In some cases, the paint on your ceiling may have asbestos in it. This usually happens with textured ceilings, but it's important to note that not all textured ceilings have asbestos in them. If you're worried and you want to get the asbestos out of your house, here's what you need to know.
1. Disturb the Ceiling as Little as Possible
If asbestos is just sitting there, it doesn't really pose a risk to you. However, if the area is disturbed and the fibres start flying around, they can be inhaled, and at that point, the asbestos becomes dangerous. Until you know what's happening with the asbestos, you should take care not the disturb the ceiling.
In particular, don't put any hooks or nails in the ceiling. Also, don't scrape off the textured paint until you know what you're working with.
2. Test the Ceiling With Asbestos
So you know what's happening with the ceiling, you may want to test it. This does require you to disturb the ceiling, so you may want to wear safety gear as discussed below. So that as little of the asbestos as possible becomes airborne, you should spray it with water before taking the sample.
Then, you basically need to scrape just a little of the plaster from the ceiling into a sample container. Then, you need to send it to a lab that offers asbestos testing.
3. Invest in Safety Gear
If you realise that the ceiling has asbestos and you want to mitigate it yourself, you need to have the right safety gear. Ideally, you should wear a respirator to protect you from inhaling the fibres. You should also wear a full jump suit over your clothing.
Cover the openings to this area of your home with heavy duty plastic. That includes doors as well as vents. Also, as you work, make sure to keep the plaster as wet as possible.
4. Arrange for Disposal
You can't just throw asbestos-ridden waste into the landfill. Put all of the scraped off ceiling bits into heavy duty plastic bags. Clearly label the bags so that anyone who comes into contact with them knows that they contain asbestos. Then, contact your local waste management company to see if they can help you dispose of the bags.
5. Hire a Professional
Investing in safety equipment and dealing with asbestos removal on your own can be hard, scary and expensive. To ensure everything is done safely, you may want to hire a professional.
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