With all the recent news of asbestos being found in Grade 1 classrooms and children’s makeup, you may feel anxious to protect your family from asbestos exposure. You wouldn’t want your loved ones in Melbourne to be put in danger because of this hazardous material, would you?

One proven way to protect your family is to get rid of all asbestos in your Melbourne residence. You’ll need the help of an asbestos removal company such as AWARE to truly secure your home. But before opting for asbestos removal in Melbourne, you may have some questions. Is there a way for you to determine whether your house has asbestos, even before the specialists arrive? And how much will you be spending for asbestos removal?

However, this isn’t the first time these questions have popped up. In fact, they’re often raised by other Melbourne homeowners who share your safety concerns. Read on to get the answers to 5 frequently asked questions about asbestos removal in Melbourne.

Asbestos Removal in Melbourne: 5 Frequently Asked Questions Answered!

1. How Do I Know that My House in Melbourne Has Asbestos?

It’s difficult to say for sure that your Melbourne residence has asbestos simply by looking at the walls. Although you can try to find signs of asbestos in your house, you’ll still want to ask a licensed assessor to take a look.

You may also make an educated guess based on the age of your house in Melbourne. Houses that were built or renovated before the mid-1980s most likely contain asbestos. It helps to find out when your house was built, especially if you were not the original owner.

2. What Are the Steps for Asbestos Removal in Melbourne?

     • Assessment/Survey

You may first evaluate asbestos found on your property. Be extremely careful when doing this so that you do not disturb or damage the material.

If the asbestos is not damaged, it does not pose too much of a threat since its fibres are still intact. You may opt for encapsulation at this point, where the asbestos-containing material will be sealed off with adhesive sealants, foam blankets, or other coatings. It is still highly advisable to have the material removed, however.

Once you contact a licensed professional, they will inspect your house or establishment and collect samples for laboratory analysis. Expect to receive the results within 48 to 72 hours.

     • Asbestos Removal

Licensed professionals will wear personal protective equipment (PPE) before conducting asbestos removal in Melbourne. Plastic sheeting may be used to isolate contaminated areas. A high efficiency particulate air filter (HEPA) will also be started up to deal with any airborne fibres. Amended water may also be sprayed over asbestos-containing materials to keep additional fibres from becoming airborne.

Actual asbestos removal will begin afterwards, with workers placing the hazardous material in two layers of plastic bags at least 0.2mm thick.

     • Asbestos Disposal

Once the waste is removed, contained, and labelled, it will be disposed of together with the used PPE from the operation. These materials will ultimately end up at a proper landfill or disposal area in Victoria.

Cleanup also begins at the removal site. All debris is removed from the area. All surfaces will also be HEPA-filtered, wet-wiped, and then sprayed with encapsulant to deal with remaining asbestos fibres.

     • Post-Removal Inspection

Although not required, it is still advised that you schedule a post-removal inspection to ensure that your property is now clear of asbestos. This includes asbestos fibre air monitoring. Once an inspector or consultant issues final clearance, your home is officially asbestos-free and safe for re-occupancy!

ALSO READ: The Residential Asbestos Removal Process: An Infographic

3. How Much Does Asbestos Removal in Melbourne Cost?

It can be difficult to provide an estimated cost for your home in an instant, as the estimation will differ from case to case. The price mainly depends on the asbestos removal cost per square metre. In addition, the following factors can influence the final cost of asbestos removal in Melbourne:

     • Process

     • Risk level

     • Material (amount, degree of damage)

     • Accessibility of the material

     • Timeline

Take note that quotes based on the cost per square metre will most likely not be the final cost, giving you room to budget.

That being said, asbestos removal in Melbourne usually starts at between $200- $400 per hour. If your removalist of choice will be dealing with an extremely large area, the cost can climb past $3000.

Your final price can be broken down according to the stages of the asbestos removal process.

     • Asbestos Survey: about $400

     • Removal: $1,200 to $4,000 upwards, generally. This cost will further depend on what exactly will be removed:

      ○ Asbestos Roof: $3500 to $5500

      ○ 1 Sheet of Asbestos Fencing: $25 to $50

      ○ 1 Sq. Metre of Asbestos Ceiling: $40 to $100

      ○ Asbestos-Containing Eaves: $1500 to $2500

      ○ Internal Cladding, Single Room: $1000 to $1500

      ○ External Cladding: $4000 to $5000

      ○ Asbestos Flooring: $100 to $900, depending on area

      ○ Asbestos in Soil: $187/tonne on average; may be higher depending on concentration of asbestos

*If you’ve opted for encapsulation instead, you may spend as little as $12 per square metre.

     • Disposal: Some asbestos removalists in Melbourne include the disposal costs in the quote. Otherwise, you will have to shoulder the costs of asbestos disposal yourself. Take note that you will have to discuss tipping with the local council.

     • Post-Removal Inspection: Asbestos fibre air monitoring can cost you between $1,000 and $1,500.

4. Can’t I Remove Asbestos Myself?

Although there are no laws preventing you from doing so, it is still considered highly dangerous to remove asbestos yourself. Simply exposing yourself to asbestos already puts you at risk of inhaling airborne fibres. You will only be able to protect yourself if you’re using respirators, disposable clothes, and the right air sampling equipment. However, you most likely won’t have these on hand unless you are a removalist with either a Class A or Class B license.

With a Class A license, you will be able to remove both friable and non-friable asbestos. Meanwhile, a Class B license only allows you to work in spaces up to 10 sq. m. in size. Class B license holders are also only allowed to remove debris and dust. You will need to undergo proper training to receive either of these licenses for asbestos removal in Melbourne.

5. Are Small Amounts of Asbestos Eligible for Removal?

Yes. Mining companies have taken steps to deal with asbestos in rail car chassis. Schools have sealed cupboards that used to hold suspected asbestos in the form of lab mats. Even products or building materials that contain small amounts of asbestos can become dangerous if they are damaged or disturbed.

Err on the safe side. Ask a licensed asbestos removalist to deal with any suspicious materials.

With these 5 FAQs answered, you can feel at ease when you finally contact a licensed specialist to inspect your home and deal with any asbestos they find. For the most thorough inspections and removals, however, be sure to find a dependable Class A asbestos removal company!

One company you’ll want to consider is AWARE, Australia’s number 1 asbestos removal solution. Our top-class removalists have carried out large projects including the Channel 7 and Channel 9 buildings, as well as the Royal Children’s Hospital. We also use our own EPA-licensed trucks, eliminating the need for large bins and allowing us to offer our services at affordable prices. Contact us today to find out more!

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