Monthly Archives: April 2021

Water Blasting And Asbestos Don’t Mix

When it comes to asbestos removal, you should only trust professionals like us. Never attempt to remove asbestos yourself. The potential dangers when you handle this material incorrectly are far too big to ignore.

At the same time, there’s an increasing number of asbestos removal occurrences happening in New Zealand, but this removal is actually being done by accident. That’s the finding of the Canterbury Regional Council who say people joining in on the DIY home renovation craze are at risk of contaminating their home and gardens, and potentially neighbouring properties, with asbestos – but they might not be aware they’re doing it.

The Council says there have been a handful of cases where people have water blasted their roofs and the high pressure of the water has released asbestos fibres into the air. Fortunately, in these cases, the accidental asbestos removal from roof to ground was identified in time. Not so fortunate for the people involved, they had to pay tens of thousands of dollars to get someone to clean up and make the properties safe.

This highlights the dangers of using a water blaster in areas where asbestos is present. And because the material was used so widely in New Zealand buildings from the 1940s to the early 2000s, there’s every chance it will be present. We’re talking roofs, fences, wall claddings, pipes, water tanks, lagging, plaster, vinyl floor rules, textured decorative coatings and so much more. When these things are in good condition and left alone, the health risks associated with asbestos are generally considered to be very low. But when you add a water blaster to the mix, and all that water pressure, that’s when things can become dangerous. Previously undisturbed asbestos-containing material can break up into airborne fibres that can be inhaled by people in the vicinity, or settle in areas where the fibres can be disturbed again, which merely keeps the danger ever-present.

So, if you have the DIY renovation bug – and this can apply to commercial premises as well as residential properties – and you want to use water blasting equipment as part of your project, be very careful about where you use it, and on what surfaces you use it on. The most sensible thing to do is to contact asbestos professionals just like us. We can tell you if asbestos is present, and our services are not as expensive as you may think. It’s actually a small price to pay for peace of mind and enhanced safety for you and everyone around you.