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Between 1930 and 1990, Australia imported and mined asbestos in vast quantities. If your home was built between the early 1900s and 1990, it’s probable that asbestos featured in the construction process.

It’s important to accurately identify asbestos within your home, especially if you plan on doing renovations which may disrupt the material. As the Better Health Channel states, inhaling airborne asbestos fibres can cause a number of diseases, including mesothelioma and asbestosis.

An asbestos inspection of your home can help uncover any materials that could potentially pose harm to yourself and your family, particularly if they are worn or damaged.

Where can asbestos be found in homes?

Asbestos is known for being used in sheeting and cladding products such as Hardiplank and Villaboard. Common asbestos containing materials include:

  • External cladding (asbestos is a very hardy material, resistant to the elements)
  • Internal walls and ceilings.
  • Eaves.
  • Corrugated roofing.
  • Chimney flues (asbestos has great thermal properties)
  • Lagging on hot water pipes.
  • Vinyl floor tiles and carpet underlay.
  • Insulation in wood heaters.
  • Paint, spray coatings and sealants.

How can I identify asbestos in my home?

You can conduct a walk-through of your home, paying attention to the building materials that have been used internally and externally, including in any ceiling or crawl spaces.

If you can see common asbestos containing materials such as fibro cement sheeting, then it’s likely that asbestos is present. If you can’t identify some materials, treat them as if they contain asbestos, and get professional advice.

While you can do your own walk-through, it’s important to realise that asbestos can be found in many different materials, some of which may not be obvious.

In fact, more than 3,000 products and materials have been identified as containing asbestos. A professional experienced inspector knows exactly what to look for.

Lab testing is necessary for confirmation

In addition, asbestos identification is difficult by visual inspection alone. While you can surmise from the appearance of materials and where they have been used in your home, only laboratory testing can confirm the presence of asbestos. Asbestos testing by a NATA accredited inspector will provide you with a detailed report of what types of asbestos are in your home and where they are located.

What happens next?

Once asbestos is identified, a professional inspector can provide advice on what to do. Often, asbestos can be left in place, as long as it isn’t damaged. Any treatment that is recommended may vary depending on the type of asbestos material and whether it’s bonded or friable.

For further information or to book an asbestos inspection of your home, get in touch with our experienced and qualified consultants.