Airsafe is Sydney's leading asbestos consultancy. We don't do asbestos removal ourselves. But if you need asbestos removed, you should still talk to us! Read on to find out why.
When people in Sydney discover asbestos in their homes, often their first step is to Google for an asbestos removal company. At Airsafe, we think this is a mistake. We've worked with every asbestos removal contractor in Sydney, and we know that the good ones are few and far between.
On this page:
Google for an asbestos removal firm in Sydney and you'll get hundreds of results, most of them claiming to be "the number 1 asbestos removal company in Sydney".
As a householder, it's difficult to judge the difference between these companies. They all say the right things. Many of them say they are "licensed", and most offer a free quote for the asbestos removal job.
So how do you know whether or not a company is trustworthy? How do you know they have the right kind of license to remove the particular kind of asbestos that's on your property? How do you know they have enough insurance to cover you if something goes wrong? How do you know you're not going to be overcharged? Or that your asbestos isn't going to be dumped illegally?
The answer is, it's very difficult to work these things out just from looking at an asbestos removal company's website. Some of them even contradict themselves: for instance, one demolitions company that appears high in the Google rankings says they are "licensed and qualified to do any type of asbestos removal work", but elsewhere states that their license is to remove only bonded asbestos, implying they have the more restricted Class B license (see below).
Overcharging is also a very real issue in the industry: at Airsafe, we've been known to save householders thousands of dollars by giving a second opinion on an expensive quote.
In short, finding an asbestos removal company yourself can be a lottery. That's why Airsafe is happy to give recommendations to Sydneysiders based on our many years of working with reputable asbestos removal firms. Because we don't do asbestos removal ourselves, our advice comes without bias, and because we're acknowledged leaders in the asbestos management industry, we know what we're talking about.
As well as giving advice on reputable asbestos removal firms, Airsafe offers a range of asbestos-related services ourselves. Because we're so well respected in the industry, we offer these services to some of Sydney's biggest companies and government departments, as well as householders. No matter how big or small the job, Airsafe can help.
These services begin with asbestos inspections and asbestos testing.
If you have a concern that your house might contain asbestos, an asbestos inspection (also known as an asbestos survey or asbestos audit) is the best place to start. Airsafe's licensed asbestos assessors know the signs of asbestos, so you know you're going to to get a rigorous inspection that will either put your mind at rest or, if asbestos is found, give you a clear idea of what to do.
We're trusted by local councils all over Sydney to conduct thorough, reliable inspections for asbestos. While we're at it, we can check for other hazardous materials too.
During the inspection, if we find something that may be asbestos, we'll send it for testing in our state of the art, NATA accredited laboratory. We also offer asbestos testing as a separate service, with an affordable price and a quick turnaround.
How do you know that asbestos removal is being done properly? How can you and your neighbours be confident that harmful asbestos fibres aren't being released into the atmosphere?
The answer is air quality monitoring. This is a process where the atmosphere is sampled throughout the asbestos removal process, then these samples are taken back to our laboratory and tested for traces of asbestos.
Air quality monitoring not only puts your mind at rest during asbestos removal, it also provides a documented record in case of any complications afterwards.
Sydney householders are naturally concerned about the cost of asbestos removal. Because every asbestos removal job is different, it's impossible to give a typical figure, but given the complexities of dealing with asbestos, the cost of removal can certainly run into several thousand dollars.
We encourage you to get several quotes from our recommended Sydney asbestos abatement contractors. There are several good reasons for starting with Airsafe's recommended list, rather than just Googling for asbestos removal:
- The asbestos removalists we recommend are experienced, reliable Sydney businesses that we trust to give you an honest quote for asbestos removal. They won't quote you more than necessary, but equally, they won't cut corners just to undercut competitors.
- All the removalists that we recommend use air monitoring when removing asbestos. As we've said above, this is a safety measure that adds a lot of peace of mind for only a small additional cost.
- All our recommended Sydney asbestos abatement contractors have their paperwork in order. That means up-to-date public liability insurance and an asbestos removal licence. The cost of asbestos removal can really skyrocket if you find yourself getting sued for using a dodgy contractor!
- Our recommended removalists use safe, legal asbestos disposal methods, and can provide tip dockets as proof. They would never dream of dumping asbestos illegally to save on costs, as some less scrupulous Sydney asbestos contractors do.
As we've mentioned, there are different kinds of licenses for removing different kinds of asbestos. These licenses are detailed on the SafeWork NSW website.
Only the Class A license allows a person to remove friable asbestos: that is, asbestos that is easily crumbled, such as that found in the notorious Mr Fluffy "loose fill" roofing insulation.
More common is the Class B license, which allows a person to remove any quantity of non-friable (or bonded) asbestos — such as fibro — but does not permit the removal of friable asbestos.
If you are having less than 10 square metres of asbestos removed, strictly speaking the person doing the work does not need a license, although at Airsafe we always recommend using licensed asbestos removal companies.
If you're at all confused about what kind of license is needed to remove the asbestos on your property, or what kind of license your proposed removalist actually has, Airsafe can help you work this out.
A third type of license administered by WorkSafe is the Licensed Asbestos Assessor scheme. Holders of this license can perform air monitoring, conduct clearance inspections and issue clearance certificates. Naturally, Airsafe's consultants are Licensed Asbestos Assessors.
The Work, Health and Safety Regulations 2011 require a clearance inspection for all licensed asbestos removal works. Your council might also require an asbestos clearance certificate or report before you proceed with renovations.
Airsafe will carry out an inspection of the asbestos removal area following the completion of asbestos removal works, to verify that the area is safe for normal use. We’ll then issue an asbestos clearance certificate and report before the area is reoccupied.
We've heard stories of Sydney councils rejecting clearance reports from less experienced asbestos consultants, who have tried to cut corners or save money by not sending sufficient samples for testing. So make sure you don't stumble at the final step: get Airsafe to do a clearance inspection and you know you're getting a rigorous, trustworthy result.