Asbestos in Your Home: Identifying the Problem and Ensuring Your Family’s Safety

Asbestos, a hazardous material widely used in construction in the past, poses serious health risks when its fibres are released into the air and inhaled. If you live in an older Australian home, it's essential to be aware of the presence of asbestos and take necessary precautions to protect your family's health. This article will discuss how to identify asbestos in your home, the importance of seeking professional help, and steps to ensure your family's safety.

Identifying Asbestos

  1. Age of the Property: If your home was built or renovated before the late 1980s, there is a higher likelihood of asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) being present; however, it's important to note that ACMs were not completely phased out until more recently, so even homes built after the 1980s may still contain asbestos.
  2. Common Areas for Asbestos: Asbestos was commonly used in various building materials, including cement sheets, insulation, roofing materials, floor tiles and textured ceiling coatings (commonly known as "popcorn" ceilings). These areas should be given special attention during inspections.
  3. Professional Asbestos Inspection: Engaging a licensed asbestos assessor or occupational hygienist is highly recommended for a comprehensive asbestos inspection. These professionals have the expertise and necessary equipment to identify and test suspected materials accurately.

Seeking Professional Help

  1. Licensed Asbestos Removalist: If asbestos is identified in your home, it is crucial to engage a licensed asbestos removalist for safe removal and disposal. Attempting DIY asbestos removal can be extremely dangerous and is illegal in many jurisdictions due to the health risks involved.
  2. Importance of Professional Abatement: Licensed removalists follow strict procedures to minimize the release of asbestos fibres during removal. They have the proper protective equipment, containment measures and disposal protocols to ensure the safe and lawful removal of asbestos-containing materials.

Ensuring Your Family's Safety

  1. Restrict Access: If asbestos-containing materials are identified but cannot be immediately removed, restrict access to the affected areas. This prevents accidental disturbance and minimises the potential for fibre release.
  2. Regular Maintenance: Proper maintenance and periodic inspections are essential for managing asbestos-containing materials in your home. Ensure any damaged or deteriorating ACMs are promptly repaired or sealed to prevent fibre release.
  3. Education and Awareness: Educate your family members about the potential presence of asbestos in the home. Teach them to avoid disturbing materials that may contain asbestos and to report any signs of damage or deterioration.
  4. Monitor Air Quality: Consider investing in air quality monitors to periodically assess the presence of airborne asbestos fibres in your home. While not a substitute for professional testing, these monitors can provide additional peace of mind.

Safety First

Identifying and managing asbestos in your home is crucial for protecting your family's health. By being aware of the age of your property and common areas where asbestos may be found and seeking professional help for inspections and removal, you can ensure the safe handling of this hazardous material. Remember, DIY asbestos removal is not only dangerous but also illegal in many cases. Engaging licensed professionals guarantees proper removal and disposal of asbestos-containing materials, minimising health risks to you and your loved ones. Prioritising education, regular maintenance and monitoring air quality will provide added assurance in keeping your home safe from asbestos-related health hazards.

For more information, contact a company that offers asbestos disposal services.