Asbestos is an exceptionally fibrous material which occurs naturally and is an efficient insulator in homes. Due to this desirable trait, many older travel trailers will have asbestos insulation. However, the fibers of asbestos can cause mesothelioma when inhaled, which is an advanced lung cancer, so your wish to remove asbestos from your trailer is understandable.
Things You'll Need
- Disposable clothing covering
- Rubber boots
- Full face mask
- HEPA breathing filtration system
- Disposable plastic sheets
- Basic tools
- Spray water bottles
- Garbage sacks
- Water hose
Put on the clothing coverings, gloves and the boots. Tape the coveralls to your boots and gloves tightly. Put on the HEPA filter breathing mask and cover you entire head and face with a hood. If the hood does not cover your eyes, wear goggles. Tape around any area that may be exposed to the air.
Determine the best way to access the insulation for your trailer. Some trailers have exterior panels that can be easily removed. For others, the best way will be from the inside. If working on the inside, turn off any air conditioners or heaters and tape all ducts shut and cover as much of the house as possible in plastic sheets.
Remove the panels exposing the asbestos as gently as possible. The method for this will differ depending on your trailer. Likely you will have to remove some screws but some travel trailers have panels that you can just pry off with a screwdriver. Liberally spray the asbestos with water to prevent as much dust from being stirred up.
Remove the asbestos and place it in large garbage sacks. If you have done this from the exterior, replacing the insulation can be done immediately. If you have done this from the interior, allow as long of time as possible for the dust to settle before removing the plastic sheeting and then add the replacement insulation.
Dispose of the asbestos according to local regulations. Any time you leave the trailer, dispose of all of your outer wear except the HEPA filter. Neglecting to do so will bring asbestos fibers into other areas and risk contamination. Treat all disposable clothing and plastic sheets as they were asbestos.
Hose yourself down after the job is completed to remove any possible asbestos fibers that got under your clothing.
Tips & Warnings
- Removing asbestos should only be done as an absolute necessity. No matter how careful you are, you will introduce asbestos fibers into the air and possible contaminate the living area of the trailer. Before undertaking this task it is important to take every possible precaution to prevent inhalation of asbestos.
- Do not simply throw the asbestos in with your normal garbage. Aside from being an extremely large fine and possible jail time depending on your area, this is as irresponsible of an act as humanly possible as you will expose others to this carcinogenic material.