Back in the day, asbestos was a popular ingredient of building materials, which were commonly used for the construction of houses. Its fire- and heat-resistant properties have seemingly made homes a safer place to live in. However, in recent decades, it was found that the use of asbestos could be hazardous to health and that its health risks outweigh the benefits.
How Harmful is Asbestos?
Exposure to asbestos – specifically through inhalation – can cause medical conditions. The possible impact on health is so serious that the Australian government has banned the use of asbestos and aims for the complete removal of asbestos from homes by 2030.
The diseases caused by exposure to asbestos include:
• Asbestosis – a lung condition that causes difficulty in breathing and the scarring of the lungs
• Warts – develops when asbestos fibres accumulate in the skin
• Lung cancer
Although the severity of the condition varies depending on the degree of exposure, repeated exposure to asbestos can put you at higher risk for these diseases.
Does My Home Contain Asbestos?
Building materials that contain asbestos were widely used for constructing commercial and residential establishments in the 1800s until the late 1980s. These building materials include roofs, vinyl floor tiles, plasterboard (drywall) and acoustic walls and ceilings.
It may not necessarily mean though that if your home was constructed between these years, it contains asbestos. Still, because of the possibility, it is recommended to have your property inspected for your own safety. Better safe than sorry.
Can I Identify Asbestos Materials and Remove Them by Myself?
Many of our clients at Defence Pest and Building Inspections have previously wanted to try assessing the presence of asbestos materials in their homes by themselves. Unfortunately, this process is not as simple as some would think. Aside from the fact that asbestos fibre cannot be identified by the naked eye, the removal of asbestos requires precautionary measures and the use of specialised equipment.
Moreover, because of the dangers of asbestos, only licensed handlers are authorised to remove large sections of asbestos. Certain license classes are also limited to the type of asbestos that can be removed, so it is necessary that the type of asbestos and the size of area covered are first determined before proceeding with the removal.
So My House Contains Asbestos, What’s Next?
Defence Pest and Building Inspections can help you with the removal of asbestos. If, after our team’s inspection, your house has been found to contain materials with asbestos, our licensed handlers will set out a plan on the safe removal of asbestos. Of course, we will discuss every detail of the process with you.