Reasons Why You Should Have an Asbestos Inspection for Your Home
If you’re over the age of 30 in Australia, chances are that you will be aware of being weary of a substance known as asbestos. People under 30 might also be aware but given the use of asbestos was banned in Australia in 2003, unless these younger folks have purchased properties or they work in the building and construction industry, they are less likely to know much about the substance.
Asbestos was once upon a time, the darling of the building and construction industry in Australia. Its use was vast, varied and very, very common.
Asbestos was used so much as it is a highly versatile, lightweight, naturally abundant, and incredibly strong material. If you’re not aware, asbestos is actually a naturally occurring mineral that is made up of flexible fibres and it is found in rock formations.
Asbestos fibres were used on their own or mixed in with other materials, like adhesives, to create many different products – many of which were used in the construction industry in Australia.
From the 1950s to the late 1980s saw the greatest use of asbestos in Australia’s building industry, with homes, buildings and commercial structures being built using asbestos and asbestos containing materials.
The use of asbestos and asbestos materials slowed in the 1990s, up until its total ban in 2003. The use of asbestos slowed as the health risks asbestos posed to humans was better understood and there was more awareness of these problems generally.
Though asbestos has been around for a very long time, a lot of the dangers were unknown as many of the health issues that asbestos can cause have long latency periods, meaning they take a long time to develop and show symptoms.
The health problems asbestos can cause include lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis, each of which is incurable. What makes asbestos particularly dangerous is that the very small fibres it is made up of can be easily inhaled and become trapped in the lungs. While some of these conditions require repeated, long exposure to asbestos fibres, often people are unaware that they have been exposed to asbestos as these fibres are very minute and not always possible to see.
When asbestos is intact and in a non-friable condition, it doesn’t necessarily pose a risk. It’s when these asbestos containing materials are disturbed and cause fibres to be released, that problems arise.
If you own a home that was built between the 1950s and 2003, there is a chance that there may be some form of asbestos present. This doesn’t necessarily mean that it is a health risk to you now, however, if asbestos is present in your home, it’s worth knowing.
Unless you work in the hazardous goods, environmental hygiene, or building industry, the likelihood of you being able to identify asbestos in your home is pretty low. The only way to know for sure is to organise an asbestos inspection, where they can identify visually, as well as take samples of possible asbestos materials and test them in an accredited lab.
You might be wondering if an asbestos inspection is something you need for your home – well, here are 3 of the top reasons people come to us for an asbestos inspection.
Reason One: They are planning a renovation
Who doesn’t love a good old renovation? We all get a bit inspired when we watch TV series like The Block or even at the change of the season – spring cleaning, anyone?
If you’re planning a home renovation, it’s a good idea to know exactly what you’re working with.
There are so many ways in which asbestos was used around the home (link to asbestos and your home article) and many of which you will not have even considered. There is a big chance that you might not even realise that your home renovation might be putting your health, and the health of anyone who is inside your home, at risk.
If you’re only planning on painting one wall in your home makeover, then you’ll probably be ok to proceed without an inspection, but if you plan to knock down walls, cut into them, remove tiles or any other changes that require you removing, disturbing or cutting into older materials, it is worth having your home checked out for asbestos first.
Reason Two: They are buying or selling a home
Whether you’re buying a home or selling one, understanding whether asbestos is present is the best bet. Inspections like pest inspections, building structural inspections and asbestos inspections are very common practices in the real estate market before anyone purchases a property.
If you’re selling a home, disclosing that your home has asbestos materials in it can avoid someone else finding out further down the buying track anyway, and let’s your potential buyer know what they are walking into.
If you’re buying a home, consider booking an asbestos inspection – if the owner hasn’t disclosed this information already – so you know what you’re walking into.
Just because a home has asbestos, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t buy it, or you won’t be able to sell it. It allows people to make an informed decision. If you’re buying a home with asbestos and it’s something you might need to deal with further down the track, you can plan for ahead for this financially.
Reason Three: For peace of mind
While we all like to bury our heads in the sand from time to time, when it comes to potential major health risks, it’s certainly worth understanding your position and doing your research.
As we touched on above, asbestos can be found basically anywhere in a home, which means that the ways to disturb it are almost endless.
Having the knowledge of your asbestos situation can give you peace of mind. It can allow you to plan ahead. And it can allow you to actually manage the situation. Not all asbestos needs to be removed from a home but it does need to be monitored.
The peace of mind you can get from knowing your risk of exposure to asbestos is invaluable.
Book your asbestos inspection today
An asbestos inspection is the first step in ensuring you understand your risk of being exposed to asbestos.
Here at Greenlight, we provide asbestos inspections for people in Melbourne, the Geelong region, and throughout Victoria, to give them this peace of mind and ensure that they can proceed with their home projects and manage their asbestos safely.
As part of our service, we will visually inspect, as well as take samples of possible asbestos materials to test in our NATA accredited lab.
We will provide all customers with a comprehensive report detailing where asbestos is (and is not) present in the home, as well as information regarding the condition of this asbestos.
Our aim to help you manage asbestos in your home safely and efficiently.
Call us today to book your asbestos inspection in Victoria.