Ask an Asbestos Expert: What You Need to Know Before Renovating a Home with Asbestos

Embarking on a home renovation is an exciting journey, yet it comes with its set of challenges, especially in older homes where asbestos might be lurking.

In our ongoing asbestos questions series tailored for Melbourne homeowners, today’s focus is on understanding the critical steps and precautions necessary when renovating with asbestos in your home.

As asbestos specialists in Melbourne, here at Asbestos Australia, we’re committed to guiding you through these complexities, ensuring your renovation project is safe and compliant.

Do I Need to Worry About Asbestos If I’m Renovating a Home?


Asbestos was a common building material in Australia until the late 1980s. If your home was built or renovated before this time, it might contain asbestos materials. Disturbing these materials during renovation without proper precautions can release harmful asbestos fibres into the air.

How Do I Know if My Home Has Asbestos?

Identifying asbestos in your home can be tricky, as it was used in various building materials. Look for common asbestos-containing materials like fibro sheeting in walls and ceilings, vinyl floor tiles, and old insulation. The only definitive way to determine its presence is through professional asbestos testing.

Should I Get My Home Tested for Asbestos Before Renovating?

Yes, it’s highly recommended. Knowing whether asbestos is present can dictate the safety measures and renovation methods you’ll need to employ. Engaging a licensed asbestos professional for inspection and testing can provide clarity and direction for your renovation plans and ensure you avoid a significant health risk.

Do I Have to Get Asbestos Removed Before Renovating?

Not necessarily. If asbestos-containing materials are in good condition and either won’t be disturbed by your renovation or is not friable asbestos, they might not need immediate removal. However, if the renovation involves altering or removing these materials, professional licensed asbestos removalist should be engaged in order to avoid asbestos exposure and risking your health.

Who Can Help Me?

Licensed asbestos removalists are the go-to professionals for handling asbestos containing material safely. They are trained in identifying, removing, and disposing of asbestos materials following health and safety guidelines. Look for a Class A asbestos removalist.

Scenario Example:

Emma and Alex, a young couple, had just bought their dream home in suburban Melbourne, a charming fixer-upper from the 1960s. Their first project was the living room, where they planned to remove the old popcorn ceiling and replace the dated vinyl flooring—both suspected of containing asbestos.

Before diving into the renovation, they decided to prioritise safety and compliance by consulting with an expert on asbestos. The specialist confirmed the presence of asbestos in both the ceiling and flooring materials through thorough testing. Understanding the health risks associated with asbestos fibres, Emma and Alex were advised that the safest route was professional removal.

Determined to create a safe environment for their future family, they hired a licensed asbestos removal team. The team meticulously sealed off the area, used high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration systems to prevent fibre dispersion, and wore protective gear to safely remove the contaminated materials. They also ensured proper disposal of the asbestos waste at a licensed facility, adhering to all regulatory requirements.

Post-removal, the area was re-inspected and cleared of asbestos risks, allowing Emma and Alex to proceed with their renovation plans confidently. This scenario reinforced the importance of involving professionals in asbestos removal, highlighting how expert intervention can transform a potentially hazardous situation into a safe path forward for home renovation projects.

How Asbestos Australia Can Help Beyond Removal

For homeowners throughout Melbourne and Victoria looking to renovate homes with potential asbestos, Asbestos Australia is your trusted advisor and partner, offering expertise in every aspect of asbestos management. Contact us to explore how we can support your renovation project safely and successfully.

You can call us on 03 9704 2952 or make an enquiry online here.

And if you want more tips about renovating a house with asbestos, read this.

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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