Ask an Asbestos Expert: Does My Home in Melbourne Have Asbestos in it?

Understanding the risks and presence of asbestos within homes is a critical concern for many Australian homeowners.

And in our new content series here at Asbestos Australia, we’re going to answer the questions we are regularly asked about asbestos in the home. First up, we’re going to answer questions about asbestos coming from Melbourne homeowners.

One of the questions we’re most commonly asked is, what is the likelihood of asbestos being in residential properties in Melbourne?

Here’s what our Melbourne asbestos removal specialists think you need to know.

When is a Melbourne home likely to have asbestos in it?

Homes built or renovated after the 1950s and prior to the mid-1980s are highly likely to contain asbestos materials due to the widespread use of asbestos in building materials. Its use was phased out by the late 1980s and completely banned in Australia by the end of 2003 due to asbestos exposure and how people could develop asbestos related diseases. Therefore, the age of your home is a significant indicator of asbestos presence.

What if my house was built in the early 2000s?

While the use of asbestos was banned in Australia by 2003, homes built in the early 2000s could still potentially contain asbestos, especially if leftover materials were used in construction. However, the chances are significantly lower compared to older properties. Particularly those built before 1990.

Where is asbestos most commonly found?

Asbestos and asbestos containing material can be found in various parts of a home, including roofing, insulation, floor tiles, fencing, and more. It was prized for its durability and resistance to heat, making it common in both friable and non-friable forms and thus commonly used in many different applications.  

How can I be sure if there is asbestos in my home or not?

The only way to be sure is through a professional asbestos inspection conducted by a licensed asbestos specialist. It’s difficult for an everyday person to notice asbestos fibres or know which are likely to be asbestos containing products. Samples of suspected materials can be taken and sent to an accredited laboratory for testing to accurately identify asbestos and asbestos containing materials.

What should I do if there is asbestos?

If asbestos is found in your home, the next steps depend on its condition. If the material is in good condition and left undisturbed, it may not pose an immediate risk and not need to be removed. However, if it’s damaged or you’re planning renovations, professional removal by a licensed asbestos removalist is necessary to mitigate health risks and avoid attempting to remove asbestos yourself.

Scenario Example:

Let’s say you’ve got this charming house in Melbourne you bought a while back, knowing it’s got a bit of history to it—built in the ’70s, a real vintage vibe. Now, you’re itching to give it a modern twist, maybe knock down a few walls to open up the space. But here’s the kicker: you’re worried that during its heyday, asbestos was the go-to for insulation. And the last thing you want is to stir up a cloud of trouble (quite literally) during your reno project.

So, what’s the move? First off, don’t panic. Asbestos, if it’s just sitting there not bothering anyone and in good condition, isn’t an immediate threat. It’s when you disturb it that it can kick up a fuss. You’ve got a couple of paths you can take. You could leave it be, untouched, especially if it’s not in the way of your renovation plans. Or, if it’s right where you want to make changes, getting a pro to take a look and possibly remove it safely might be your best bet.

Getting an expert in to check things out can save you a lot of headaches later on. They can let you know if asbestos is there, and if it is, help you figure out the safest way to deal with it—whether it’s a careful removal or just working around it.

How Asbestos Australia can help

Asbestos Australia specialises in the inspection of properties, as well as the safe removal and disposal of asbestos from residential and commercial properties. Our team of licensed professionals can conduct thorough inspections, provide detailed assessments, and carry out the removal process with the utmost care and compliance with safety regulations.

Get in touch with our asbestos specialists today by calling us on 03 9704 2952 or making an enquiry here.

Tommy Clappers

Tommy Clappers

Tommy Clappers is the Owner and Founder of Asbestos Australia Removalist specialising as a Class A & B Licensed Company with highly trained ticketed staff with over 25+ years in the industry in Friable & Non-Friable Commercial, Industrial & Domestic. He's well-skilled in all types of Asbestos Removal and Hazardous Materials. He's an expert in Encapsulation, Soil Remediation and Industrial Cleaning. He prides himself on creating safer environments for his team and his client's safety and ensuring every removal is safe and clean. He currently resides in Melbourne, Australia.

Posted By: Tommy Clappers

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