For those of us living in houses that were constructed before 1990, it is an unfortunate fact of life that there may be asbestos in our homes, as it was a material that was commonly used at the time.
This doesn’t mean that you should dread the idea of renovations or other construction projects, however. In fact, all you need is to have a professional company like the GBAR Group assist to ensure you can keep living there safely and happily.
Before we get into where asbestos may be located inside your home, it is important to understand why asbestos is so dangerous in the first place.
Health risks associated with asbestos
Asbestos is a term that often sends a wave of concern over many homeowners, and for good reason. It’s become common knowledge now that those who are exposed to asbestos for extended periods of time are at a higher risk to develop asbestos-related diseases.
Over the years, studies have shown that prolonged asbestos exposure can lead to a range of severe health conditions. The most notorious asbestos-related disease is mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer that affects the lining of the lungs, abdomen, and heart. Other serious health complications include asbestosis, which is a chronic respiratory disease, and lung cancer.
The issue with disturbing asbestos-containing material (ACM) is that the fibers can become airborne. Asbestos exposure is dangerous, when these fibers are inhaled, they can become lodged in the lungs, leading to long-term health risks. It’s important to note that the symptoms of asbestos-related diseases often don’t manifest until decades after the initial exposure, making it essential to identify and address potential risks in your home as early as possible.
If you suspect the presence of asbestos in your home, it’s vital that you don’t disturb it. Instead, contact the GBAR Group of professionals immediately. These experts have the necessary training and equipment to handle asbestos-containing materials safely. One of the first steps we will undertake is asbestos testing, which helps identify asbestos accurately, and allows the expert to understand the extent of its presence.
What parts of your home may contain asbestos materials?
If you suspect the presence of asbestos in your home, places with common asbestos containing materials include:
Walls and Ceilings
Asbestos can be found within the walls of your home as fibrous asbestos cement sheeting (also called fibro), which is a bonded form of asbestos material. The good news is, as long as this type of asbestos remains undisturbed, it is relatively safe. However, once it is disturbed, say by a drill or construction work, it can release dangerous microscopic asbestos fibers into the surrounding area.
In the past, asbestos building materials were used extensively for insulation, as it is incredibly flame retardant. The asbestos you might find in ceilings or in stoves or heaters is friable asbestos – which means the material can become airborne relatively easily, and as such poses a grave risk to your health and those around you.
Vinyl flooring and carpets
Asbestos products were also used to help strengthen linoleum, which means that if you have an older home, there is a chance that you might find the material in your floors. The mineral was also found in the hessian underlay of older carpets – which poses a serious risk if you’re renovating your flooring.
Unfortunately, asbestos is quite common in older homes’ roofing materials, and is found as corrugated asbestos sheeting (a common brand name for this type of material is Super Six). Asbestos can also be found in older roof shingles and may look like ordinary slate shingles.
Like fibro, these types of asbestos are safe, as long as the material remains intact. However, due to the nature of roofing and the potential damage it can receive over time, these types of asbestos materials may pose a serious risk when it starts to degrade.
Unsure if you have asbestos in your home? Get in touch with us today.
Although the above provides a list of the most common places where asbestos may have been used in your home, it isn’t an exhaustive list. You should also be wary of electrical meter boxes, clutch and brake linings in some older cars, and even in the fire doors of older apartment complexes.
Should you have any uncertainties regarding the asbestos risk in your home, don’t hesitate to reach out. Sydney Asbestos Removal or Brisbane Asbestos Removal, contact a GBAR asbestos removal specialist today to schedule a free consultation and receive a custom quote.