There are a number of things to keep in mind while moving to another home or even while renovating your present house, such as checking for seepage and leakages, or if the paint is peeling off or if all the electric points are working as well as all the gadgets and several other things inside the house. However, there is one thing that does not occur to most, and that is to check the construction structure and material used, especially for the presence of asbestos.
Asbestos is often present in corrugated form in the cement roofs or in walls and sometimes even in floorings. If these structures are intact and not disturbed or damaged then there is no harm caused to anyone. However if you are planning to renovate the house or remodel or rearrange it, this could lead to damage of the structure. This in turn could cause the asbestos containing materials to enter into the air in the form of dust and fibers. These when inhaled over a period of time can lead to negative impact on the lung tissues, scarring them in the long term and leading to respiratory disorders, like shortness of breath and crackling noise, when inhaling.
It is therefore necessary to check for presence of asbestos while moving to another house or while renovating the present structure. There are many reputed asbestos removal Victoria services and they are trained and have specialised gear to check for and handle materials containing asbestos.
Apart from the house and its various structures, it is important to check the garden too for any contamination. The garden and its soil is often ignored but it too could be contaminated with asbestos and thus have negative repercussions on the health of the inhabitants of the house and sometimes on the plants too. Professionals can be hired to check for asbestos soil Melbourne houses might be having. Reputed agencies have the equipment, the gear as well as the expertise to check for presence of asbestos.
Homeowners too can conduct a preliminary check, but they need to practise safety measures and not allow any disturbance such that the materials might be inhaled or turn into fibres or dust.
Places to check for asbestos
The following places and products might have asbestos-
- Any coatings that are textured
- Products with asbestos cement, such as roofs of garage, walls, sheds, partitions, drain pipes and soffits
- Insulating boards containing asbestos
- Textiles, floor tiles, composites
- Guttering and lagging
- Floor cavity or ceilings that have loose asbestos
- Coatings that are sprayed in walls, ceilings, beams or columns
- Pipes and water cisterns
There are materials that are safe and need not be checked and those include-stone, wood, glass, brick, metal and concrete.
How to test for asbestos?
To check for asbestos, ensure that there is no risk of exposure to dust or of the debris spreading. Post that dampen the material sample that you need to check. Place this sample in a polythene bag that is self sealing and again place another bag over it, which is self sealing too. Next label this bag and send it to an authorised lab for testing for asbestos.
Before this it is advised to carry out through research regarding use of asbestos in the construction in your house as well as in the locality, check with equipment suppliers and repairmen too.
This information regarding asbestos and its safe handling is an important safety measure.