There was a time when industries would shut down without the constant supply of asbestos. All homes use copious quantities of the material for roofing, insulation, and plumbing. That was before people discovered the carcinogenic properties of asbestos. In Australia, the government banned the use of asbestos in 2003, but by then, all old homes, offices, school buildings, and public buildings had become the epicentre for mesothelioma – the cancer asbestos causes.
Where can one come across asbestos?
Between the 1940s and the 1970s, almost all new buildings used asbestos for construction due to its fire-retardant properties, thermal and acoustic insulation features, and easy availability. It was famous for roofing, insulating water pipes, and insulating fireplaces. Unfortunately, people are not always safe in their Queensland homes. Asbestos is something that hides in things we use daily. That does little to limit the chances of our exposure to the cancer-causing material. Here are the few household materials that might contain asbestos –
- Vinyl flooring tiles
- Blown-in attic insulation
- Linoleum, but only certain types
- Window glazing and caulking
- Corrugated or flat paper HVAC dust insulation
- Roofing material especially shingles
- Fibre cement siding
- Corrugated heavy duty panels
- Siding material
- Some types of paint
In general, the presence of asbestos in your home might not be dangerous. It remains at rest until you decide to move things around for a renovation or some repairwork. It is safe to say that asbestos is challenging to identify.Homeowners without any formal training for asbestos inspection and removal should not attempt to verify, repair or remove building materials containing asbestos.
Does your home contain asbestos?
Keeping these facts in sight, you might find it impossible to tell if your building is putting you at the risk of asbestos exposure. However, here’s a rule of thumb on the presence of asbestos in Brisbane homes and commercial buildings –
- If the building is from the mid-1980s, then it is highly likely to contain asbestos construction material
- If your building is from the late 1980s or early 1990s, it is somewhat expected to have asbestos in select places
- Buildings after the 1990s and in the 2000s no longer used asbestos, and they are least likely to contain any.
How to confirmedly identify asbestos?
While asbestos is a stealthy killer, it looks very unassuming. As a result, it has made its way into several building materials that now lay around us, sometimes inside our homes. Close to one million homes in Australia used asbestos sheeting. There is no guarantee that your home is an asbestos-free zone. It is imperative for every homeowner in Queensland to consult Brisbane asbestos removal services before they decide to repair, renovate or sell their properties.
There is always a chance that your building does not have any asbestos, if that’s the result after inspection, then you can live happily, without worries for years to come. However, if the results show the presence of asbestos, do not attempt to remove or repair the asbestos-containing material. Wait for the experts with the right gear to arrive and help you to safety.