17th Mar 2005, 02:14 AM #1
Cutting asbestos without too much dust
G'day all, i'm about to install a doorway in a fibro wall which i suspect contains asbestos (property is a Queenslander type about 50 years old).
To cut the doorway in, i'll have to cut out 2 door sized sections of the board (either side of wall). I was told to do this with an angle grinder (diamond blade) but i reckon it's gonna cause a lotta dust.
Can anyone comment on which is the best way to go about this? Should i use the angle grinder (wear mask etc) or is there a better way to do it without causing so much dust?
PS: excellent forum, so glad i found it
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17th Mar 2005, 02:37 AM #2Originally Posted by Kram
I would strongly recommend you leave it alone and call in professionals to do it for you..It really is very dangerous stuff.
17th Mar 2005, 04:19 AM #3
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Yep! Get someone else to do it and go away for a few days.
IF you really must, wear proper protective gear including respirator, remove the whole sheet carefully and dispose of it thoughtfully ,
Reclad with a new fibrous cement with a similar thickness,
DON'T CUT IT WITH AN ANGLE GRINDER OR POWER SAW UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.
17th Mar 2005, 05:26 AM #4
Back in the early '70's I lived in an uninsulated fibro-cement company house in Mount Isa. It was a bit like living in an oven, really. Eventually I managed to persuade the bosses in Melbourne that my efficiency would be markedly improved if I did not have to spend nearly all my time trying to prevent rivers of sweat from ruining my maps and air photos, and that an air-conditioner should be installed in the office. Unfortunately, carpenters were in short supply in the Isa, and I eventually realized that, if I wanted the a/c installed, I would have to do it myself. So, not knowing any better at the time, I attacked the fibro walls with a circular saw. I got the air con installed, but I could well have inhaled enough asbestos to cause mesothelioma. I just keep my fingers crossed; but I would join others in suggesting that you leave cutting asbestos to a specialist.
Last edited by Rocker; 17th Mar 2005 at 08:28 AM.
17th Mar 2005, 06:13 AM #5
And the b*****s knew what they were selling long before the 1970's.
The claims against Hardies now include a young woman who was exposed to asbestos as a child when her father renovated.
The problem with this stuff is that it's not only you who are at risk but everyone around you - family and neighbours, as well as unsuspecting strangers who might wander past.
17th Mar 2005, 06:39 AM #6
17th Mar 2005, 10:33 AM #7
we have new laws here in the ACT that require you to disclose anything you know about asbestos in your house to any tradies, tenants etc etc. A bloody good idea and well overdue.
Having lost my grandad to mesothilioma a few years ago, I can attest that it is a terrible way to go. It's not worth risking your life and those around you to work with this stuff to save a few bucks. I'm with midge on this one - get someone in to remove it and go away for a few days.
17th Mar 2005, 12:13 PM #8
One idea Kram
If you really must do it yourself. One paint it both sides, Two wear gloves and mask, coverall, Three use fibro cutters to cut the sheet, and Four dispose of carefully...
Having said that old fibro if you nail though it it with probably break, so pull the two sheet offs carefully and replace with new cement sheet
17th Mar 2005, 12:17 PM #9
Do an initial break through with a nail punch to get the old hand operated (guillotine type) in to complete the straight line cuts. When you come to noggins/studs use the nail punch again.
17th Mar 2005, 12:22 PM #10
Encourage removal ... don't cut
as others have said, please don't cut the sheet with power tools .. dust everywhere, fibres released --> potential BAD news some day!
I'd follow the advice given .. remove the whole sheet(s) and reclad with equivalent sheeting. Removal ideally should leave a spotless area but I've heard horrible stories so even if you get in the professionals make sure the site is clean afterwards. If not, keep the family out until it is and use non-dust creating methods of cleaning. (beware of the family vac) dispose of cleanings appropriately.
Also, seal off the work area prior to starting.
From my perspective asbestos in cement sheet is tolerable ONLY as long as it is trapped in the sheet. Once it starts to get out (dust, abrasion, etc ...) then get out of there until it is gone! If you have kids, then be even more paranoid.
If you're over 50, then probably OK to DIY with precautions as the disease takes 30-40 years to show up --- depends on your life expectancy!
Anyone know why it is young blokes doing removal work?? seems crazy from a health point of view!cheers
A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they’ll never sit in. (Greek proverb)
17th Mar 2005, 12:31 PM #11
remember to dispose of this stuff properly too. Don't just take it to the dump and chuck it.
17th Mar 2005, 12:37 PM #12
Thanks for all the quick replies - much appreciated.
I'm creating another bedroom and need to put a doorway in so i don't need to reclad it. The new stud wall will be gyprocked.
After doing another search and reading these replies, i think i'll do as a few suggested and use a nail punch to perforate the outline before breaking along the line with a mallet (trying not to crack the surrounding board). I'll also try and get the fibro cutters in there where i can.
It's an old wall that already has paint on it, so i don't think repainting it will help. But i'll spray it down to help reduce the dust.
I also intend to put down new carpet, so i'm thinking i'll rip up the old stuff before starting so that there's less dust to be trapped.
I'll let you know how it goes,
Cheers for all the suggestions
17th Mar 2005, 01:13 PM #13
A couple of extra points or maybe just to re-emphasise what has been said.
Clean up should be done with water not vacuum. It is OK to wash the cleanup down the sink - asbestos is not actually poisonous, ie you can eat/drink it (I wouldn't, but you can) but you cannot inhale it.
Wear disposable overclothes and wash your underclothes immediately.
Check with the local council on disposal - it is normally acceptable to double-bag small amounts of asbestos and the disposable clothes and clearly label as asbestos and then dump as per normal building ruibbish. To re-iterate, asbestos is not poisonous and does no more harm to the environment than burying other building products, it is the potential to inhale it at a later date that is the problem.
In some states you are not allowed to do diy work on asbestos for more than 1 hour per week.They laughed when I said I was going to be a comedian. They're not laughing now.
17th Mar 2005, 02:19 PM #14
Sell the house and go somewhere else!
Hardies and their ilk have a LOT to answer for.Ummmm, what was the question?
17th Mar 2005, 04:44 PM #15
Take the meesus on a holiday and get someone in. I used to live in a house that had heaps of the evil crap around until we demolished it and built a new one. Took about two weeks andwe had to get special permission off the council.
I know yours isn't a huge job, but the danger is still there. If you need to do it yourself, I'd recommend a cheap dust suit and respirator (no need for external O2 supply) just one of those masks with goggles (prefereaby a full face) that will have a fine enough filter to trap the little dust particles.
Hope all goes well."Last year I said I'd fix the squeak in the cupbaord door hinge... Right now I have nearly finished remodelling the whole damn kitchen!"