Asbestos and Renovation of Houses and Buildings

Asbestos and Renovation of Houses and BuildingsRenovating a home or old building almost always carries the risk of exposure to asbestos. Houses built before the end of 1989 are likely to have asbestos materials that were used during construction.

If you plan to renovate a home or old building, be sure to hire a certified inspector to examine your building and determine if it contains asbestos in advance.

Asbestos is Common in Old Building Materials

Those who are involved in renovating an old home should take the risk of asbestos exposure seriously. Materials containing asbestos were frequently used in the construction of houses until the end of the 1980s. Some examples of these materials are:
• Insulation of the boiler duct
• Terrace under the laminate
• Roof and wall insulation
• Insulation of the pipe
• Cement
• Wood pulp
• Painting
• Vinyl floor or floor tiles
• Splicing compounds used to seal planks
• Water Heater Blankets
• Textured paintings on ceilings and walls
• Walls behind stove heaters and fireplaces

Knowledge About Asbestos Is Key To Safety

Most products containing asbestos do not present a health risk as long as they are in good condition and have not been altered. On the other hand, if these products become frayed, shredded or worn, they are likely to be releasing toxic asbestos fibres.

These airborne fibres are what makes asbestos dangerous. When inhaled, the fibres can cause permanent and deadly damage.

Workers performing renovations should be informed of the presence of asbestos. If they are not, there is a good chance that the materials contained in the asbestos can be damaged or disturbed inadvertently.

Asbestos Hazards with Renewals

Health risks from asbestos exposure should not be taken lightly. Asbestos is the cause of diseases such as:

Asbestosis: A chronic, non-malignant, progressive, irreversible lung disease that reduces lung capacity.
Lung Cancer: The uncontrolled development of abnormal cells that occurs in the lungs.
Mesothelioma: A rare cancer that affects the lining of the chest or abdominal cavity. (Exposure to asbestos is the only known cause of this disease)

When Asbestos Is Found

If asbestos-containing materials are identified during the renovation process, be sure to have a certified professional determine if asbestos removal is required. If the contaminated products are in good state and are likely to remain in such a state, then asbestos removal may not be necessary. If it is believed that materials may be a hazard to workers, a trained professional should be contracted to remove or seal asbestos.

For more information or to communicate with a licensed asbestos contractor regarding asbestos exposure,
please visit www.asbestoswatch.com.au.

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