We cannot stress enough that attempting to DIY the asbestos removal from your home is dangerous. Professionals require licenses to perform this task for a reason. Most people don’t know how to remove asbestos sheeting, let alone know how to do it safely.
However, if you are asking “Can I remove asbestos myself?”, then the least we can do is offer you help. Learning how to remove asbestos yourself can be challenging and detail-oriented, but it has to be done.
Remember, if we seem to be too focused on minute details, it is only because these are safety precautions. We stress that you should hire professionals to perform this task, but if you insist on DIY, we hope that you do it safely.
When removing asbestos cladding, be prepared to spend a lot of time.
You start by taking out all the nails and materials. These will need to be constantly wet, to prevent them from spreading and contaminating the air. Don’t snap the sheets, so the fibres don’t get released.
When removing the nails, use a cold chisel, hammer, and nail pliers. Pull them out. There are other methods, but this is the one that has the lowest risk of creating asbestos dust.
Use the cold chisel to knock off the nail head. However, be careful when doing this. You can cause the sheet to break in some cases.
A nail punch can push the nails back into the sheet. This is dangerous because it creates dust, and it makes you need to pull them out again to re-clad. However, it is also one of the faster methods.
When dealing with asbestos fencing, remember that you need to dig the whole sheet out. The new fence has to go in the exact spot as the old one, so leaving the bottoms in will lead to further replacement down the road.
To remove fencing bolts, you need an impact driver. Use the flat blade screwdriver attachment. With one person on either side, operate the gun while the other guy holds the spanner to the nut on the other side. Grind off any leftover rusty bolts.
Alternately, you could use an electric drill with a screwdriver.
For roofing bolts, get the flat blade attachment for the impact driver. Grind any bolts that are stuck. Be careful about breaking the sheets or damaging them in any way. If you see any that are broken or cracked already, take great care – you might fall through them.
When possible, walk where the timbers are under your feet. This provides better support.
Power tools, particularly cutting and sanding discs, should not be used. Compressed air and high-pressure hoses are also ill-advised. These can disturb the sheets and cause contamination through disturbance. As mentioned earlier, keeping the material wet throughout is ideal.
You’ll also need to be mindful of your neighbours. Inform them of what you are doing, because they might not want to be in the area as you work. Read up on all local regulations and restrictions and comply with them.