Asbestos Removal and Silica Dust Removal
GMA is a fully licensed Class-A and Class-B asbestos removalist. And that’s good news, because the last thing you want to do with commercial or domestic asbestos, silica or contaminated dust, is tackle it yourself.
GMA has carried out safe asbestos disposal all over Melbourne, Geelong, Ballarat, northern and western Victoria. We’ve got a 24-hour call-out service, so we’re available any time, and our shiny fleet of trucks, excavators, vacuums and forklifts are all OHS-approved. Trust us, we’ve seen it all: asbestos in roofs, walls and cladding, asbestos-contaminated soil, silica dust, bad boiler flues. Whatever the problem, we can whip up a quote within 24-hours, and we’ll beat any competitor’s price by 10%.
Commercial Asbestos Removal
Asbestos can be found in a range of commercial properties from warehouses, worksites, offices and other industrial properties, especially if they were built between the 1940s and 1980s. GMA is licensed for Class-A asbestos removal and Class-B asbestos removal, which means we can handle friable and non-friable commercial asbestos. Everything from testing and removal to EPA-compliant disposal.
Class-A asbestos removal
‘Class-A’ refers to friable asbestos (loosely packed fibres, which can easily crumble and disperse) and asbestos-contaminated soil and dust. Just be aware, we need to notify Worksafe at least five days prior to removing Class-A asbestos. This might include:
- Sprayed insulation
- Boiler insulation
- Asbestos millboard
- Asbestos fire doors
- Furnace insulation
- Fire retardant material
Class-B asbestos removal
‘Class-B’ refers to non-friable asbestos cement. Just remember, for any jobs with more than 10m2 of bonded asbestos, Worksafe also requires an Occupational Hygienist to come and clear the site. Class-B asbestos can be found in:
- Asbestos roof sheeting
- Asbestos wall sheeting
- Asbestos cement sheets
- Asbestos cement moulded products
- Bitumen-based water proofing
- Vinyl floor tiles
Silica Dust Removal
People working around silica dust have an increased risk of lung disease. It usually becomes airborne when crushing or cutting stone, bricks, tiles or concrete. We can recommend silica dust safety precautions and help with any large-scale dust removal.
Lead-Contaminated Dust Removal
Lead exposure can have serious long-term health consequences, and studies have shown that 70% of lead dust may be absorbed by the body. GMA is licensed to dispose of commercial lead-contaminated dust.
Hazardous Material Removal
We can help remove most common hazardous materials from build sites. These include lead paint, Synthetic Mineral Fibres, PCB materials and contaminated soil (Category A, B and C).
Asbestos Contaminated Soil Removal
Contaminated soil can be found throughout Melbourne, Ballarat, Geelong, western and northern Victoria. We recommend asbestos testing to identify any bonded or friable asbestos in your soil.
Asbestos Waste Collection
GMA supplies its own skips, bins and trucks for asbestos collection. We’re licensed for the removal of Class-A and Class-B asbestos, and all waste goes straight into EPA-approved landfill.
Site Manager, Modus Projects
How do I know if there’s asbestos in my worksite? If your property was built before 1987, there’s a pretty good chance it contains asbestos. Before starting renovations, demolition or any large-scale work, it’s best to commission a thorough site audit – just in case.
Can you inspect for asbestos? We specialise in commercial asbestos removal, but we can also arrange an inspection from a qualified Asbestos Hygienist. They’ll come and collect samples, and then send those samples away for testing. If they find asbestos on-site, we’ll remove it safely for you.
Where should I look for asbestos? Friable and non-friable asbestos were used for all sorts of industrial odd jobs. Asbestos can generally be found in furnace or boiler insulation, roofing, walls, bathrooms, kitchens, soundproofing materials and contaminated soil.
How quickly can you remove commercial asbestos? It depends on the type and amount of asbestos. If you find friable asbestos, we’ll need to notify Worksafe at least five days before removal. Our qualified team can perform on-site asbestos removal 24/7, and we’re happy to work around your schedule. Give us a call on 9689 9999 to discuss your options.
Residential Asbestos Removal
Finding asbestos in your home can obviously be quite scary, but the important thing is not to handle it yourself. Call a Worksafe-qualified removalist, like GMA, to come and dispose of asbestos safely. We can liaise with Worksafe and the EPA, transport asbestos to landfill, and provide a Waste Transport Certificate, for added peace of mind.
GMA is an asbestos removalist service, fully qualified to handle domestic demolition jobs, which is often when friable asbestos removal becomes a big problem. Asbestos fibres break up and disperse into the air, where they can be inhaled by your family, your neighbours, or anyone working on your property. If you’re planning a demolition job, and the house was built prior to 1987, make sure you call us first.
Likely sources of household asbestos
Between the 1940s and 1980s, asbestos was unfortunately a common building material in homes all over Victoria. In fact it’s estimated that one in three Australian homes contain asbestos. You can find domestic asbestos in:
- Ceiling insulation (usually ‘loose-fill’ asbestos)
- Sheet walls
- Laundry tiles
- Vinyl floor tiles
- Underlay sheeting for ceramics
- Boiler insulation
- Heating flues
- Eaves and guttering
- Rainwater heads
How do I find asbestos in my home? It’s not always possible to identify asbestos just by looking at it. If you find something you think might be asbestos, the National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) can provide details of accredited labs in your area. We can also arrange for a qualified Asbestos Hygienist to come and collect samples for testing.
What if I’m planning a renovation? If your house was built before 1987, it’s safer to assume it contains some asbestos. Make sure you inform tradesman that come to the house, and contact a specialised removalist (like GMA) as soon as you can.
Can I handle asbestos myself? Definitely not. Asbestos removal can only be carried out by licensed Class-A or Class-B removalists, like GMA.
General Asbestos Removal FAQ
What is asbestos? Asbestos is a group of naturally-occurring fibrous silicate materials, and it was used a lot in the Australian building industry between the 1940s and 1980s. It was commonly used in roofing tiles, fibro boards, fences and commercial-grade insulation.
Do you inspect for Asbestos? We don’t do the inspections ourselves – you’ll need a qualified Asbestos Hygienist for that – but we can arrange an inspection for you, and liaise with all the relevant authorities.
Can I remove asbestos myself? Definitely not. Asbestos should only be handled and disposed of by a licensed Class-A or Class-B asbestos removalist. Please never try to remove asbestos yourself.
How dangerous is asbestos? In short, very dangerous. When asbestos fibres become airborne, they can be inhaled, and this can cause serious medical problems, including lung cancer and even death. It’s not something you want in your home or anywhere near your worksite.
What license is required to remove asbestos? Anyone removing asbestos in Victoria needs either a Class-A or Class-B license. They generally also need to notify Worksafe before carrying out any asbestos removal. Class-A removals include friable asbestos, non-friable asbestos and asbestos-contaminated dust. Class-B removals are only licensed for non-friable asbestos and asbestos-contaminated dust. You can learn more about asbestos removal licenses here.
How much does it cost to remove asbestos? It’s hard to say without knowing the scale of the contamination. The best thing to do is ring us for a quote. We can give you a figure within 24-hours and will beat any competitor’s price by 10%.
Should asbestos be removed? The short answer, as you may have guessed, is yes. Especially if the sheets are deteriorating and asbestos fibres are being dispersed into the air. If the asbestos is non-friable (which means bonded and embedded in concrete) the danger is less immediate, but you should still get the asbestos removed as soon as possible.
How do I know if my site has asbestos? The only way to know for sure is to get a licensed asbestos inspection and look at samples under a microscope. Having said that, it’s always better to err on the cautious side. If you think you may have found asbestos, contact us to organise a site inspection. Better safe than sorry.
How long does silica dust stay in the air? It depends how much dust is being produced. The mandatory limit for silica dust exposure in Australia is 0.1mg/m3 averaged over an eight hour day. You can find plenty of good advice, and practical safety tips, on Worksafe’s website, or call GMA for more information.
Is silica dust combustible? Generally no. Silica dust is inert, which means it shouldn’t burn or pose a fire risk. However, it’s often hard to know exactly what constitutes dust on a worksite, and many other particles are combustible. If in doubt, carry out a licensed air quality inspection.