The risk of asbestos exposure is present, whether you’re thinking of renovating, buying an existing property, renting or already living in your own home, if the property has been constructed and/or was renovated before 1990. The probability of asbestos presence is high if the property was built during 1995 to 1990, and more so if it’s older. Asbestos exposure is a huge issue in Australia because we are one of the highest users of asbestos products in the world. Until today, numerous properties all over the country had a high probability of containing the deadly material.
This doesn’t mean that homeowners, residents and landlords of older properties should then immediately start taking down walls and ceilings to remove potential asbestos material. In fact, in some cases, removal is not a safe option and can even increase the risk of exposure. The vital step to take when you’re looking into renovating, constructing, buying property, or you already suspect asbestos presence in your home is to get help from professionals specialising in asbestos inspections. Our partner Jim’s Building Inspections can be a great resource for this task.
Jim’s licensed asbestos inspectors can conduct a thorough asbestos testing process – an essential and non-negotiable part of a proper asbestos management program. Acquiring this information is critical when developing your construction or renovation plan, because you have to make sure that you won’t do any work without guidance from an asbestos testing report. The slightest disturbance (such as hammering a nail, sawing, drilling or sanding an asbestos product or fixture) can already send the toxic, microscopic fibres in the air. These fibres, when inhaled, can stay deep in the lung tissue, causing serious, long-term and sometimes fatal health problems. Only through an inspection will you be able to know the next safe and smart steps you can undertake in your property project.
Take note that not all asbestos inspections are the same; the process of testing and evaluation will depend on several factors including the type of property and the level of damage, if any, on the suspected asbestos product.
A visual asbestos inspection is usually done as part of a pre-purchase building report. The report provides information on the location and condition of asbestos products in the property, as well as recommended strategies for managing it.
For a more comprehensive evaluation, you’ll need visual inspection and testing. This process is more intensive and will include the safe removal of samples. The samples will be taken to the lab for analysis to verify the presence of asbestos fibres and identify its type.
If you suspect that you may have accidentally disturbed material containing asbestos, an immediate solution is to get an air monitoring service. This should be urgently carried out if you think that the fibres have now been released into the air.
Should the inspection confirms the property as positive for asbestos presence, the next step is determining the right management approach, which is typically either removal or encapsulation. It pays to keep in mind that going the DIY route is the riskiest way to handle asbestos. Get help from our expert team to take advantage of safe, efficient, quality asbestos management today.