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Asbestos Removal and Demolition

DemolitionWelcome to our stream of blogs! In this edition we will be discussing Asbestos Removal and Demolition.

Here we will be detailing the building process stage by stage, so that you can be informed about what to prepare for with your build. At Arlington Homes we place strong emphasis on learning and development, so please feel free to let us know if you have any questions or request any blogs topics.

So, first off, demolition…..

If you are building on a piece of land that hasn’t been built on before, or where the previous building has already been demolished, you’re in luck, you don’t need to worry about this.

For everyone else that needs to get rid of the existing structure, then you need to consider the implications of this demolition.

First off, you will need to have all services to the property abolished before demolition can take place. This involves removal of the service line and meter from the property and can take up to four weeks so contact your retailer for water, gas and electricity to request abolishment (the retailer is the company which supplies these services to you, for example AGL or Origin).

While the retailers are processing your requests for abolishment, you will need to have an asbestos audit report prepared by a licensed asbestos auditor. To give you an idea of cost, currently our auditor charges us $495 including GST to conduct the audit and prepare the report. Any materials which cannot be definitively determined are sampled and sent to a laboratory for determination. There are usually around 3-4 samples taken per building, which currently cost us $70 + GST per sample.

Once the asbestos samples have been reviewed by the lab and the report prepared, quotes can be obtained for asbestos removal. This needs to be done by a licensed asbestos removalist, as it needs to be removed, transported and disposed of in the correct manner. Though this is not included in our contract scope of works, we usually help to arrange these works for our clients.

The price of asbestos removal depends on a few variables: the quantity, location and type of asbestos. Naturally, larger quantities of asbestos will attract a higher fee, as will asbestos which is awkward or time-consuming to remove. The final factor which will affect the quote price is the type of asbestos- ‘friable’ or ‘non-friable’.

Friable asbestos is defined as material containing asbestos that when dry, is in powder form or may be crushed or pulverised into powder form by hand pressure’. Non-friable asbestos is material containing asbestos which cannot be reduced to a powder form by hand pressure. Due to the higher risk posed by friable asbestos, it requires removal by a class A asbestos removalist, whilst non-friable asbestos may be removed by a class B removalist.

Some demolishers also provide an asbestos removal service, so enquire with them when they are preparing a quote for the demolition works. As a matter of courtesy, it is advisable to forewarn the neighbouring properties so that they can choose to go out for the day, should they be concerned about the risk of airborne asbestos particles.

The asbestos removal will need to be booked around a week in advance with the local council, your asbestos removalist should take care of this booking for you.

Removal should be conducted using ‘wet removal’ techniques, which involves wetting all asbestos-containing materials, so that the particles do not become airborne upon breaking of the material. These materials are then sealed in a bag so that no fibres can escape and loaded up for transport. In some cases ground sheets will be put down to catch any falling material. Upon completion of removal, the affected areas will be lightly sprayed with a glue to stick all remaining particles to the frame, so that they do not become airborne during demolition. The groundsheets and any items that were caught are removed.

Once the asbestos has been removed, a licensed asbestos auditor will conduct one final inspection to ensure there are no remaining asbestos containing materials, and if all is clear they will provide the clearance certificate. Check that your asbestos removal quote includes this inspection, otherwise you may have to pay extra to have it conducted.

Once the clearance certificate has been granted, demolition can commence. Demolishers will have obtained approval from the council at least a week before demolition commences. Demolition and removal of vegetation of an average- sized home usually takes around one week.

That’s all for this week, next week I’ll take you through the ins-and-outs of site cuts!

Please note this information is a general guide only, please consult a specialist to determine if this advice is appropriate for your property.

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