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Removing the Asbestos Shed!

We finally bit the bullet and paid to get the asbestos shed gone!

I must say I'm pretty darn relieved. It was always on my mind as I spent time in the garden. Even though I know it was doing me no harm just being sat there - it wasn't in the greatest condition with a couple of cracks visible.. and this played on my mind a little.

On a recent check I had noticed a piece of it had come lose on the underside of the ceiling.. Probably from me stacking too many heavy things on top of the shed...whoops! This was the final straw, it HAD to go. We had a piece tested, just to make sure it really was asbestos - and it was - a cement product made with chrysotile, the "white" asbestos.

Since it was a cement product, it didn't require a licensed remover to remove the stuff, so technically we could have done a DIY removal and just paid for the costs of disposal. However with our neighbours in such close proximity of the shed.. I felt it would be really unfair to expose them to our DIY removal and it gives everyone more confidence knowing a "professional" is taking care of the job. So we paid to get someone in to do the job.

I had a few quotes - ranging from £600 to £220. I know, MASSIVE difference right?! So naturally we went for the lowest at £220 from a local company operating in the East Midlands, Affordable Asbestos Removals.

I'd done quite a bit of research on asbestos removal so I vaguely knew what would be done...

- Don't break the asbestos
- Dampen the asbestos before removal
- Use a Class H Vacuum Cleaner to remove dust
- Wear overalls and a P3 dust mask
- Put asbestos straight into clear bag and double-bag
- Put overalls into clear bag and waste as asbestos

...and I'd also seen quite a few photos where tents had been erected and even mechanical air pumps were in progress. However, I certainly wasn't expecting any of that. With the shed being outside, I did expect a slightly more lax attitude towards the job with just careful dismantling and wetting the asbestos.

And I was kind-of right! The guy who came seemed pretty darn lax about the whole thing! His suit was only half way zipped up, I couldn't see any wetting of the asbestos (although admittedly my view was somewhat limited) and the two long pieces of asbestos certainly turned into many much smaller pieces. As well as this, I didn't see any asbestos put into bags (perhaps he did it out on the road by his van) which I thought was a little inconsiderate to passers walking by?! Obviously there was no vacuum cleaner either, and when the job was done he asked me to check it off whilst still wearing the asbestos diseased overalls! I was MORTIFIED. Actually I tried to take such little breaths I was probably going blue in the face. Am I just a little bit OVER-THE-TOP?! Or was he just incredibly complacent about the job? Either way, he could totally tell I was acting weird and desperate to get back into the safe house. Awkward!

I'm glad the stuff is gone, although I'm not sure the guy removing the asbestos was quite as careful or cautious about the entire situation as I would have liked. I did feel as though it was a very quick in-and-out job. But perhaps this is more due to my own asbestos paranoia than being down to him?

As a reminder, here's what the shed looked like before...

And here's how it looks now...

I couldn't really find any stories about asbestos removal - what to expect, what happens, even how much it should cost - so I don't know how my experiences stack up against other peoples.. But I'd love to know if you've ever had asbestos removed and what happened during your removal?

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