RoofingTips

What to do when asbestos is present in your home

By in Roofing, Tips

Asbestos can have a sneaky presence in your home. Even though asbestos was banned Australia-wide back in 2003, it was used widely in domestic and commercial buildings previous to this period and may still exist in your house. How does this impact you and what should you do about it? Read ahead to find out.

Home Renovations

If you’re planning to start some home renovations and your building was erected before 2003, it is important to be aware of asbestos. This can be difficult, as it is quite hard to identify. Calling in an expert to test for asbestos in a laboratory before you begin your renovations is the safe thing to do, and will offer you peace of mind.

Asbestos in your roof

A common place for asbestos to reside is in the building materials used in your roof. Typically, asbestos has been implemented in chimney flues, wall and roof sheeting, and the lining under eaves. Damages can occur in these parts of your home, especially in extreme weather. If you need to repair any part of your roof and are unsure whether your home contains asbestos, it’s best to call in a licensed professional. They will put all precautionary methods in place to ensure the safety of your family during repair work.

Why is asbestos so bad for your health?

Asbestos is harmless until its fibres become damaged or disturbed. When this happens, inhabitants of the building can be at risk of contracting asbestos-related diseases. Those who are continually exposed to airborne asbestos are at greatest risk of attracting one of these diseases. This is why it is very important to have the relevant licences to undertake asbestos removal and leave extensive repair work up to a professional.

Asbestos-related diseases take many years to develop (between ten and fifty). They are a result of constantly breathing in asbestos fibres which burden the lungs and can cause cancer.

Types of asbestos

There are two types of asbestos that were used in building materials before 2003.

Non-friable asbestos:
This asbestos is tightly bound and was frequently used in residential buildings. It is most commonly known as ‘fibro’, but can also be referred to as ‘asbestos cement’ or ‘AC sheeting’. These materials typically contain 10-40% asbestos and are considered less dangerous than loosely bound asbestos unless it is crumbling or decomposing.

Friable asbestos:
Ordinarily, this loosely bound material was used in commercial or industrial buildings for insulation and sound and fire-proofing. It is rare to find friable asbestos in your residential home, however, if yours is a particularly old house, you may find it in heaters, stoves, hot water systems, ceiling insulation and the backing of linoleum and vinyl floors.

This type of asbestos is considered highly dangerous because of its loose nature. The material itself can contain up to 100% asbestos and turn to dust from light pressure. Only licensed experts should handle friable asbestos.

Are you undertaking repairs to your roof? Call in a roofing expert to ensure that all elements of your home are handled with care. Allied Roofing are professionals in asbestos removal and handling, contact us today to arrange an inspection and quote!