Q: Why is it important to choose a licensed contractor?
Insurance will not cover damage and injury if the contractor is not licensed. Licensed operators have had training in correct removal procedure and are therefore less likely to accidentally cause asbestos contamination.
If performed incorrectly asbestos removal can cause contamination of the inside and outside of your building.
Indoors – Incorrect asbestos removal performed indoors will cause fibers to be released and if not contained they can spread throughout your entire home causing your bedding, clothing, carpets and curtains to become asbestos contaminated. This scenario is less likely with licensed contractors, they have had training in correct removal procedures, if a mishap does occur with a licensed and insured company their insurance will cover the cost to decontaminate and cover the cost of any necessary repairs.
Outdoors – An entire block can become asbestos contaminated, the primary cause of a residential block being deemed asbestos contaminated is from a demolition contractor not identifying or failing to remove asbestos before demolition of the structure. If a house is demolished that still contains asbestos it will cause thousands of tiny pieces of asbestos to be left over in the soil, now your land is asbestos contaminated. If your block is deemed to be asbestos contaminated by the government building will not be allowed and access forbidden to the general public until the top fifteen center meters of soil will have to be removed and disposed of as asbestos contaminated waste. This will cost around $10,000 dollars for an average sized Perth block.
Q: Why is public liability and workers compensation important?
A: Public liability covers damage and injury caused by the contractor.
If damage is caused to you or your neighbors property and your contractor is not covered by public liability then getting company to pay for damages can be difficult.
Workers compensation covers injury that may occur on you site. If an employee of the company is injured on your site they can sue the client who is engaging them in the task.
Q: What tips do you have to get a cheaper price on my asbestos removal job?
A: Sending through photos of the work you require to be completed is the best way of getting a cheaper price. This saves the contractor having to visit your property to quote on the job.
Also, if you have removed asbestos yourself and want a company to come and pick up the material, you will get a better price if you stack the asbestos neatly next to the verge of your property.
Most of the time when called to a pick up job a contractor will find a pile of asbestos smashed up in the backyard. They will assume this is the case if they are giving you a quote over the phone and charge accordingly, however if you send a photo of your neat pile right next to the road, this will defiantly attract a lower price.
The more square meters of asbestos you have that needs to be removed, the cheaper the price will be per square meter.
When the time comes to remove any substantial amount of asbestos material such as roof sheets, walling, fencing, pipes, lagging, insulation etc, you’ll be looking for an asbestos removal contractor to do the job. As with any job, you want the job done properly, professionally and within your budget.
Getting quotes from asbestos removal contractor’s is similar to getting quotes from any other contractor such as a tree lopper or builder. As most people are aware, it is wise to obtain several quotes from at least 3 different contractors to get a range of prices. But getting quotes can be more than just getting a figure in dollars, if you dare to ask more questions then you can glean some insight into how well (or badly) the contractor will perform his service. Bearing in mind the hazardous nature of asbestos, you’ll want the job performed in a professional and safe manner, keeping the release of asbestos dust to a minimum.
1. Finding a list of contractors.
- Yellow Pages Telephone directory and yellowpages.com.au : Any reputable asbestos removal contractor will have listing here and you can narrow down contractors in your area.
- Internet search: Google, Yahoo!, Bing search engines. Many asbestos removal contractors now have websites with details of their services.
- Community Newspaper: For smaller jobs check you local newspaper for asbestos removal contractors.
- Word of mouth: A recommendation of asbestos removal contractors from friends and acquaintances is another way to find contractors.
- Trade shows and exhibitions.
- Gumtree, Service Seeking, Hipages: Websites where contractors offer their service. Generally speaking the less experienced contractors will be found, but if you are after the cheapest price then you will probably find them here.
2. Contacting the asbestos removal contractor.
- Telephone: Many smaller contractors only list a mobile phone number or use an answering service or answering machine… which at times can be frustrating. However, telephoning the contractor is still a great way for first contact.
- Email: Many asbestos contractors now have email. You can make enquires and discuss aspects of the job this way. It might be the way to go if your location is remote or difficult to get to as you can send pictures of the job, even a video file might be helpful.
- SMS:If you can’t contact the contractor directly on his mobile, then try leaving a message via sms with your name, contact details, location and job description.
3. Arrange a time and date for meeting with contractor.
- Arrange a time that suits both you and the contractor. I strongly recommend meeting in daylight hours, this allows you and the contractor to see the full extent of the job thus minimizing any risk of misquote.
4. A few questions to ask the asbestos removal contractor at quote time.
- Ask the contractor how he would do the job: This gives you an idea of what to expect for the flow of work. The hazardous nature of asbestos means you’ll be wanting to know that the job is done properly as a priority with the release of asbestos dust kept to a minimum.
- Access for vehicles, equipment and disposal bins: Ask the contractor if they need special access for trucks,cranes, cherry pickers etc. Factor this into your plans.
- Insurance: In the event of an accident is the contractor covered by insurance?
- Applicable license and occupational health and safety requirements: Does the contractor have the required permits from state or local authorities to carry out this work. (varies from state to state)
- When can the job be started? Don’t assume the contractor can start immediately as they may have a few jobs booked already. You may to need factor in a waiting period in your schedule of plans.
- How long have they been in business? (optional)
- Are all staff adequately trained? (optional)
- How is the asbestos disposed of? (optional)?
Get a written quote and it should state how long the quote is valid for, such as 2weeks, 1 month or 2months. Remember to get 3 or more quotes from different contractors for comparison.
Choosing the contractor
With a list of prices and information obtained from each of the asbestos removal contractors you are now in a position to choose one. It’s better the choose one who will do the best job, even if it costs a little more. Remember, you get what you pay for, the cheapest quote is not necessarily the best choice.