Asbestos spray coatings and problems with its removal

_WP_6556.jpg

In this blog, we’ll examine asbestos spray coatings and some of the problems you can face when it is being removed.

Asbestos spray coatings were phased out in the mid-1970s, so it’s old now and deteriorating.

They have a very high asbestos content. It was mixed with Portland cement binder, to stick asbestos fibres together. It was up to 85% pure asbestos and you can clearly see the fibres.

In our industry it’s one of the worst materials to come across because it has a low density and is soft and will release asbestos fibres very easily for minimal disturbance in its raw state.

Where were asbestos spray coatings used?

Predominately, it was used in fire protection to beams and on ceilings and it was even sprayed onto asbestos in factories and warehouses. It was used a lot in factories as it provided fire protection and sound proofing. Theatres also used it on their ceilings and structural elements. You may also find the ceiling and beams of car parks are sprayed with asbestos when they have apartments or hotels above them.

How were asbestos spray coatings applied?

The application was a horrible process. At the time the workers did not wear PPE and used a larger sprayer. It was a very messy job as the spray would not just be hitting the elements it was aimed at – it would contaminate the surrounding walls, floors, windows and cavities.

Is it difficult to remove?

Spray coating is one of the worst products to remove and manage because it gets into everything and has a high asbestos content and can be easily damaged.

How are asbestos spray coatings removed?

This work always needs to be done by a licensed contractor. The contractor uses an injection suppression method to remove it. The injection needle saturates the spray coating all the way down to the surface level.

Once the removal takes place, the whole material will be removed wet. If you come across a section that is dry, the asbestos fibre count will be high.

At the same time, you have to be careful this process doesn’t create an asbestos slurry. You really do need an experienced removal team who have done spray coating before to manage this properly as it can go wrong very quickly and very badly. Even the enclosure construction needs to be much more rigorous.

The removal team need to consider the structure of the building, the structure of the surface that the asbestos has been applied to and the end goal of the client. By this we mean what is the client going to be able to do in the area following the asbestos removal because we cannot guarantee it will be 100% clean. Sometimes, there will be areas of the building you cannot guarantee are 100% clean without demolition work.

There is a difference between scraping a flat smooth concrete surface where the sprayed insulation comes off like a dream versus a pitted concrete with loads of gaps in it and the spray has gone everywhere. These things need to be considered because the difference between the time frames of these projects and their costs are huge.

If you spray the coating with encapsulant paint this can bring the spray coating down because of the extra weight on it. Imagine employing a contractor to encapsulate a ceiling for you, they do that for you, walk away and then a couple of weeks later it falls down. What would that do to your business? You need to have these considerations.

In summary

It is only when you are completely demolishing a building, and you can remove every element of the building, that you can guarantee you have removed it all. If you are refurbing a building you are not going to want to go as far as this.

You need to remember the key discussion points:

  • What is the end goal?
  • What does the client want?
  • The cost of removal versus the cost of refurbishment and a lifetime of managing the material
  • Does the removal project meet their requirements for their building use at the time?
  • How long are they planning to use that building for?

If your asbestos spray coating is deteriorating, you need to get it under control and managed.

The key thing is to get people on board who know exactly what they are doing with spray coating.We’re a professional asbestos consultancy helping businesses deal with asbestos compliance using asbestos surveysasbestos air testing, and asbestos removal management. Please call one of the team, or use the online form to obtain your free quotation. If you would like further information or advice on asbestos and asbestos training, contact the team on 0844 818 0895 or Contact Us

Neil Munro

I work in a dual role at Acorn Analytical Services focused primarily on growing and leading the business from our Northampton office base. My focus is on overseeing all sales, marketing and financial activities from Northampton. I assist clients with high-level asbestos management strategies and training. Together with Ian Stone I host our weekly podcast – Asbestos Knowledge Empire and I'm Co-author of Asbestos The Dark Arts and Fear and Loathing of Health and Safety.

Need Help? Request a Call Back

Request a call back from one of our expert Asbestos Consultants who will help you identify what you need

More Asbestos Articles

Collage e1608286815218

Fighting back against asbestos-related cancer

Acorn Analytical Services is backing a new campaign aimed at putting asbestos and asbestos-related diseases in the national spotlight to raise awareness and eradicate the material and the devastating conditions it causes. Campaign group, Action Meso, is uniting those impacted by mesothelioma – an incurable but preventable cancer caused by asbestos – to give them …

Read MoreFighting back against asbestos-related cancer

scientist 2141259 1920 e1607618409539

Don’t become an asbestos-related death statistic

Anyone who follows our activities at Acorn will know that we are dedicated to raising awareness about the dangers posed by asbestosis. We regularly release informative podcasts, blogs and have produced a number one best-selling book called Asbestos The Dark Arts to show businesses and individuals why it is so important to manage their asbestos …

Read MoreDon’t become an asbestos-related death statistic

birthday 1835443 1920

From small Acorns grow great asbestos management companies

Despite all the challenges that 2020 has thrown at us we are pleased to be ending the year on a high. It is with great pleasure that we can say this month Acorn Analytical Services has celebrated its 20th anniversary. The business first set down roots in the north of England two decades ago and …

Read MoreFrom small Acorns grow great asbestos management companies

WP 6441 Original 39554 scaled e1606141093410

Celebrate Your Unique Talent

Did you know every year November 24th is observed as Celebrate Your Unique Talent Day? No matter how unique or different your talent is, today is the day that you are encouraged to share it with others. Here at Acorn we aren’t shy about our talent. We are the leading experts when it comes to …

Read MoreCelebrate Your Unique Talent

JG Brum Small

Acorn Opens New Birmingham office!

We have some exciting news… We have expanded with the opening of a new Birmingham office! The new office is located on Bristol Road South and will be led by Joe Gore (pictured) and staffed by people from the Birmingham area. Not only will this new office help us to better service our existing clients …

Read MoreAcorn Opens New Birmingham office!

boiler room e1604325326231

Specifications for Asbestos Removal Works – What’s the Point?

Why do we need specifications for removing asbestos? Surely, asbestos removal is just asbestos removal? The truth is there are a million different ways to do asbestos removal. There are different ways to approach projects. The purpose of the specification is to get the clients the right end result. For example, if you were having …

Read MoreSpecifications for Asbestos Removal Works – What’s the Point?

Acorn Jan 2020 Low Res 14 e1604324375354

Asbestos Material Risk Assessments and Priority Risk Assessments

There are two types of assessments, material risk assessment and priority risk assessments. Together they will show you the total risk and help you manage it. What is a material risk assessment? The material risk assessment is carried out by an asbestos surveyor on site and looks at the risk of the asbestos product releasing …

Read MoreAsbestos Material Risk Assessments and Priority Risk Assessments

Regulation 5 e1604323415767

Regulation 5 – what you need to know

Regulation 5 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations relates to the identification of the presence of asbestos. Under regulation 5, it puts the responsibility on the employer to identify asbestos before any building or demolition works are carried out. It covers the non-domestic market and the domestic market. When we are doing a project in …

Read MoreRegulation 5 – what you need to know

WP 6556 Original 39589 Medium e1601897882134

Asbestos spray coatings and problems with its removal

In this blog, we’ll examine asbestos spray coatings and some of the problems you can face when it is being removed. Asbestos spray coatings were phased out in the mid-1970s, so it’s old now and deteriorating. They have a very high asbestos content. It was mixed with Portland cement binder, to stick asbestos fibres together. …

Read MoreAsbestos spray coatings and problems with its removal

Licences blog pic sml

How do you get the right asbestos contractor?

It is so important that you get competent asbestos contractors to carry out asbestos removal works. Asbestos Contractors fall into two categories: non-licensed and licensed. Licensed contractors receive a licence from the HSE to work with licensable asbestos materials. You need a licence if you are going to work on the higher risk materials such …

Read MoreHow do you get the right asbestos contractor?