In the bathroom, the most likely places to find asbestos or asbestos containing material (ACM) are on the walls, fittings and floors, where it is used as a compound in adhesive material to bond vinyl tiles, and as part of the material used to make bath tubs and vinyl wallpaper. The main reason why it was commonly used in the shower is because it is water resistant. Depending on the size of the bathroom, the removal could be classified as either large scale or small scale. Removing asbestos from a bathroom needs a high degree of precision, just like all other surfaces.
The standard practice as recommended by Safe Work Australia is to first inspect the bathroom and collect samples for analysis to determine whether the asbestos is friable or non-friable. For sheet flooring which could actually resemble carpeting generally, the asbestos used is likely to be of the friable type. As for wallpaper and vinyl tiles, it is likely that the asbestos is non-friable. Either way, if agitated, even the tightly bonded compound can come loose. Two types of asbestos fibers are particularly toxic-crocidolite and amosite (brown asbestos), which is very brittle. (The other four are actinolite, anthrophylite, chrysotile and tremolite.) After this, a licensed removalist begins the work after risk assessment and drawing up a work plan.
The work begins, with adequate safety measures in place like temporarily evacuating residents, closing off the area and covering the bathroom area in plastic sheets or films, workers having respirators in excellent working condition and protective overalls. If present, duct vents must also be blocked so any fibers do not float away. The wet or dry method of removal must be used depending on the viability of either of them. Afterward, it has to be disposed of in properly labeled bags, separate from regular trash, to areas designated by statute.
Budget for your bathroom, being a generally small scale area it should not be quite as costly but also, a very low quote for the removal should raise red flags. The price has to be reasonable, bearing in mind that the site inspection may be billed to you differently from the removal itself.
The process of removal essentially requires some sort of strip out, since there could be removal of tiles on floors and walls and asbestos containing fittings. The tiles may have bonding material that contains asbestos.
Make sure you have a renovator ready to redo the bathroom, or in cases where the ACM is more than a minimal amount, a demolisher. So go on, inspect your bathroom for any chipping parts or if you believe you may be at risk and choose a firm whose core values are precision and safety first. Above all, identifying asbestos in a bathroom needs keenness. It could be on decorative tiles, ceilings, wallpaper and even as a component of paint. It takes great skill, experience and knowledge to do the assessment and planning accurately so the exercise is thorough and effective.
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