Tips when home renovating

Asbestos materials that are in good condition and left undisturbed and intact are not dangerous. However, if you are renovating, demolishing or doing general home maintenance you need to be aware that asbestos fibres and dust pose a serious health risk.

If the asbestos is undamaged and in good condition, ask yourself: Can I leave it alone? Can it be painted or covered to avoid removal?

Remember, before starting a DIY job with asbestos consider:

  • alternatives to removing the material containing asbestos such as painting, sealing or covering with a non-asbestos product
  • whether you can comply with the laws
  • using a licensed asbestos removalist

Before you start renovating, demolishing or doing general home maintenance involving asbestos materials you should plan how you will do the work, make sure you have all the equipment you need and arrange disposal of the asbestos waste.

As a homeowner, there is no restriction on the amount or type of asbestos you can remove from your own house, but you must comply with transport and disposal requirements. Contact your local council for more information about asbestos disposal locations and how to dispose of your asbestos waste.

When planning your work, don't forget to think about how it will affect your family and neighbours. You should take all possible precautions to avoid releasing asbestos fibres into the air during your work.

You should speak to your neighbours about the work you are planning to do. It is particularly important to explain the safety precautions you will be taking to minimise the chance of asbestos fibres getting into the air.

As a homeowner it is recommended that you engage a licenced asbestos removalist to remove and dispose of friable asbestos.

Do's and Don'ts

  • Do treat asbestos with respect
  • Do seek advice from a licenced asbestos removalist
  • Do take every precaution to avoid damaging asbestos material
  • Do wrap all asbestos materials before moving
  • Do wear suitable PPE
  • Don’t dust, sweep or vacuum debris that may contain asbestos
  • Don’t use power tools on materials that may contain asbestos
  • Don’t saw, sand, cut, or scrape asbestos containing materials
  • Don’t walk or track material that could contain asbestos through the building
  • Don’t dispose of asbestos waste in domestic garbage bins
  • Don’t reuse, store, recycle or illegally dump asbestos containing material