Hearing the word “asbestos” can send many homeowners into a spin, immediately thinking the worst, including having to temporarily leave the home, expensive removal processes and repairs. However, if you come across asbestos in your home, the worst thing you can do is panic. After all, until the extent of the asbestos presence has been established, you may be panicking prematurely, and for nothing.
Having spent over 2 decades in the asbestos removal game, the team at About the House, have seen it all. The best cases, the worst cases, we have certainly been there and done that. With all this experience comes insurmountable knowledge which we are proud tonne share. Take a look at our general tips on what to do, should you find asbestos at your home.
What is asbestos
Before diving into what you should do if you come across asbestos in your home, it is important to understand what asbestos actually is, as well as having an understanding about why it can be dangerous for your health if disturbed.
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral made up of thin microscopic fibres. Asbestos was extremely popular in the housing and construction industry in the 1970’s and 1980’s and was used in the building process due to its ability to offer heat, fireproofing and strength. It was commonly used in residential homes in addition to commercial and industrial buildings. With up to one in three homes said to contain asbestos, its presence isn’t a rare thing, particularly in older homes.
In more recent times exposure to asbestos has been the cause of death of many people who have had exposure to the fibres. Breathing in asbestos fibres can cause a condition called asbestosis, in addition to lung cancers and mesothelioma, which is why people tend to panic when they discover asbestos located within their homes, as they fear getting ill from potential exposure.
What to do When You find Asbestos In your Home
As up to one in three homes in Australia contain asbestos, you make in fact have asbestos present in your home, and it be completely fine. In many cases, asbestos that has not been disturbed doesn’t require a homeowner to do anything, other than simply being aware of its existence, which is particularly relevant and important should you decide to do any renovation work in the future.
Should you be renovating and come across asbestos in your home it is important that you do the following things;
- Don’t panic
As stated above, until you know the extent of the asbestos and whether or not it has been disturbed, there is no need to panic. In the majority to cases undisturbed asbestos will not cause you any harm.
- Contact your local council
Reporting the presence of asbestos is recommended in New South Wales, which includes the Central Coast region. Discussing this with council will also ensure you are made aware of your responsibilities in terms of reducing risk, and how to safely remove.
- Have the fibres tested to ensure you are in fact dealing with asbestos
About The House offers asbestos testing services which can assist homeowners in having peace of mind, knowing exactly what they are dealing with. We also offer an asbestos sample drop off service, which is a quick, safe way to undertake testing, with this service offered in North Sydney, the Central Coast and Newcastle regions.
- Consider the size of the area that requires removal and make a decision as to whether it is suitable to remove yourself
In most states of Australia, you are able to remove asbestos yourself, as long as the asbestos in non-friable and is an area less than 10 square metres, or about the size of a standard sized bathroom. There are several important things to consider before you remove asbestos yourself, and you will need to take into account the regulations surrounding safe handling and disposal, so you ensure the removal is completely safely and is not a risk to your health or anyone else’s.
- Hire a professional to remove
Hiring a professional such as the team at About The House removes the pressure and stress of the removal process from you and places the responsibility in the hands of suitably experienced, qualified, and licenced professionals. With our strong safety focus, hiring a professional, is a safe and smart choice.
With About The House offering a comprehensive range of asbestos related services, which include testing, removal as well as complete building demotions, all at affordable rates, engaging the services of a trusted and well-respected asbestos removal service, will ensure you can enjoy your home for many years to come, without the worry of breathing in deadly materials. If you need asbestos removal, or simply want to get a sample tested get in touch with us today.