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Dismantling asbestos yourself

There are many different types of asbestos and most must be removed by a licensed contractor. Cement bonded asbestos is the only asbestos material which can be removed by a house holder. This is typically found as corrugated roofing or flat sheets to garages and sheds.

If you decide to remove these structures yourselves, here are some handy tips to help.


  1. Keep others away from the work area.
  2. Where possible, work out of doors.
  3. Keep the surfaces of the boards wet, but avoid any possibility of water coming into contact with electrical supplies or appliances.
  4. Where possible remove the sheets whole. Avoid breaking up the material.
  5. Where sheets are held in place by bolts, spring-headed nails or other fixings, try to crop the heads of the fixing and lift the sheets clear, rather than try extracting the fixing or break the sheet around the fixing.
  6. Wear overalls, preferably disposal overalls, if not ensure you wash them after work. In some cases you may be advised to wear respiratory protection. Ensure you use only the type specified - some masks on sale to the public are not effective for this purpose.
  7. Lay polythene sheeting on the floor and on horizontal surfaces which cannot be hosed and washed down (e.g. indoors). Dispose of the sheeting with the asbestos waste.
  8. Smaller pieces should be placed in a bag or polythene sack as soon as they are removed. All asbestos should be wrapped in strong polythene.
  9. Clean all surfaces around the work area using a damp cloth or by hosing and sweeping. Dispose of the used cloths with the asbestos waste.
  10. Wash your hands before eating or smoking. Wash your hands, face and hair after completing the work and removing your overalls.


  1. Don't use any power tools on any asbestos material.
  2. Don't use dry abrasive processes on asbestos materials (e.g. sanding, sawing, wire brushing etc..).
  3. Don't use a domestic vacuum cleaner to clean up. They spread the fibres rather than contain them.
  4. Don't carry asbestos through your home if you can avoid it.
  5. Don't worry - these simple precautions are all you require to safe guard yourself and those around you.
The waste should be dampened with water, wrapped in strong polythene or bagged, and sealed.

Essex County Council Recycling Centres DO NOT accept asbestos of any description.

Details of Licensed sites can be obtained from the Environment Agency on 08708 506506. It is advised that you phone the site before transporting your waste.