If you’re a fairly handy homeowner, and you need a new roof, you might consider replacing it yourself. Before you start planning the job, however, it’s a good idea to find out if your existing roof contains asbestos.
Once it’s confirmed that your old roof is asbestos, all the rules change, and everything becomes a lot more complicated. Here’s what you know about removing asbestos roofing yourself.
Can You Remove Asbestos Roofing Yourself?
That really depends on where you live. Some parts of the country, like ACT, don’t allow DIY asbestos removal at all. Even those parts of Australia that do allow it usually limit homeowners to removing 10 square metres of non-friable asbestos, and there’s a long list of regulations you need to comply with.
That’s a lot smaller than most roofs, so unless you’re only replacing a small section of roof, you probably can’t legally remove it, no matter where in Australia you live.
Why Is It So Highly Regulated?
If you’re not in the building business, you might not understand why asbestos removal is so highly regulated. After all, the government doesn’t tell you how to remove a brick wall or break up a concrete pathway.
However, while asbestos was a very common element in many building materials, we now know that it’s incredibly dangerous.
Once the fibres of friable asbestos become airborne, they’re almost impossible to see and can be breathed in very easily. Once in your lungs and body, they can cause serious health conditions, including cancer.
The regulations about handling, removing, and disposing of asbestos removal are designed to prevent that from happening.
What Happens If You Remove It Anyway?
There are several reasons why it’s a very bad idea to remove asbestos yourself.
First and most importantly, if you don’t use the right equipment in the right way, you can endanger yourself and everyone else who lives in or visits your home.
Second, if you’re caught removing asbestos illegally, you can be fined, and the fines are not small.
Finally, you can’t just dump asbestos roofing anywhere, and if you try to dispose of it anywhere, you will be asked lots of questions that you probably can’t answer!
Hire a Professional
While there are many things homeowners can (and do!) DIY amazingly around their homes, asbestos roofing removal, is not one of them, nor should it be.
Not only will equipping yourself correctly, arranging proper disposal and keeping everything contained cost a small fortune, but it’s a time-consuming task that demands the utmost attention to detail.
The best thing you can do to keep yourself safe, save money and time, and stay out of trouble with the law is to hire a licensed contractor for your asbestos roofing removal. The job will get done faster, you will stay healthy, and you won’t have any unpleasant visits from the municipal building department.