Despite being illegal in Australia since 2003, up to 98% of houses in certain states were built using asbestos. So if your house was built before 1990, there’s a real possibility that you’ve got asbestos in your home. That’s not a good sign at all, although naturally occurring and commonly used until the late 1980s, it’s a dangerous chemical that, when airborne, can cause lung diseases and cancer.
But there’s no need to worry too much as asbestos can be easy to find and professionally removed quickly and efficiently. If you’re concerned that you have an asbestos problem, here are five places to look for asbestos in your home.
- The Roof
The roof is one of the most common places to find asbestos in your home. 20% of all domestic roofs constructed before 1976 contain asbestos, so you could end up in serious trouble if you don’t check your roof. Asbestos in the roof can be incredibly prevalent, so make sure you’re on the lookout for this dangerous material.
Insulation, especially heat insulation or fireproofing and soundproofing boards, is another area of concern for asbestos. Materials commonly used for insulation in Australian homes often contain up to 45% asbestos! Insulation material used in circuit boards, electrical panels, ceiling tiles, or wall linings may all contain asbestos. It's always a good idea to take a look at your insulation to check if the toxic chemical is present in your home.
- Vinyl flooring
The material backing of some vinyl and linoleum floors can sometimes consist up to 100% asbestos. This is a major issue, as even the slightest movement of this material can cause the asbestos to turn into a breathable dust, making it far more dangerous and easy to consume. So if your house contains these very popular flooring materials, you might want to get them tested or even removed to be on the safe side.
- Garden sheds and garages
The roofing of your garden shed and garage may also be made with asbestos. However, unlike the roofs on your house, you’re likely to spend a lot more time in close proximity to asbestos roofing in a shed or garage. So if you spend a lot of time working in your shed or garage, it’d be in your best interest to consider looking to see if the roof contains any asbestos and consider getting it removed.
- Cement sheeting
After World War Two, cement containing asbestos was the most popular building material in Australia. For instance, around 98% of houses constructed in Victoria before 1976 were built using asbestos cement. Asbestos cement was common until the 1980s, so if your house was built before 1990, it would be a good idea to check any cement sheeting in your home for asbestos.
If you think you’ve found asbestos in your home, seek out a professional service for further advice. If handling asbestos yourself is necessary, always make sure to wear protective gear. Due to the facts outlined in this article, it is important to take time to learn more about asbestos testing and removal in Australia.
Note: this is a partnered post and consideration was received for its publication. CC-licensed image by Joey Gannon.