Is Your Home At Risk Of Asbestos?

Lawrence Kim

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that was commonly used in building materials. This is due to its resistance to both heat as well as corrosion. As such, incorporating them into products used in construction would increase the fire resistance of these items without incurring exorbitant costs to fireproof them. However, this was before it was established that asbestos could prove to be a serious health hazard.

Once the mineral becomes friable, which means it becomes easily to break off, it dispenses fibres into the atmosphere that can be easily inhaled. As these fibres accumulate in your system, you become susceptible to life-threatening health conditions such as mesothelioma, asbestosis and more. Due to this, asbestos was banned from being used in home construction. Nevertheless, some houses that were built with construction materials containing this were not demolished. So how do you know if your home is at risk of asbestos?

Older homes

The first thing to consider is the age of your home. Homeowners who have purchased new property do not have to worry as the use of asbestos was banned for construction work in 2003. However, prior to that, homes that were constructed between the 1950s and the 1980s had high levels of asbestos as they greatly decreased construction costs. Your best bet would be to invest in a home either that was built prior to this period, or that is relatively new to the market.

Check for asbestos prone products in your home

Numerous products incorporated the use of asbestos in home construction. The most common was insulation in the attic in the form of vermiculite. Asbestos can also be present in other components of your home such as the roofing felt, rubber and vinyl floor tiles, acoustic ceiling tiles and more. You should also check your hot water tanks as well as furnace ducts to see whether they were insulated using asbestos and more. Granted, most homeowners will not know how to go about this inspection. That is why it is recommended to have a professional abatement team, such as USI Pty Ltd, come in to ascertain whether your home is at risk or not.

If asbestos is found in your home, you should never attempt to remove it on your own. As aforementioned, the microscopic fibres of this mineral do not only pose a problem to you, but once dispersed into the environment, it can also be a health hazard to anyone in close proximity. It is always best to contract the services of abatement company, as they would have the right techniques and equipment for asbestos removal.