Asbestos, you’ve all heard about it and probably have an inkling of a memory about it being disbanded a long while back around 1980. If you live in a home that was built prior to that time there is a good possibility that you will find asbestos in your home. Many of the materials that were used in the building of homes before 1980 contained asbestos because of its potent insulating and fire-resistant properties.
It was used in places such as the ceiling and wall plaster, bathroom and kitchen walls, wallboard, floor and ceiling tiles, waterproof putty, some vinyl floor backings and many other places. In most cases, the danger from asbestos in your home is near to none, so long as the materials that contain the asbestos are intact and undamaged, then there is no need to be concerned.
Asbestos only becomes a health hazard when tiny fibres of it become airborne. This can only happen if you disturb asbestos containing materials during renovations or repairs, or if a material containing asbestos becomes damaged. So, it is of a high importance to be very careful when around areas of the home which may contain asbestos.
What Can I Do if I Think My Home Contains Asbestos?
Generally, you won’t be able to tell whether a material contains asbestos simply by looking at it, unless it is labelled. If in doubt, treat the material as if it contains asbestos and leave it alone. A licensed asbestos surveyor can test materials that you suspect contain asbestos. For asbestos removal in Perth, use only a fully certified and licensed professional for you and your family’s sake. Testing for asbestos by yourself is not recommended due to the danger of releasing asbestos fibres into the air while collecting samples.
You may want to have your home inspected for asbestos-containing materials by a trained and accredited asbestos professional if:
- You are planning to renovate your home (renovating can disturb building materials)
- Your home has damaged building materials such as decaying drywall and insulation that are collapsing
Doing the Right Thing
A trained and certified asbestos professional will take samples for analysis, since a professional knows what to look for, and because there may be an increased health risk if fibres have been released. In fact, if done improperly, sampling can be more hazardous than leaving the material alone. If you are residing in W. Australia, and think you may have an asbestos concern, aarco.com.au are an experienced and qualified asbestos removal and disposal company, to suit all of your needs. The taking samples by yourself is definitely not recommended.
Some Asbestos Advice for the Homeowner
Leave undamaged asbestos-containing materials alone.
Keep activities minimal in all areas having damaged material that may contain asbestos, including limiting children’s access to any materials that may contain asbestos.
Take every precaution to avoid disturbing or damaging asbestos-containing material.
Make sure to have removal and major repair work done by people who are well trained and qualified in handling asbestos.
Avoid dusting, sweeping, or vacuuming debris that may contain asbestos.
Don’t saw, sand, scrape, or drill holes in asbestos-containing materials.
Avoid sanding or trying to level asbestos flooring or its backing. Should asbestos flooring need replacing, install a new floor covering over it, if possible.
Finally, use wisdom and common sense to get any asbestos problem sorted out as soon as possible.