Removing a nailed-in asbestos insulating board (AIB) panel smaller than 1m2

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1 Use the right kit
  • Use timber to build a framework big enough to work inside
  • Fix plastic sheeting on the inside of the frame with duct tape until the work space is fully enclosed and cover the work area inside with plastic sheets to help catch waste
  • If you need to fix sheeting to materials containing asbestos use masking tape
  • Cut a vertical slit in one side of the enclosure to act as a doorway. Reinforce with duct tape to stop the slit from ripping
  • Fix more plastic sheeting over the opening like a curtain
  • Get everything you need inside before you start
  • Wear a disposable, correctly fitted FFP3 face mask and Type 5 disposable overalls
  • Wear the overalls one size too big and put the legs over the top of footwear
  • Do not re-use disposable overalls and masks
  • Work on any AIB material lasting more than two hours, even if different tradespeople are sharing the work, needs a licensed asbestos contractor. The time limit includes setting up, cleaning and clearing up.


    No one tradesperson can work with AIB for more than one hour a week. 

2 Keep dust down
  • Put a blob of shaving foam or wallpaper paste over the head of each nail
  • Try to take the nails out using a claw hammer gently pulling the nail out through the paste or foam
  • Put the nails in a plastic sack
  • If it can’t be done with a claw hammer, cover the corner of the panel with wallpaper paste or shaving foam.
  • Deeply score across the corner through the paste/foam using a craft knife
  • Carefully lever the edge of the panel until it breaks along the score line and ease it gently to loosen the nails. Remove these using the claw hammer
  • If you cannot lever the edge, continue to score along the line until the panel breaks and then lever behind the panel
  • Wipe both sides of the panel with a damp cloth then spray with PVA sealant using a hand held water sprayer
  • Put the panel in the plastic sack without breaking it. If it does not fit, double wrap it in a plastic sheet and seal with duct tape
  • Vacuum the remaining surface using a class H vacuum cleaner
  • Get a licensed contractor for work on soffits or if the panel is badly damaged, stuck to others with paint, or if there are a lot of nails, particularly in the middle
3 Clean up properly
  • Use a damp cloth or Class H vacuum cleaner with a special filter to clean up
  • Do not use a domestic vacuum cleaner or a brush as these will spread asbestos fibres into the air
  • Use a hand held water sprayer to spray the plastic sheets with PVA sealant, then take them off the framework
  • Double bag all waste including masks, overalls, cloths and plastic sheets in plastic sacks, seal with tape and label as asbestos waste
  • Contact the local tips in your area to find one that accepts asbestos waste
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