How to Find Asbestos?

Asbestos has been a bane to many home-owners, new and old alike, since its harmful effects were publicly revealed many years ago. Asbestos was a massive component of the building industry for many years before this discovery, it was a very durable, fire-proof and cheap building material, making it a favourite of building companies for many years before its potential danger was widely known. In Victoria alone it is estimated that 98% of buildings that were built before 1976 contained asbestos in one way or another, leading many to be concerned about how to identify the dangers lurking in their home. A good indicator of whether there is likely asbestos in your home or business is the date it was built or its renovation dates. If your home or business was built or renovated before 1990 it is very highly likely it has some type of asbestos within it, most likely cement sheeting or similar.

 

So, I can practically hear you asking yourself, how do I find the stuff and remove it? My house was built or renovated before 1990, how do I identify the issue and get that ticking biologically hazardous time bomb out of my house A.S.A.P? This is where some of an Asbestos Removal Bundaberg has the most fiddly and tricky work. It just so happens that Asbestos sheeting can look very close or identical to regular sheeting. This means that it can be very difficult for the average home or business owner to identify problem areas and keep themselves and their families/employees safe! This is where this mini-guide steps in to offer a hand!

 

The first thing to remember is that if you are in a house that was built or renovated before 1990, or even as late as 2003 when asbestos and products containing it were finally banned for good, depending on the property it is imperative that any surface that has not been tested by a professional – such as Asbestos Testing Bundaberg – should be treated as if it is asbestos. As a follow on to this reminder is that testing is the only way to be absolutely certain that a substance contains asbestos, and confirmation of this should be sought before any maintenance, demolition or renovation takes place.

 

Now, acknowledging that asbestos is best identified via a test, lets run over the possible forms and places you will encounter asbestos – noting that this is not an exhaustive list and should not be considered superior to a professional diagnosis.

 

Firstly, there are two types of asbestos that may be in your home, bonded (tightly-bound) asbestos and friable (loosely-bound) asbestos. Bonded asbestos is typically found as cement sheeting and, in an undamaged state is considered “safe” or as safe as asbestos can be. That being said, when this asbestos ages it can crumble and when damaged it can release asbestos fibres into the area. Bonded asbestos is generally the easiest to remove. Usually found on fences, sheds, internal walls and cladding external walls, it is usually a cement sheeting or insulation board.

Friable Asbestos is a different kettle of fish entirely. Due to its nature as a loosely bound material asbestos fibres are more readily and easily released into the air, putting you and your family at risk. This sort of asbestos should not be disturbed by anyone but a trained professional in an airtight negative pressure environment. Friable asbestos used to be used as insulation (look out for roof cavities if they haven’t been touched since the 90’s) and can be found in a wide variety of places around the home like pipe lagging and ceiling insulation. It is also found under linoleum or vinyl floor coverings in some cases.

 

Make sure to stay safe and test before you touch!

Further Reading:

For more info: http://www.asbestoswise.com.au

http://www.safework.nsw.gov.au/health-and-safety/safety-topics-a-z/asbestos

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