Before its ban in 1999, asbestos was used in a large variety of construction projects due to the material’s fibre strength and heat resistance – ideal for insulation purposes. Common asbestos containing materials were also used in many building materials such as roofing and floor tiles, paper products and cement products, as well as friction products like clutch, brake and transmission parts for automobiles. Packaging’s, gaskets and coatings also had elements of asbestos present.
Where asbestos is typically found in the home
The prime areas where asbestos has been located in pre-2000 homes are plentiful and each poses a risk if they are disturbed.
Attic and wall insulation may have been produced containing asbestos which is among the highest levels of concern within a home. Vinyl sheet flooring backing and adhesives can contain traces of asbestos fibre. Asbestos roofing tiles, sheets and siding shingles were very common, as well as textured paints and patching compounds used on ceilings and walls.
If you have wood-burning stoves, gas or coal type fires then there may be elements within the walls, floors and seals surrounding them – potentially asbestos paper, millboard, cement sheets or textiles. Your hot water and steam pipes potentially were ones coated in asbestos material or covered with an asbestos blanket or tape if you are very unlucky.
Add to these, areas any oil or coal furnaces and heat-resistant fabrics contained within your home having the potential to house some form of asbestos. The bad news is that there is no safe form of asbestos. The good news is that it’s able to be contained or completely removed.
Why does it require attention?
If asbestos fibres are mistakenly or unknowingly released into the breathable air, you stand to expose several innocent people other than yourself to extremely dangerous materials. This can lead to a mixture of either serious health issues or terminal conditions such as lung cancer.
Exposure can only occur when ACMs are disturbed or damaged in some way through demolition, refurbishment or home maintenance and repair. The greater the exposure to asbestos, the greater the chances of developing harmful health effects – with symptoms taking many years to reveal themselves and being untreatable upon detection after long periods of being undetectable.
The safe containment or removal of common asbestos containing materials must be done by a professional asbestos removal company that specialise in asbestos removal services, able to conduct asbestos testing to determine the type and amount of the material present.