Important Asbestos Facts for Australian Homeowners

If you own a home in Australia and are thinking of undergoing renovations there are some important facts you should be aware of regarding asbestos.

Age of Your Home

The age of your home plays an important role in determining the risks that asbestos was used when your home was built. Here are some key dates and facts:

  • Between World War II and 1954 there were 70,000 homes built using asbestos products in New South Wales.
  • Victoria homes built prior to 1963 have a 98 percent chance of containing asbestos products.
  • Throughout Australia 25 percent of homes built up until the 1960’s were built using asbestos cement cladding.
  • Homes built prior to 1990 have a very good chance of containing some form of asbestos product.

Where it is May Exist in Your Home

Understanding where asbestos was commonly used in building and renovations will make it a little easier to figure if you should be worried when undergoing renovations. Here is a list of uses:

  • Chimney flues, eaves under the roof and flat, patterned or corrugated wall and roof sheeting
  • Cement sheeting on both internal and external walls
  • False brick and weatherboard on external walls
  • Insulation around water heaters, hot water pipes or under wood heaters and heater hearths
  • Walls for carports and garages as well as sheds
  • Vinyl flooring and cushioning for floors in both sheet and tile form

Tightly Bound and Loosely Bound Materials

Asbestos may appear in two materials either tightly bound or loosely bound. Tightly bound products would include cement sheeting, vinyl tiles and sheeting, etc. These products are not as dangerous unless you begin to tear down the materials and loosen the fibres into the air. Loosely bound would be found more in commercial or industrial properties however it could have been used heaters, stoves and hot water systems.

Hire Professional Asbestos Removalist

Identifying asbestos is difficult. It’s best before undergoing renovations, especially DIY projects, that you hire an asbestos removalist who can test the area in question and ensure it is safe.

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