Things You'll Need
Water spray bottle
Plastic drop sheet
Disposable rubber gloves
Liquid dish detergent
Polyethylene garbage bags
Polyethylene plastic sheets (six mil and three mil)
Latex primer paint
Chrysotile asbestos makes up 95% of the asbestos in the United States. Asbestos is often found in the home as popcorn ceiling tile or as insulation. Removing asbestos from the home is necessary because of the many health problems it can cause. The cost of hiring asbestos removal professionals is often high because of the health risks and expensive equipment associated with the job. Removing chrysotile asbestos yourself is often a viable alternative.
Testing For Asbestos Presence
Spray the area that is being sampled with water. Put on gloves and lay down the drop sheet underneath where the sample will be taken. Turn off central air and close all windows before proceeding further.
Break off a small piece of the suspected asbestos using a pair of pliers.
Immediately place the sample into a plastic bag. Place the bag containing the sample into a second plastic bag, thus double wrapping the sample.
Apply the PVA glue to the exposed area where the asbestos samples was taken. This is to prevent asbestos particles from becoming airborne. Carefully dispose of the drop sheet by taping it closed with duct tape and then placing it in a plastic garbage bag. Wipe off all tools used for the procedure with a wet rag.
Mail the sample to a laboratory for testing. Proceed to the next section if the test comes back positive for asbestos.
Removing The Asbestos
Turn off air conditioning or heat, shut all windows and cut off electricity to the room using a circuit breaker. Post up signs around the household warning that asbestos is in the process of being removed.
Build a containment area by applying three mil plastic sheets to the walls of the room, stopping an inch before the ceiling. Apply using duct tape, or, if preferred, a stapler. Do the same using six mil plastic sheets on the floor. Allow for plenty of overlap between the plastic sheets on the wall and on the floor, connecting them by the seam with duct tape or a stapler. Use the step ladder during this procedure, but make sure to pad its bottom with rags so it does not rip the plastic sheeting. Loosely apply a second layer of plastic sheeting over the first layer.
Put on goggles, disposable rubber gloves, respirator and coveralls. Mix one cup of detergent for every five gallons of water. Spray this mixture onto the ceiling until it is thoroughly wet.
Wait for twenty minutes after applying water to the ceiling. Test for thorough wetting by scraping through the asbestos with a putty knife. It should come off with no flaking indicating, indicating that its wet. If it is not wet enough apply more water with detergent. Should you not be able to fully penetrate the asbestos with water do not proceed any further!
Apply the water/detergent mixture to the plastic sheeting on the floor and walls. The purpose of this is to prevent residual asbestos from becoming airborne after being scraped off.
Scrape all of the asbestos from the ceiling. Re-wet as necessary. Using wet rags remove any remaining asbestos residue left over on the ceiling. Make sure to routinely apply water to the plastic covering the walls and floor to prevent the asbestos from becoming airborne.
Once all asbestos has been removed, paint the ceiling with a latex primer paint or encapsulant. This is to trap any remaining asbestos not visible to the naked eye.
Remove the loose layer of plastic sheeting covering the walls and place into the garbage. Follow up by removing the loose layer of plastic sheeting from the floor. Once the loose layer of plastic sheeting is in garbage bags, duct tape them closed. Then place the garbage bag into a new garbage bag, again duct taping it closed.
Remove the plastic sheeting farthest from the entrance to the room first, getting closer to the entrance. Make sure that all debris remains on the plastic sheet and that no one ever steps on exposed floor. Follow the same disposal procedure highlighted in step 8.
Remove and discard the boots. Clean off the the outside of the respirator and goggles using a wet rag. Discard the last piece of plastic sheet. Step outside the room and dispose of the garbage bags containing waste. Take a shower.
Throw away used rags during the asbestos removal procedure. This is to prevent drying out and release of asbestos dust into the environment.
Go to the bathroom, drink and eat before starting the project. You will not be able to stop until finished.
Removing asbestos is extremely dangerous and, if performed improperly, could seriously affect the health of those who live in the house. Proceed with caution.
If the ceiling cannot be properly soaked, do not continue with the procedure. This can create asbestos dust, which is almost impossible to remove once it fully contaminates a house. For this reason, have an air quality asbestos test performed after the project is finished.
Samuel Sohlden began his freelance writing career in 2007. His work appears on various websites, with articles focusing on science and health. In 2010 he attended the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in San Jose, Calif. Sohlden is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in microbiology from the University of Cincinnati.