Are you thinking of renovating in the new year? Excited to create a new look and to change the functionality of your home? Adding extra space to your home can make it easier for you to work there and to host guests or to make room for a new baby. Upgrading your present layout by creating open-concept living areas and overhauling your kitchen and bathroom spaces can make a huge difference to the aesthetic look and feel of where you live. However, many homeowners aren’t aware of some of the dangers that can be present throughout the renovation process, like the detection of asbestos
What is asbestos, why does it need special care and attention, and how can a comprehensive asbestos audit be useful? Let’s take a look.
What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a substance that has been used widely throughout the world in the construction of buildings and other materials because it is so durable.
Unfortunately, asbestos has been found to cause deadly lung cancer known as mesothelioma in those who inhale its fibers. It has also been connected with other types of fatal diseases like asbestosis, making it a very dangerous material to have around.
Asbestos is made up of six naturally occurring minerals that are heat resistant. These fibers are also resistant to electricity and corrosion and have thus been used in fireproofing materials in the construction of buildings.
The trouble lies in your exposure to asbestos. When a person inhales asbestos fibres, they stay in your body permanently, causing scarring and genetic damage.
Australia has the second-highest mesothelioma death rate in the whole world in connection with asbestos, trailed only by the UK. Statistics show that well over 600 people died from this disease in Australia in 2010 alone. Staying clear of asbestos and knowing how to handle it if you do come across it is key to preventing life threatening illnesses.
Homeowners are responsible for the safety of those nearby
The good news is that, since 2003, using asbestos has been banned in Australia. Experts say if your home was built prior to 1987, however, there’s a high likelihood that it does contain the material. The danger lies in dislodging asbestos when renovating, which can potentially place you, your family, and your surrounding neighbours at risk.
Australian laws state that you need to ensure that you are not releasing any asbestos fibres into the air while your renovations are being done. As a homeowner you are permitted by law to remove 10 square meters or less of bonded asbestos from your home without a certificate. You must take certain safety precautions such as wearing a P2 respirator and wetting down the asbestos prior to removing it, among other rules. Different areas of Australia may have varying laws with regards to asbestos removal but most are similar in nature.
You can find a full list of Queensland asbestos regulations by clicking here as a working example.
How QBM Can Help
It’s not always easy to tell if you have asbestos in your home or not however, we help you solve this problem.
At QBM, we offer the best in Brisbane asbestos reporting and testing. We have a team of fully trained and certified professionals able to conduct an asbestos inspection on your property. Knowing what you are dealing with really is the first step. An asbestos audit can identify all asbestos present and guide those around it on how to deal with it.
In order to conduct our Brisbane asbestos reporting audit, we extract a sample of the suspected material for analysis in our partner lab. We provide you with a detailed report including photographic evidence of each area on your property that contains the material. In turn, we also provide a set of detailed recommendations on how to deal with the substance, warning labels and signage, and regular monitoring of your asbestos. Any staff you have present is trained on how to work in an environment with asbestos, so that everyone stays safe.
Our detailed approach to identifying and monitoring any asbestos present on your property through a comprehensive audit is the first step you can take towards ensuring you keep those around you healthy and limit your chances of liability during and after your renovations.
At QBM we follow all Australian rules, laws, and regulations pertaining to identifying and testing for asbestos. Our team is fully insured, protecting you in the process. Contact us today to arrange your Brisbane asbestos reporting and inspections and know what you’re dealing with before your reno’s begin.