Renovating can be an exciting and fun time, turning something old into something new again is a thrilling thing to do and witness, however there are things you should consider before digging into any renovations.
When Was it Built?
Homes and businesses have cropped up all over Australia through the years and its important for you to know how old they are, why? Asbestos. Asbestos is a naturally-occurring mineral fibre that was popular due to its strength, flexibility, wide usage, and affordability. However once asbestos is worn or broken, fibres can be released into the air. These fibres can be inhaled causing chronic respiratory issues and in some cases death. Some of the diseases associated with asbestos include:
- Lung Cancer
- Rounded Atelectasis
- Pleural Thickening
- Pleural Plaques
- Pleural Effusion
Before the mid-1980’s asbestos was used in nearly all homes and businesses because of its wide variety of uses, this is why it is very important to know when the structure your planning on renovating was built, asbestos could be lurking undisturbed amidst the structure.
What are the types of Asbestos?
There are six different types of asbestos:
- Tremolite Asbestos
- Actinolite Asbestos
- Anthophyllite Asbestos
- Chrysotile Asbestos
- Amosite Asbestos
- Crocidolite Asbestos
The main forms of asbestos that are present in construction however are Chrysotile asbestos, Amosite asbestos and Crocidolite asbestos. After this the asbestos can be split into two categories; friable and non-friable.
Friable asbestos is easily broken and crushed, this means it can easily become airborne and be inhaled. Friable asbestos is more dangerous and should be treated with more caution.
Non-Friable Asbestos is hardier, less easily broken or damaged and can only become airborne once damaged, this asbestos although when inhaled is still as hazardous is less dangerous to remove.
How Do I Know?
So how do you know for sure if your looking at asbestos? Well the best way to know if something contains asbestos is to get it professionally tested, Asbestos Testing Melbourne. Get into contact with your local accredited asbestos removalist team and they can come to you and take multiple samples of any suspected asbestos safely and securely. Once the samples are taken they can take them to a NATA accredited laboratory for testing, these tests can normally be performed in under 24 hours, although multiple tests may take longer to ensure accurate results. Once testing has been completed they will contact you to let you know if asbestos is present and what dangers it may pose to you or the public.
What Are My Options?
So the tests have come in and asbestos is present in the area you wish to renovate, what are your options? Well you have four primary options and we shall go through them here:
Letting it be: If you do not need to renovate that area or can choose not to then sometimes the best option for dealing with asbestos is to let it be. This can only be done if the asbestos is in good order and has no damage. If you choose this option it is recommended that you regularly check up on the asbestos to ensure no new damage has occured that could put yourself or others at risk, regular checkups by professionals are also recommended.
Removal: Ultimately the safest solution to dealing with asbestos is removal, especially if you wish to renovate. It is not recommended that you attempt removal by yourself and it may be illegal to do so in your state or territory depending on the asbestos condition, location, amount or likelihood to become airborne. Accredited professionals know how to safely remove the asbestos from the structure causing minimal damage and risk, they also know the correct procedure for disposal, Asbestos Removal Melbourne.
Enclosure: Enclosing asbestos is generally not a long term option though it a good first step to dealing with the asbestos, enclosing asbestos means to seal the asbestos in a airtight container usually made from wood and plastic. Enclosure is best done by a professional to ensure that the asbestos is completely contained.