Asbestos is a potentially dangerous material that can be found in buildings in the UK that were constructed during the 20th century. Today, there are professional services that offer trained asbestos water tank removal as there are risks associated with damaged and deteriorated asbestos water tanks.
These water tanks are normally found within lofts, boiler rooms and similar areas within a commercial or residential building.
Asbestos Water Tank Construction and Effects
The asbestos water tanks found in buildings were commonly found in building construction from the 1950s to 1990s. There are some houses constructed before this time within the 20th century that are likely to contain these water tanks. Another name for them is asbestos cement water tank. They were constructed using a special material known as asbestos cement.
This cement itself is very strong and durable but the moment it begins to deteriorate, trouble starts. The microscopic, tasteless and odourless fibres of a mineral serpentine are released from the cement and make their way to our airways and food pipe. They are hazardous to our health and the worst part is that their deleterious effects don’t begin to show until it’s too late. A person might be coughing from time to time, but till the real damage to their vital internal organs and systems occurs, there’s nothing that can be done about it.
The silent and slow killer culprit is a form of asbestos known as white asbestos or chrysotile. The addition of bonded chrysotile fibres to asbestos cement makes the resultant water tanks stronger, lighter and even waterproof. It is because non-friable fibres are tightly bonded in cement construction. It is also what makes the asbestos water tank removal job so painstakingly arduous and difficult.
The First Step to Asbestos Water Tank Removal
The only way that you can be absolutely sure that that water tank in your loft is made of asbestos cement is to have a sample of it tested from a laboratory that is accredited and certified to test for asbestos. An asbestos water tank removal company will be able to do this fairly easily since they’ll have prior experience.
People who have been in the asbestos surveying and removal business long enough, have a keen eye for the material and may even be able to tell you if the water tank is, in fact, made of asbestos cement. This will save you time on the asbestos water tank removal job.
The Proper Way for Safe Asbestos Water Tank Removal
The recommended way is obviously to hire an asbestos water tank removal company that has removed asbestos water tanks like yours before. The first thing to do is to remove the asbestos water tank from supplying water to the rest of the building or house. The next thing that professionals do is to don all the protective equipment, or PPE, which includes special rubber gloves, boots, disposable coverall goggles and other protective gear. They wrap the tank itself in a 1000- gauge polythene sheet and lower it carefully onto the ground if it is suspended at a height. The tank is not cut thrown or broken from anywhere until it is fully wrapped and lowered onto level ground. It is then carefully broken with a hammer into smaller, more manageable pieces while still inside the sheeting. More sheeting is then used to wrap the smaller pieces and put into a waste bag and disposed at a designated site.
Anyway other than this could put you and others at a risk so it is better to have a professional, rather than yourself do the job.