How to deal with asbestos in your home.
asbestos is something many home owners fear, particularly those who have older homes in australia. there is perfectly good reason to have some apprehension toward it.
it is increasingly understood that asbestos is quite dangerous. exposure to this substance can have severe negative effects on a person’s health. it has become a subject of shame for the housing industry, and it is creating problems for many homeowners all over the world even today.
australia has banned the use of asbestos since 2003, but this substance can still be found inside the walls of many homes and buildings all over australia. thankfully, there are precautions that you can take to minimize your exposure to it and reduce the risk of any negative effects it can cause. now asbestos can be taken from your home without creating any health problems, but it does need to be properly identified first.
here we will look at what asbestos is, which kind of risks it creates and how you can get rid of it without putting yourself in danger. these are important guidelines to know as you renovate, rebuild or buy a home that has been in use for a long time.
How asbestos has been used in the past.
asbestos is formed from silicate minerals which occur naturally in the environment. these minerals have been mined for many years in australia. when it was first mined and manufactured, the material was considered to be almost miraculous. it was fireproof, would not leak, and it could insulate very well. it soon became one of the most important and often used materials for home building.
asbestos was also versatile, making its way into blankets, floor tiles, roof sheeting and much more. loose asbestos was placed inside the walls of many homes and commercial buildings all through the 1960s and 1970s. from a period spanning 20 years, starting in 1950, australia has more asbestos per capita than any other nation.
Dangers created by asbestos.
asbestos is now recognized as a dangerous substance that can cause cancer. through the release of small particles that spread through the air, the asbestos can cause mesothelioma. this is a cancer of the internal organs, but the material can do more damage than just that. it can also be responsible for causing lung cancer and asbestosis. australia is only second behind the united kingdom in asbestosis-related deaths in the world. this fact comes from the mesothelioma center based in the united states.
the people who were at the highest risk for contracting mesothelioma or other diseases related to asbestos were those who were mining and installing it. many thousands of deaths have been caused by asbestos installed in homes as well, and the dangers are not relegated only to those working with the substance.
How to get asbestos out of your home.
if you are not building a new home, then you should be aware that any home built before 1980 likely has at least some asbestos in it. if you are considering having an old property renovated or rebuilt, then you should hire a professional to inspect it for you and identify any asbestos on the property.
that way, you can make certain that you know exactly what you are dealing with as you renovate the building. once parts of the house start being taken down or taken apart, asbestos particles will be released into the air, and you want to prevent that from happening.
asbestos removal may not be cheap. you will need to factor in the cost of removing asbestos if you are thinking about moving into an older home. there are a lot of places that asbestos could be hidden, and you need to have them all inspected for the material. these include:
brick cladding- brick cladding is often added to fibro walls to give them a more pleasing appearance. if fibro walls are still in place, you need to be careful about dealing with them during demolition.
switch boxes- asbestos became a common material to insert inside switch boxes around the ‘60s and the ‘70s. even if your home was renovated over the last few years, the switch box could be much older and may still contain some asbestos. your electrician may be able to remove the asbestos for you, so consult with him to have it taken care of.
How to pick the right person for the job.
you need to be careful in picking the professional who will remove asbestos for you in your home. some builders will tell you that it will be no problem to remove the asbestos for you, but they may not actually know how to safely get rid of it for you. their efforts could cause the asbestos particles to be released into the air and caused all sorts of problems.
you should always ask to see a builder’s asbestos removal license before you hire them for the job. in australia, they are required by law to have such a license before they start to do any asbestos removal.
you can find out more about these requirements at the worksafe website. each state has its own requirements, so be sure to check what they are for your state before you make a hiring decision.
if you are buying anew home, however, asbestos removal is something that you won’t have to worry about.