If you live in Australia, and your home was built before 1990, there is a chance that asbestos was used in the construction. Following the discovery of the dangers of this naturally occurring mineral, laws have been passed banning its use. In 2003, a law was passed that banned the import, sale of, storing, using, or even reusing asbestos in any situation. This ban, however, does not apply to buildings that were constructed before 1990, and if your house falls into that category, the chances are that asbestos was used at some stage of the build.
Types of Asbestos Products
As far as construction is concerned, there are two main types of asbestos – The first is bonded asbestos, which contains asbestos in the hardened cement, and this is the most common form of asbestos used in building houses. Due to the fact that the sheets are hardened, the risks of contamination are less than with the second type, which is loosely bonded asbestos. This loosely packed asbestos was not typically used for building homes, as it was more for commercial and industrial buildings, however, there are certain places where loosely bound asbestos might be found in your home. The places to look are in old domestic heaters and stoves, and also around hot water pipe lagging. This type of asbestos product flakes apart very carefully, and if you suspect it is present somewhere in the home, the best thing to do is have asbestos testing from SERS, a company who are dedicated to the detection and removal of asbestos in any environment. By contacting an asbestos consultant, you will quickly know if your home is contaminated, and if so, you can take the appropriate action to have it safely removed.
Where in the Home Might Asbestos Lurk?
The roof insulation is one place to consider, and imitation brick or stone cladding could contain asbestos fibers. Many homes were built using asbestos and cement sheeting, and if your home is older than 1960, the chances are you will find asbestos somewhere. The substance could also be in the ceilings and floors, depending on what materials were used, and if you are not a professional asbestos consultant, it is very hard to identify it by just a visual inspection.
What Can I do if Asbestos is confirmed to be in my Home?
A reputable company would have suitable asbestos management plans, which might involve you and the family leaving for a few days, while the dangerous work is carried out. It might be a little inconvenient, but that is much better than running the risk of contracting cancer due to asbestos inhalation.
The risks are very real, especially if you live in an old building, and with you and your family’s health at stake, it isn’t wise to ignore the possibility that your home does contain asbestos. If you are in any doubt, call on a reputable environment protection company that specializes in asbestos detection and removal.