If your property was built in the early 60s up until the late 80s, chances are, asbestos is present in it. Asbestos was widely used as a construction and insulation material before it was banned in 2003. In fact, the Australian government's Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency reports that one-third of all Australian homes contain asbestos products. Even if your property was built after this period, building materials that have been recycled may still contain asbestos.
As it can be hazardous, we offer some simple tips to know how to spot asbestos and what you need to know once it has been discovered.
What does asbestos look like?
It's incredibly difficult to identify asbestos by simply looking at it. Asbestos in Victoria has images you can browse to help you identify where asbestos may be located and examples of what it looks like. But the only way to know for sure is to engage the services of an asbestos testing laboratory accredited by the National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA).
Where is asbestos usually found?
The first thing to think about is your property's main construction materials. For instance, if your property has cement sheet, it possibly contains asbestos fibres. Roofs made from corrugated cement sheeting also have a high chance of containing asbestos. Because of its durability, asbestos is commonly found in areas prone to wet conditions, like toilets and bathrooms. Similarly, pipes in your building that carry water and sewage may also contain asbestos.
Why do I need to identify asbestos in my property?
When asbestos is disturbed, fibres are released in the air and this is when it becomes hazardous. Asbestos has been shown to cause a number of diseases including cancers, asbestosis, and pleural thickening. If you're planning on renovating your property, it’s important to know if asbestos is present to ensure you do not risk releasing the fibres into the air.
What do I do if I find asbestos in my property?
If you find asbestos in your property, it is best to leave it untouched until you can get professional help. With 25 years+ experience in the field of asbestos & hazardous materials assessments, Identifibre carries out asbestos check and testing in and around Melbourne suburbs. Our team of asbestos professionals can help you identify asbestos in your property and ensure the safety of your tenants or employees. Should you require further information, please get in touch with us at (03) 9563 2957.