Asbestos is a fibrous and toxic material that’s known to trigger respiratory problems and even cause death. This is the reason why home builders do away with asbestos cement products and why homes that were built before the ‘90s are checked for asbestos.
Identifying if asbestos is present in your home is difficult; you can easily mistake the material for something else. So, what is a reliable way to do so? How do you identify asbestos?
If you see fibrous materials in your insulation, your walls, or roof, it’s possible that you have asbestos. The possibility that the material is indeed asbestos is greater if your home was built before the ‘90s – the time before asbestos was fully established as a present health hazard in a lot of homes in the country.
That’s really all you can do – make a guess. If you wish to be a hundred percent certain, the one true method of correctly identifying asbestos in your home is to have a test carried out by licensed asbestos assessors and experts. They will get a sample of the material and examine it using specialised microscopic procedures at an accredited laboratory in your area.
It won’t take long to get the result of the examination, and if it’s proven that the material truly is asbestos, the next thing you need to do is determine all the places where the material would be present in your home. Be very careful with going about this task because the last thing you want is to disturb asbestos and make it airborne.
Once you’re done with identification, it’s time to have all the asbestos removed from your home. You can do this on your own if there’s really just a small amount of the toxic material in your home, but you need to follow a stringent procedure of going about the task; you need to refer to the Code of Practice for the Safe Removal of Asbestos NOHSC [2002(2005)] for this. But if you’re dealing with more than 10 square metres of asbestos, you are required to call in a licensed asbestos removalist. And before asbestos removal is carried out, you would have to get a worksite permit first from the local council because closing off a location is a must for the safest removal.
Identifying asbestos is really just a step to a long process. Going about it quickly and properly can help you rid your home of the material and make it a completely safe sanctuary for you and your family.