asbestos inspection and testing
  • July 12, 2021
  • Effective Building
  • 0

Is your house built before 1985 and you plan to renovate it? Then, you need asbestos inspection and testing prior to anything else.

5 Frequently Asked Questions about Asbestos

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is an inexpensive and highly effective fire-retardant material and acoustic insulator. Asbestos is used extensively in home construction since the early 1980s.

Why is Asbestos Harmful to Our Health?

Being exposed to asbestos for a long time can lead to lung disease. When asbestos is disturbed, the tiny asbestos fibres can be inhaled, damaging the lung tissue and can cause cancer.

Asbestos is also commonly found as thermal insulation on basement pipes and boilers in homes built before 1985.

Moreover, this can also be found in some household materials such as:

  • Corrugated heavy duty 8”x 4”panels
  • Fibre cement siding (around ⅛” thick and 8” x 4” brittle)
  • Plaster
  • Siding material
  • HVAC duct insulation (commonly found in corrugated or flat paper form)
  • Roofing material (usually on flat roofs but occasionally on shingles)
  • Window caulking and glazing
  • Some forms of linoleum
  • Glue that attaches floor tiles to wood or concrete
  • Vinyl floor tiles
  • Blown-in attic insulation

When Does Asbestos Become Dangerous?

A material in good condition will not release asbestos fibres. However, disturbing it may create a health hazard to occupants living in it. Hence, the best thing to do with any asbestos material in good condition is to leave it as it is.

However, since older homes have these asbestos materials, these can be damaged over time. Asbestos that crumbles easily if handled, sawed, sanded, or scraped into a powder is likely to release asbestos fibres and create a health hazard.

How to Detect Asbestos in Your Home?

If you suspect that some parts of your home may contain asbestos, check periodically for abrasions, tears, or water damage. If you discover a slightly damaged material, limit access to the area, and don’t touch or disturb it.

If the asbestos material is moderately damaged, or if you’re going to renovate your home that might disturb it, professional asbestos removal is needed.

How to Remove Asbestos in Your Home?

Homeowners should ask for a disposable manifest before paying the final bill. This is important to verify that the material will be disposed properly in a landfill licensed to receive asbestos.

Only professional asbestos removalist are licensed to perform asbestos abatement activities. As when hiring an asbestos contractor, ask for references and a list of related projects that he has recently completed similar projects.

Check with NSW Environment Protection Authority. This local agency is responsible for the worker safety, while the Better Business Bureau (BBB) assesses if the firm has had any safety violations. 

Moreover, homeowners should also verify if the contractor has a general liability and workman’s compensation policies that cover asbestos abatement type of work. 

Lastly, our certified asbestos inspector will conduct an air sampling to ensure that no asbestos fibres have been escaped. 

How Can Effective Building & Consultancy Help You with Asbestos Inspection and Testing?

Before calling an asbestos abatement contractor, you should contact Effective Building & Consultancy building inspector to check the affected area. Our proper assessment includes a comprehensive visual examination and careful collection and analysis of samples.

If there’s a presence of asbestos, the inspector should provide a written evaluation describing the location and damage extent. We can also give recommendations for correction or prevention. 

Elie Farah, our highly experienced asbestos building inspector, can check after removal or repair to ensure that the area is free of any asbestos materials. With our detailed report in hand, you can contact an asbestos removalist or we can recommend you the top-rated asbestos abatement contractors in Sydney and negotiate a clean-up plan.

For more information about our asbestos inspection, visit our Help Centre.

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About Elie Farah

Elie Farah is a Building Consultant with over 25 years of experience in the property industry. Elie has specialised knowledge in development acquisitions, blue-chip properties and inspections, as well as flood-affected and waterfront properties, heritage buildings, bushfire management and existing use rights.

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