Asbestos is a highly damaging substance. Throughout history it has been used as a fire-retardant. Even the ancient Romans, however, had noticed that those who worked extensively with it often fell ill. Asbestos fibres are harmful to the lungs, and if inhaled they can lead to a condition called Mesothelioma.
The damage does not show up immediately. It can take decades to surface, but once someone has been exposed to asbestos it is likely that the damage will have already been done. For this reason, the government has banned the use of asbestos in building materials. Many old buildings, however, still have asbestos present in tiles, insulation, and walls.
In most cases, if the asbestos is concealed, in a low-traffic area, and left undisturbed, it is considered relatively ‘safe’ and may be left as-is. However, if the asbestos is in an area where there is the risk of it being damaged, then it must be safely removed by an accredited professional at Inner City Environmental.
Asbestos In The Home
Many residential properties built in the 1970’s and before used asbestos during the construction. These properties are required to be tested for asbestos if they are being sold or if there are building or refurbishment works to be carried out. This is a legal requirement that cannot be ignored as the penalties are severe as are the potential consequences.
Asbestos Requires Careful Handling
You should not attempt to remove asbestos yourself. As soon as you start moving it, there is the risk that harmful fibres will be released into the air. If you think that you have asbestos in your property, you should have a surveyor come out and confirm that this is the case. A survey could cost around £250 for an average domestic property, then, once they have confirmed that asbestos is present, you have the choice of ‘encapsulating’ it to stop the fibres from escaping, or having it entirely removed.
Encapsulation, on average, should cost around £8 per square meter, while full removal can be £50 or more per square meter. Prices can vary massively depending on the size of the project, and the area that you live in. If you live in an expensive area and the asbestos is in a ‘difficult to reach’ part of the building or you have a very old property which requires special attention then you can expect to pay much more than it would cost to remove an asbestos garage roof from a small property in the North East.
Domestic water tanks with asbestos cladding would be far less expensive to take care of than an asbestos-clad garage. Talk to your local council for advice, because they are often happy to do subsidized work on asbestos for homeowners. In some cases, small amounts of asbestos can be removed by your local council free of charge.