If a risk assessment has determined that your property contains asbestos that is in good condition and unlikely to become damaged, then one of the options available to you is to have the asbestos encapsulated rather than removing and disposing of it. ID Asbestos are specialists in the removal and disposal of asbestos and offer an encapsulation service.
Before choosing encapsulation, several factors must first be taken into consideration. ID Asbestos will always assess your situation and provide you with suitable options for dealing with the asbestos at your property.
When considering encapsulation it is imperative that the condition of the asbestos first be taken into account. In particular, sprayed asbestos should be assessed as being in good condition, with the spray adhering firmly, before encapsulation is chosen as the method of control. Ensuring that water cannot penetrate into the asbestos after encapsulation is equally important. If this were to occur, the extra weight from the water trapped inside would cause delamination in the asbestos.
A risk assessment should also take into account the possibility of any future damage that may occur or future maintenance work that might be required.
One of the benefits of encapsulation with certain asbestos-containing products is that it negates the need and any extra costs necessary to replace the item.
In addition to the type of asbestos application, accessibility must also be taken into consideration before deciding on encapsulation as a control option.
If it is decided that the asbestos is to be encapsulated, the property owner will be informed that continual monitoring and management of the material will be required with regular inspections, and that all work persons must be made aware that there is encapsulated asbestos on the premises.
If it has been assessed that the asbestos is in a satisfactory condition, then encapsulation would not normally require an enclosure. However, the POW and risk assessment will indicate if an enclosure is needed.
The first part of encapsulation process is preparing the area. Any areas that have been affected by minor damage will need to be repaired. This is particularly important if the asbestos is used in fire resistance.
Depending on the surface condition of the asbestos material, a light coating of PVA will often be applied. This is done at a lower pressure to final coatings and will consolidate the surface of the asbestos, prior to further coats being applied in order to achieve the thickness of the dried film as recommended by the manufacturer.
Final coats of encapsulant may use non-asbestos fibres as reinforcement. This helps to increase the resistance to any impact. Final coats should have an open mesh scrim reinforcement applied between them, usually one made of glass fibre rather than calico, as this provides greater reinforcement.
If asbestos has been sprayed onto beams and columns and coating cannot occur on all surfaces, any small gaps should be covered with fire-resistant material. The encapsulation can then be applied beyond the original asbestos application.
An airless spray machine is used for large scale encapsulation projects, whereas brushes are normally used for small jobs. The risk assessment and POW will indicate what method of application is best.
For further information and free advice on any aspect of ID Asbestos LTD, please contact us.