Homes built or renovated between the 1940s and 2000 often contain asbestos. It’s essential that all property investors, renters and homeowners understand the risks and are aware of any asbestos in their homes. The only way to be sure of the risk (or lack thereof) is to hire a company that specialises in asbestos testing to investigate. In the meantime, you may be able to spot the fibre in your property by learning what asbestos looks like, and where it’s most commonly used.
There is usually no health risk associated with asbestos if it’s undisturbed and in good condition. Do not attempt asbestos removal yourself, and do not perform invasive tests—contact the experts here at Chemcare to ensure your safety.
Where in the home is asbestos commonly found?
It’s often impossible to spot asbestos without professional help, but you may be able to find signs of the fibre in these areas of your home:
- Roofing panels or tiles: look out for corrugated cement roofs.
- Gutters, spouting and downpipes.
- Electrical meter boards: If your home was built before 1983 and has not been renovated you may have white asbestos behind your electrical meter.
- Wet area lining substrate: behind the walls and floor in your bathroom, kitchen or laundry
- Exterior cladding: look out for imitation brick or stone and corrugated cladding.
- Exterior window flashing.
- Vinyl or asphalt tile flooring: asbestos may be in the tiles themselves or below the vinyl.
- Hot water cylinder lining and lagging around hot water pipes.
- Ceilings: look for ceiling areas with rough texture or tiles.
- Water tank if built before 1990: this is generally not a problem as long as the tank is left alone.
- Interior window panels or window putty.
- Fireplace surrounding and seals.
- Garage cladding, roofing and insulation.
- Loose fill insulation of a grey/brown colour: this may resemble a thick, fluffy powder.
- Stormwater traps and sewage piping.
- Soil: if your home contains asbestos that has been disturbed it may be present in the soil. Mowing the lawn or planting in the garden can disturb these fibres, causing health risks.
If you’re concerned that you have asbestos in your home and want to check yourself, these are the best places to start—but note that this list is not exhaustive.
What to do if you suspect you’ve found asbestos
Provided you don’t plan to renovate or otherwise disturb the material, there may be no health risks to you or your family in the short term. However, it’s best to understand the extent, condition and location of asbestos in your home so that you can be sure it’s not affecting your health.
First, you need to get in touch with a specialised company that does asbestos testing. The team at Chemcare in Auckland are licensed assessors and hold class-A asbestos removal licenses. We’re fully qualified and equipped to remove any amount of the fibre in your home.
The entire process can usually be completed relatively quickly and easily, giving you, your family or your tenants peace of mind at home. If you avoid disturbing asbestos and only use professionals for asbestos testing and removal—you’ve got nothing to worry about.
Get in touch with the asbestos experts at Chemcare today for a free quote for asbestos testing or removal.