Asbestos is a hazardous product that has been haunting us for quite a long time now. Because of its robustness, and ability to withstand fire, damp areas and its insulation properties, not to mention it is CHEAP, it has been used extentivley all over the place. It is easily found in older homes in a multitude of places, it is in our fences, footpaths, and gardens. It is a staple of the older commerical building, and you just have to look around on an evenng walk to see how many asbestos roofs there are.
Asbestos Myths & Facts
After all of the warnings about asbestos in our homes and work place, confusion still reigns. To the point that some people even question if the hazard is real or not! It is definetly real, asbestos can lead to all sorts of medical issues, it is horrible stuff and best to stay away from it. Some further reading is availabe here for those concerned about the health implications of asbestos exposure https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/asbestos
Where do I even begin with Asbestos?
First of all, if you suspect asbestos, you will want confirmation. If there are no easily identifiable markings or labels that could be read, describing the product as asbestos, you will need to have the product tested. Please DO NOT disturb or break the product looking for a label. All this will do is release fibres into the air, once air-borne, these fibres could be inhaled. Asbestos testing is simple enough to have done, just make a quick call to a reliable asbestos contractor and they will visit your location to collect a sample. All samples must be checked via a certified NATA accredited labrotory. If your asbestos contractor is legit he will advise you of this and will have the report sent direct from the lab to your email inbox.
If your report comes back as positive for asbestos, you now know what you are dealing with. The asbestos removal contractor who removed the sample shoul dhave been able to advise you if the asbestos was a bonded or friable type asbestos. Bonded is a dangerous product, friable is an EXTRA dangerous product. Your asbestos contractor will have advised you if it was friable and contaminating your property. If this was the case, by now you will be elbow deep in insurance claims and decontamination efforts. If this is not you and you are working with a simple cracked bonded product, it is at this point you should be seeking a quote.
If your asbestos contractor was smart he would have estimated the product when he was on site collecting the sample, and he should be able to easily give you a quite for either a removal or encapsulation. Sure talk to your asbestos contractor on his opionion on which method is best, but it will be up to you to bear in mind the cost.
4. Removal or Encapsulation
Both valiud techniques, but it is dependadnt on the type of asbestos and the location of the asbestos. If your asbestos contractor recomed ONLY one or the other, you really do want to know why. Otherwise, ask for a price on both methods. Encapsulation is usually a lot easier and cheaper to perform. You will also not have to pay the cost of specialist waste dumping in this case.
5. Cover Ups
Asbestos is not exactly a good looking product. You will be amazed at what a good paint cover up will do for the look and value of your home. Do not underestimate a great paint job on your asbestos. A profesional in a paint store should be able to give you great advice on the best techniques and methods avalible to cover up the look of your asbestos.
There you have it, the top 5 ways to deal with your asbestos issues. Having asbestos is not a life sentence if you look after it and keep it in good condition. People who do not respect the hazard that is asbestos find themselves In a world of pain.