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Home Renovations and Asbestos Removal

Home Renovations And The Dangers Of Asbestos Exposure

Before the mid-1980s, building materials containing asbestos fibres were commonly used in housing projects. From water drainage and flue pipes to bonded asbestos cement, from roofing shingles to vinyl sheet floor coverings, asbestos was present everywhere. Even though its use went on a decline later, houses built or renovated before the 1980s is still likely to contain asbestos in different forms.

This scourge of exposure to asbestos has always been about asbestos materials giving of microscopic fibres when disturbed. This can happen if you are renovating your home and there is some type of tearing, cutting, scraping or sanding is involved.

Due to the health risks associated with this substance, it’s crucial that you have your home tested for asbestos before renovating.

asbestos removal dangers

Why test for asbestos before renovating?

Asbestos was once widely used since they worked as a strengthener fire and heat production. However, most people were not aware of the perils involved in inhaling the fibres coming from asbestos until some major cases of asbestosis were reported.

Inhaling these fibres can lead to mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis, and few other conditions that are life threatening.

These diseases were responsible for causing the deaths of tens of thousands of workers who were exposed to asbestos throughout their careers in the 20th century. Even today, professional contractors and employees working on renovating and remodeling of homes put themselves at the risk of asbestos exposure.

Dangers of Asbestos

DIY home remodel jobs are especially risky as homeowners are likely to expose themselves to asbestos because they’re unaware where the substance may be present. So, when they damage or disturb materials containing asbestos, it will release asbestos fibres, when inhaled would likely cause fatal diseases.

Some facts related to the dangers of asbestos exposure are the following:

  • There is no such thing as “safe level” to asbestos fibre exposure
  • Breathing in the asbestos dust and fibres can cause diseases like lung cancer, asbestosis, mesothelioma, and pleural thickening
  • The risk of contracting diseases related to asbestos increases with the number of fibres inhaled, and for the number of years one has been exposed
  • Mesothelioma is an incurable disease that mostly occurs in the lining of the lung
  • Those who smoke are at high risk of having lung cancer if they have inhaled asbestos fibres
  • Symptoms of diseases caused by asbestos exposure can take as much as 20 to 30 years to appear for the first time
  • The average duration of asbestos exposure and developing mesothelioma is 45 years

As you can understand, most diseases caused by inhaling asbestos fibres do not become apparent for at least 10 years after the first time the person was exposed. This is the prime reason why you must do a thorough asbestos test of your home before renovation and remodeling. For more info check here

Asbestos removal tips 

We wouldn’t advise attempting to remove substances containing asbestos if you’re not a trained professional. However, if you feel confident handling asbestos, remember to wear safety gear whenever handling the material. The tips below were provided by the team from Pro Asbestos Removal Sydney who provide domestic asbestos removalists throughout New South Wales. If you need assistance or have questions regarding asbestos in your home, contact them for free advice.

  • Do not make use of power tools
  • Do not use abrasive cutting or sanding discs
  • Do not use hoses having high pressure
  • Do not use compressed air
  • Do not walk on cement roofs made of corrugated asbestos as there is a risk of falling through the roof
  • Never leave asbestos products lying around in places where they may get crushed a broken
  • If you’re unsure if a substance contains asbestos, get it tested from n NATA-accredited laboratory
  • When working with asbestos, make sure you’re in a well-ventilated area
  • Make sure that the asbestos material is kept wet to reduce the chances of fiber and dust release

We recommend that you do not attempt to remove loosely bound asbestos and let a licensed technician handle the task. Since loose asbestos carries a far greater risk of affecting one’s health than firmly-bound asbestos, obtain extreme precaution while handling them.

Removing asbestos is only half the problem; the health risks associated with packaging, transport, and disposal of materials are also something you should not ignore. In regards to cleaning up asbestos, we’ve got the following tips for you:

  • Double wrap and tape asbestos cement material while still in work area and clearly label it as “asbestos waste.”
  • While stacking sheets, remember not to skid one sheet over another as it might cause release of asbestos fibres
  • Do not leave the sheets lying around where they may be crushed or broken
  • Make sure you have no traces of asbestos dust in the work area, your clothing, shoes, tools, etc.
  • Get rid of disposable overalls along with the asbestos waste
  • Always use an industrial grade vacuum cleaner that comes with appropriate attachments and is fit for this type of work
  • Avoid sweeping as it may lead to stirring up of dust and particles that may damage the lining of the lungs

asbestos removal

Safe transport and disposal

For safety reasons, it’s crucial that you dispose of all the asbestos waste as soon as possible. To do this, transport all the waste in a leakproof vehicle and one that is fully covered. Never dispose of the asbestos waste in any place other than a licensed landfill site as it is against the law to illegally dump asbestos products.

Again, if you’re unsure about your capacity to safely transport and dispose of this substance, the best choice would be to hire a professional.

How do I manage and asbestos incident?

How an asbestos incident should be handled on its nature and circumstances surrounding the event. If you feel that an asbestos-related event has taken place, you have the option to seek help from several State government agencies. If the incident poses a threat to public health, then get in touch with your local environmental health officer immediately!

If the event involves transport or disposal of asbestos, refer to the Environmental Protection Authority. The key takeaway here is that one should never try to remove asbestos from their homes themselves without the help of the appropriately trained authorities. This substance is deadly, and not something you’d want to be messing around with.

Top 10 Ways to Save on your Home Renovations

Home Renovations On a Budget

We all need a change every once in a while. Tastes change, styles and trends evolve and it becomes time to purge the old and bring in something new. If it is your house that is outdated, bringing in the new can cost an arm and a leg. We can’t all just go out and buy a new house every time we want to change the look of our humble abode.

Here are some tips on how to plan the perfect remodel and a list of the top 10 ways to save and still get the home makeover you are dreaming of.

First things first:

What is your budget for the renovations?

The first thing to figure out is how much you want to spend on the renovations. The decisions you make will need to match your taste and your pocketbook. There are a dozen little things that will add up to be a big expense, so always expect it to cost more than you plan for. Set your budget a little lower than you really have put aside for the renovations. This way you will not be overly stressed when the costs start adding up and a surprise expense comes along.

Will you use a contractor?

Many homeowners are quite the handyman and may decide they can cut costs by doing the renovations themselves. Others would never consider picking up a hammer or screwdriver because they don’t know the difference between a Philip’s and an L key. Then there are some who are fast learners and believe in the power of positive thinking and the miracle of YouTube

The answer rests largely on two factors:

1.  The type and complexity of the project. Your level of skill and the time you have available to work on the project

For more of Andrea Davis’ article on whether to hire a contractor or do it yourself.

2. Whether you use a contractor or decide to DIY there are ways you can save money and have a new look.

Top 10 Ways to Save on your Home Renovations

1. Laminate

A kitchen is always one of the most expensive rooms to make over but there are ways to save money while doing it.

“Kitchens are consistently on the top home renovation project lists, with most people hiring a professional to assist,” says Jason Chuck, managing director of Houzz Australia and New Zealand.

A study conducted by www.Houzz.com showed that most homeowners decide with kitchen renovations to make their kitchens bigger by at least 55% when redoing it. Most kitchen renovations include new countertops, backsplashes, appliances and floors.

One of the greatest choices on a budget for the kitchen is using Laminate.

The pros of laminate:

  • Cost efficient:  Laminate is cheaper than many options
  • Easy to clean
  • A variety of color and designs
  • Extremely durable
  • Scratch and Heat resistant
  • Easier to install as flooring than hardwood, etc.

Laminate isn’t just for floors. Benchtops, countertops and other surfaces can be laminate finished.

 

2. Make your bathroom renovation withstand the test of time

For most of us the bathroom is more than a place we get ready for our day. It is a statement on our home. After all, any visitor who stays for any amount of time is going to have to visit this room too. So it is a popular choice for remodeling.

Choose classic and simple options that will last through all the trends and still look fabulous.

 

3. Leave the plumbing alone

Catherine Nikas-Boulos of the Daily Telegraph has a great article about renovations  where Roger Ibrahim, who heads up the bathroom design team at Domayne, says if you’re relatively happy with the layout of the bathroom, then don’t start changing it, for change’s sake.

“If you keep the plumbing where it is, then you’re saving yourself quite a bit of money,” he says. “Then, you can make the products the hero.”

 

4. Stick to stock sizes not custom

Angela Colley of Money Talks News says to “look for standard sizes when you purchase materials. Custom pieces cost far more than the stock pieces sold at home improvement stores. For example, RemPros, a remodeling group, says that custom kitchen cabinets can cost 60 to 80 percent more than stock cabinets.”

 

5. Floor Displays and Discontinued Models

You can save a lot of money by asking about possible discontinued and floor model appliances or fixtures. They are often marked down below sale costs.

 

6. Get Someone Who Knows What They Are Doing

It may seem like you will save money doing it yourself but if you are unsure or don’t know what you are doing you could be setting yourself up for disaster- and a huge bill to fix what goes wrong.

 

7. Give It A Simple Facelift

When budget is a concern doing simple things like changing the drapes, fixtures, paint can make it feel like a whole new room without a major bill attached.

An article at Homes to love talks about other ways to make cosmetic fixes.

 

8. Buy Second Hand and Repurpose

Contacting Habitat for Humanity can be a good thing for you and another deserving family. They will come disassemble your donation and it will go to a good cause. This will save you time and money having to take old kitchen cupboards down yourself. There are lots of good second hand and repurposed options available for you to find and add character to your home.

 

9. Buy Your Own Supplies and Shop Around

Contractors tend to always use the same suppliers. Not necessarily the cheapest. You can search for sales and compare shop until you find something that works with your budget

 

10. Take Your Time

It is always nice to have it done and over with when renovations are underway but it can be easier on your pocketbook to take your time and wait for sales. Take on one project at a time and buy supplies as they go on sale so you have them when it is time to start the work.

Welcome To AMS CQ Website

Welcome to My Website.  I am Ann Marry Simmons, a renowned lifestyle and home improvement blogger. I have been writing about various pieces and journals about how to improve your lifestyle and ensure you live a satisfying life full of fun and enjoyment. Many people have been conducting me about how my advice have helped them improve their lives.