Asbestos removal

Asbestos Removal

The first step in the asbestos removal process is asbestos testing and sampling.  Bonded and friable containing materials have different removal procedures that must be followed.

Friable vs. non-friable asbestos

Asbestos-containing materials fall into two broad categories: non-friable and friable.

‘Friable’ is used to refer to asbestos-containing materials that can be easily reduced to powder by hand, when dry. These materials are more likely to release measurable levels of asbestos into the airborne environment when disturbed, and generally pose a greater risk to health. Examples of friable asbestos-containing materials include:

  • Sprayed asbestos fire retardants
  • Thermal lagging, such as pipe insulation
  • Low density boards
  • Sheet vinyl underlay or backing

‘Non-friable’, or bonded asbestos is used to refer to asbestos-containing materials in which the asbestos is firmly bound in the matrix of the material. These materials are unlikely to release measurable levels of asbestos fibre into the airborne environment if they are left undisturbed. Therefore, they generally pose a lower risk to health. Examples of bonded asbestos-containing materials include:

  • Asbestos cement products (flat and corrugated sheeting used in walls, ceilings and roofs, moulded items such as downpipes)

Vinyl floor tiles (however removal of the glue can be classed as friable)

The presence, type and quantity of asbestos must be determined.  Once this is done and before asbestos removal commences:

  • The contractor must be registered with the Department of Labour in accordance with regulation 21 of the Asbestos Regulations, 2001 – promulgated under the Occupational Health and safety Act, 1993. This regulation applies to any person or organisation intending to demolish, remove or dispose of asbestos.  Asbestos Removal and Roofing is a registered and certified asbestos removal company.
  • Asbestos material likely to become airborne must be identified.
  • A work plan must be developed and approved by an Approved Asbestos Inspection Authority (AAIA) and submitted to the Provincial Director/ Provincial Executive Manager.

During and after asbestos removal or demolition work:

  • We ensure that asbestos and asbestos containing materials are handled and disposed of in accordance with Occupational Health and Safety regulations.
  • Employees and other people on site likely to be exposed to asbestos are provided with personal protective equipment (PPE) such as protective overalls and respirators. It should be noted that our personal protective equipment (PPE) is effective to reduce the level of exposure to below the Occupational Exposure Level (OEL) for asbestos.
  • Upon completion of the work the premises, structure or area is thoroughly checked to ensure that all asbestos waste has been removed.
  • We clean all surfaces thoroughly to ensure that no asbestos fibres remain. Vacuum cleaners with filtration efficiency of 99% for particles of one micrometre in size are used in conjunction with wet mops. After the initial cleaning 24 hours is allowed for dust settlement.  Wet cleaning is repeated. 48 hours after the clean-up two static air samples are taken and tested to ascertain whether the area is safe and clean.

Disposal of Asbestos:

The collection, transport and disposal of asbestos is only done by reliable contractors who comply with all regulations.  Asbestos disposal is controlled under section 20 of the Environmental Conservation Act, 1989.  Amongst other things, this section states that waste may only be disposed of on a site that is permitted by the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry.


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Asbestos Removal and Roofing is a Cape Town-based company specialising in the safe and effective removal and disposal of all friable and bonded asbestos.



Identifying Asbestos
Asbestos Sampling and Testing
Asbestos Removal
Asbestos Encapsulation
Roofing and Re-roofing


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