker for writing labels and dates, water sprayer, garden hose, debris container, removal tools, dishwashing liquid, duct tape, disposable rags, a 6-mil polyethylene plastic sheeting, a bucket, and a ladder.
- Prepare for the Removal
As you do the needed preparation for the removal of the siding, be keen and keep in mind that the main purpose is to avoid asbestos fibers from coming out to the open air; so you need to be extra careful and try to avoid any breakage and keep the siding wet at all times.
To perfectly expedite this, you need to prepare and do the following:
- Position or hang precautionary signs for your family or anyone who might visit the property during the project. Make the signs large – just enough for anyone to see, so they would be reminded of the area or spot to avoid.
- Label each asbestos disposal waste bag properly using a permanent marker. We advise that you finish the labeling task before doing the removal to make things easier for you moving forward.
- Designate an entrance and exit zones to the removal area.
- Fill the sprayers with water and dishwashing liquid. Mix both components well.
- Position the tools in the designated entrance and exit zones for easy access. Ensure that clean damp rags, sprayers, buckets, and asbestos disposal bags are available in both ends.
- Using a garden hose, wet about 50 square feet of the siding.
- Wear all protective clothing and gear.
By this time, you must be fully ready to take on the challenge. Make sure that all the necessary tools are available near you, and all the protective garments are worn properly. Put on the disposable coveralls, gloves, eye protection, and respirator. Lock your gloves with the sleeves of your coveralls by taping both ends; wrap the adhesive around your wrist to ensure that both your arms and wrists are securely covered.
- Do the siding removal.
Carefully pull all visible nail heads to minimize breakage to remove the sidings. Wet the back side of each siding while it is being removed. Be careful; do not simply drop or throw it away. Instead, place the debris and waste on the plastic at the base part of the wall. Keep spraying and wetting the debris until it is sealed and locked.
- Store all the debris properly.
Proper disposal is key to a successful siding removal project. Place all debris in sturdy containers before locking them in the disposal bags.
- Be sure to decontaminate.
Do not be in such a hurry, and try to vacuum all debris. This might cause asbestos fibers present around to be airborne and potentially harm you. Wipe all tools with clean rags, and place them in a bucket filled with water and detergent for more rigorous cleaning. Take off all the protective garments around you, discard all the disposable ones, and carefully put them inside disposal bags.
- Prepare all bags for disposal.
Thoroughly check all the waste bags, and prepare them for proper disposal. Ensure that all bags are securely locked; check the tops if they are twisted and taped down. Once done, you may now consult your dumpster rental service provider for the transferring of the asbestos waste bags to an approved disposal site. Legally, asbestos debris and waste must be disposed of within ten calendar days of accumulation. There are designated and certified sites where asbestos waste can be hauled and placed, and it is definitely not your backyard.
After knowing all the cost and health risks you need to take in order to succeed in a DIY asbestos siding removal project, you probably are having second thoughts by now. If you do, we recommend that you reconsider. Although it is cost-effective to do the procedure by yourself, hiring a certified contractor to help you can be a good option too. Be cautious, and carefully assess contractors before hiring one because only the licensed practitioners are legally allowed to do the job.