Some houses are covered with asbestos shingles on their outer walls. There is no need to remove the shingles if these are undamaged and intact. Unfortunately, shingles are prone to wear and tear. Ideally, a professional should remove asbestos shingles. However, if you need to remove the asbestos shingles yourself, below are the procedures you should follow.
Gather your tools. You will need a bucket, heavy drop cloth, duct tape, wide putty knife or scrapper, empty box, trash bags with ties, gloves, mask, safety glasses and a ladder.
Protect yourself. Start out by donning a long sleeve top and long pants to cover your extremities. Put on your mask, safety glasses and gloves. Make sure they are secure.
Prepare the work area. Get your drop cloth and lay it on the ground. Make sure it covers the whole area under the shingles plus a few feet out. You need to be able to catch whatever falls down as you work on the shingles. Use the duct tape to secure the drop cloth so it does not move.
Take out the baseboards. It is necessary to have direct access to the asbestos shingles. The baseboard or trim is usually in the way. You will need to remove the baseboard or trim before you can start working on the shingles.
Prepare your ladder and your box. The top row of shingles should be the first to go. You must work from top to bottom. This means you need to position your ladder properly. Make sure it is secure before climbing up. Line your empty box with the trash bag. This is where you will place the shingles after they are removed.
Remove the shingles. Get your putty knife or wide scraper and your bucket. The bucket will be used to transport the shingles. Use the putty knife or wide scraper to pry the asbestos shingles loose. Do this gently so as not to break or damage the shifgles. If the shingles break, asbestos fibers will escape into the air.
The toxic fibers stay afloat for a long time and may travel to another area of your home. It can then enter your system which can cause health problems for your in the future. This is why you must ensure that the shingles are never damaged. Each time you remove a shingle, place it in your bucket.
Place the shingles in the box. Remove the shingles from the bucket one at a time. Always be gentle when placing the shingles into the box with the trash bag lining. Throwing the asbestos shingles into the box will damage the shingles.
Dispose of the shingles. After removing all the shingles and placing them in the box, tie the trash bag at the top. Fold the drop cloth and place it in another trash bag. Do this with utmost care so nothing falls to the ground while folding and placing the drop cloth in the bag. Secure all the trash bags. Call your local Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) agency and inquire how you are supposed to dispose of the asbestos shingles. This toxic material should not be thrown out together with your regular garbage.
Removing asbestos is a tricky thing that should be left to the professionals. However, with enough care, you can remove the asbestos-laden shingles yourself. Make sure to follow the right procedures and to dispose of the asbestos shingles according to the advice of your local DEP agency.