Does Your Home Have Asbestos?
In Australia, it is estimated that up to one-third of all homes contain asbestos, with many built before 1990. To determine if your home contains asbestos, you may need to have a professional inspection conducted. The presence of asbestos can be determined through visual and physical inspections as well as laboratory testing.
Common building materials known to contain asbestos include floor and ceiling tiles, insulation material, siding, roofing shingles, and flashing. Asbestos may also be present in joint compounds used for wallboard installation, plaster and stucco. In addition, older electrical wiring may have been insulated with asbestos wrap.
If you are planning on remodelling or renovating your home it is important to have an inspection conducted by a qualified asbestos expert. This is especially the case if your home was built before 1990 or you suspect that materials in your home might contain asbestos. The specialist will assess the type and extent of any asbestos present, as well as how best to manage it.
Why is asbestos so prevalent in Australia? Australia has a long history of asbestos use and it is estimated that up to one-third of all homes built before 1990 still contain asbestos materials. This was mainly due to its cost-effectiveness, fire resistance, and durability. However, since the dangers associated with asbestos exposure have become more widely known there have been significant efforts made by both governments and industry to reduce or eliminate its use.
Once a common building material, asbestos is now regulated in Australia and its use is highly restricted. However, many buildings still contain asbestos materials that were installed prior to the restrictions being put in place.
Risks When Removing Asbestos
Can you remove asbestos yourself? The short answer is no. Asbestos removal requires a high level of safety precautions and the use of specialised equipment to ensure that it is done correctly; this is why it’s important to use qualified asbestos services for any removal job.
Inhaling fibres of asbestos can cause mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis. Asbestos fibres can become airborne if handled incorrectly during the removal process, so an experienced professional must handle the job to ensure everyone is safe. When inexperienced people attempt to remove asbestos themselves, they can create a bigger mess than before and put everyone in the vicinity at risk.
While you may not feel different after being exposed to asbestos, it can still be very dangerous. In reality, some people who have experienced asbestos exposure didn’t show symptoms until decades later. Considering the nature of the health problems that can arise from asbestos exposure, you need to know whether or not your home contains this potentially dangerous material.
How will professionals determine if your home has asbestos? Generally, they will take a careful look at the age and construction of your home. Asbestos was used in a variety of building materials until the late 20th century, so if your home is older than this, it’s more likely to contain asbestos. If asbestos is found, professionals will use specialised machines to take air samples that can determine the presence of asbestos and its concentration.
In terms of removal, the experts will assess the asbestos-containing material and determine whether it’s safe to be removed. If any hazardous conditions exist, they will use specialised protective equipment to protect themselves and anyone in the vicinity. Asbestos removal is a complicated process, so it’s important to use trained professionals with experience in this field. Only professionals can test and remove asbestos safely!