What is asbestos?
Asbestos refers to a group of naturally occurring minerals. They are made up of durable fibres that are heat and chemical resistant and can offer insulation.
Back in the early 1990s manufacturers wove and mixed asbestos in the following building materials:
- Floor tiles
- Surface coatings
- Pipe wrapping
- Attic insulation
Dangers of asbestos
Asbestos is now recognised as a major carcinogen (cancer causing agent) when it is inhaled as a dust. Asbestos exposure can cause serious health problems including several lung illnesses and lung cancer.
Why you may need an asbestos inspection
According to the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency, it is estimated that ⅓ of all homes built in Australia contain asbestos. Australia was one of the highest users per capita in the world up until the mid-1980s.
- If you are planning to renovate, buy or rent an existing property or maybe currently living in a home constructed before 1990 then you should have an asbestos inspection.
- If you don’t know when the property was built, then a professional asbestos inspection is non-negotiable before you or your family can move in.
Aside from avoiding health hazards, here are the other benefits of getting an inspection:
- If you are aware of your asbestos situation and you have an accurate report and recommendation, it will help you make smart decisions for your property.
- Getting an inspection is a preventive measure that will save you money. You might face legal problems and costly damage control if asbestos is found in the midst of a purchase or renovation of a property.
What to expect in an asbestos inspection
- Choose a reputable inspector who can help you choose the type of inspection you need. They will recommend the following when needed:
- Visual inspection.
- Inspection with sample testing.
- Air monitoring which is recommended if it’s likely that asbestos fibres are already airborne.
- Inspectors will conduct a thorough assessment and sample collection to help identification.
- They will document the location where asbestos materials are found as well as its volume and condition and present it to you in a report. The report will detail recommendations for correction or prevention.
- You may have to schedule recurring inspections and monitoring depending on the results of the testing and analysis.
It pays to be informed about the presence of asbestos in your current or future home.