The problems associated with asbestos products has been very much in the news for the past year and has created concern amongst homeowners as to the risk of being affected.
Asbestos was such a good building material that it was used in over 3,000 different building products. While there has previously been some knowledge of asbestos related diseases, it is only after the wide use of the material that it was realized the extend of the problem.
Asbestos mainly falls into 2 categories –
- Bonded material – this is generally in sheet form and used mainly as a wall or ceiling cladding. Sand, cement and resins form the majority of this product with asbestos being added to reinforce and bind the material. Usually this material is acceptable if it is treated or maintained in an approved manner. There are conditions for removal, repairing or working with this material.
- Loosely bound or friable material. Where this material is identified there will be substantial conditions or restrictions placed upon it. All removal, repairs or working with the material must be with licensed Workcover approved contractors. The problem with this material is that the loose bound fibres can be released into the air and either contaminate a surrounding area, or be breathed in by a person.
Many Councils now require that an asbestos identification report be obtained as part of the Conditions of Approval for building plans. It is expected that this will become more common in the future. The same asbestos identification report can be requested by a homeowner or by the purchaser of a property at the time of sale. This report will identify all the areas of asbestos within a building and provide information on its type and condition. More information can be obtained on