Incredibly, asbestos was banned only banned in Australia in 2003. Leaving behind a legacy of doubt and uncertainty, not to mention the rise and rise of asbestos related diseases. Just when we think we have asbestos under control, the new wave of renovations across the country has again caused diseases like asbestosis and mesothelioma to rise.
Who you gonna call?
Staying sane when you live in a house that has asbestos can be a real issue! If, you are unaware what you are dealing with. Asbestos can be a perfectly safe product if it is treated properly and receives timely maintenance. If the asbestos in your home is worn, weathered, flaking, cracked, broken or damaged in any particular way, call an asbestos professional straight away and stay clear of the damaged product. An asbestos professional will be able to tell you in the remainder of your home is contaminated from the damaged product or not. If you do not have contamination, while you have the asbestos contractor there, ask them about the condition of your current asbestos, do a walk around the home with them and ask them to advise you of each products condition. Keeping note of your asbestos and what date you checked it will be of great comfort to you.
TIP: Check with your insurance company to see if they will cover damage to your asbestos from events such as storms, cyclones, bush fires, floods etc. Many Australian roofs are made from asbestos and many insurance companies have elected to remove and replace hail damaged roofs knowing the contamination issues if not actioned in a timely fashion.
Where to look for asbestos?
- Fireplace and heater exhaust pipes
- Roof Gutters
- Outdoor deck under sheeting
- Blown in insulation, such as vermiculite
- Ceiling tiles
- Asbestos padding under fireplaces
- Textured or ‘popcorn’ ceilings
- Splash backs in kitchens, bathrooms & Laundries
- Soffit boards
- AC Fibro Sheeting
- Insulation around pipes and wires
- Fuse Box backing boards
- Vinyl tiles & linoleum sheet flooring, and the adhesive that sticks it down.
Although asbestos is no longer in use, you will find all of these items in older pre 1980’s houses, sadly some houses built between 1980 and current day still have asbestos as not all builders have followed the rules. Many have suffered huge penalties and fines for not doing so. Asbestos testing Melbourne should always be used to ascertain 100% that you do not have asbestos in your home.
But what if I Do Have Asbestos?
As already mentioned, maintenance is key. A little known or discussed topic, apart from a clean removal of the asbestos from your home, is encapsulation. Encapsulation is quite under rated as a useful tool to manage asbestos. Possibly because in the past normal paint was used as an encapsulation tool, nowadays you can actually purchase a type of plastic paint that has been designed for one specific purpose, and that is to encapsulate asbestos.
TIP: There are two distinct asbestos material type. One is hard (Bonded asbestos), the other is softer (friable asbestos). If you do not already know about these two distinct material types, please ask your asbestos professional for further explanation and what type you have in your home. Without wanting to cause you too much alarm, bonded is dangerous, friable is EXTRA dangerous. Friable is such due to its softness and ability to crumble under hand or foot pressure, thus releasing fibres into the air which could be inhaled.
What about waste?
It is widely noted that the best way to treat asbestos is to have asbestos removal Melbourne, always look for a reputable contractor, one with great reviews is Asbestos Watch Melbourne. Remember that where there is a removal, there is waste product that will need to be disposed of, this can prove to be a costly exercise if not left to the professionals.
Asbestos Guide –