5 ways to help you Identify Asbestos in Your House

For houses built or renovated before the mid-1980s, the possibility of containing asbestos products are higher because since late 1980s asbestos had been widely used in commercial, industrial, and residential premises as construction materials. The material was fully banned on December 31, 2003. Anything related to asbestos, such as mining, manufacture, import, use, reuse, storing, or selling was restricted.

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Some important tips to identify asbestos:


1. Knowing the history of the house is the initial step of identifying asbestos. The year when the house was built or renovated can indicate the existence of asbestos. If your house is one of the older houses built before the 1990s, it is most likely contaminated with asbestos.


2. Knowing the common location of asbestos will help you in focusing on the identification. Familiarise yourself with places where asbestos is usually located. Do some research on places where asbestos was mostly used.

The most common places of asbestos in the house are including:

  1. Roof
  2. Eaves
  3. Downpipes
  4. Guttering
  5. Exterior wall
  6. Internal wall
  7. Kitchen wall
  8. Splashbacks
  9. Kitchen, bathroom, and laundry Floor
  10. Heating flue
  11. Living room, bathroom, laundry ceilings
  12. Window
  13. Fastener and Joiners
  14. Textured Paint
  15. Pipe lagging
  16. Fireproofing
  17. Garage
  18. Fence


3. Do detail check. You never know that you might have mistakenly applied asbestos material during renovation because asbestos is very much favored for renovation or house addition such siding. Ensure you have checked every possible place for asbestos.


4. Get familiar with its physical appearance. The next step of identifying asbestos after knowing the history of the house is identifying the material appearance. Familiarising yourself with the material you are about to deal with is another method of identifying asbestos. FIY, the asbestos term refers natural fibres.

There are six of them, and they are categorised into two different groups:

  • Serpentine consists of chrysotile or also known as white asbestos. It is the only type of asbestos that belongs to the serpentine family. The fibres of chrysotile are composed of crystal sheets and appear to be curly. More than 95 percent of asbestos used in industrial history was the chrysotile variety. Below are products containing chrysotile, including:
    • Cement
    • Insulation
    • Gaskets
    • Roofing materials
    • Brake linings
    • Brake pads
    • Join compound
  • Amphibole comprises of five types. They are amosite or brown asbestos, crocidolite or blue asbestos, tremolite, anthophyllite, and actinolite (commonly in dark colour). Compared to chrysotile asbestos, all ambhipole fibers are straight and longer. Products contain amphibole asbestos, including:
    • Cement sheet
    • Roofing products
    • Thermal, chemical, electrical, and plumbing insulation
    • Tiles, including tiles for roofs, ceilings, and floors
    • Fire protection
    • Gaskets and lagging
    • Insulation boards
    • Paints
    • Plumbing materials
    • Sealants
    • Gardening
    • Structural fireproofing
    • Concrete material used in building industry


5. For precise inspection, call an asbestos expert. Those professionals have the expertise in identifying asbestos. Examining asbestos is quite difficult and dangerous. Professional assessors are safer a more reliable compared to an individual without experience and knowledge of asbestos. Those professionals have been trained for handling any situations caused by asbestos. Handling asbestos is a risky business, so let the expert do the job rather than risks yourself.

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