Whether you're planning a simple change or going for a complete transformation, home renovation can be exciting. But while you may have already considered what armchair will fit nicely into your new living room what you might not have considered is the presence of asbestos in your home.
Asbestos is one of the biggest renovating risks, especially for older homes—something that many people overlook. Left undisturbed, asbestos can be harmless but once released into the open air, it can cause a variety of health issues, from cardiovascular problems to mesothelioma cancer.
Asbestos was widely used in construction during the 1960s and up until the late 1980s. Naturally occurring, it was used in building materials like concrete, insulation, cladding, and roofing shingles. Asbestos was finally banned in 2003 in Australia.
Since then, it is roughly estimated that almost a third of all Australian homes contain traces of asbestos products. If you're unsure if asbestos is present hire the services of a company licensed to conduct an asbestos inspection and removal.
If your home was built in the 60's, chances are, it was built using asbestos-containing materials. The following materials may have asbestos:
- Backing on vinyl sheet flooring
- Insulation (pipe, boiler, corrugated air-cell, breaching, and block insulation)
- Acoustical plaster, decorative plaster
- Tiles, wallboards, siding, roofing
- Door gaskets in furnaces, wood stoves, and coal stoves
2. Do not disturb asbestos
If you suspect asbestos in a particular area in your home, leave it as it is. Asbestos is typically harmless if left undisturbed, so avoid the following actions:
- Sweeping debris that may contain asbestos
- Sanding flooring that may contain asbestos
3. Hire a professional and licensed asbestos inspection and testing company
If any asbestos-containing material has been disturbed during the renovation process, it is best to hire an accredited asbestos inspection and testing company who can help you deal with the problem appropriately. Professional asbestos inspectors can inspect your home, test samples from suspected materials, and advise what needs to be done.
4. Monitor your health
If you have been to exposed to asbestos, make it a point to monitor your health close for early detection of symptoms of asbestosis, such as:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Dry cough
- Loss of appetite
A mesothelioma blood test can also be done to detect cancer as well as an X-ray to ensure the health of your lungs. After exposure, get tested annually.
We're here to help
Asbestos poses a lot of harmful effects to you and your family. Should you suspect the presence of asbestos in your home, the NATA accredited team at Identifibre can help you. We can provide an effective asbestos management plan to ensure that your home and your family's health is safe. For enquiries, please call us at (03) 9563 2957 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.