If you’re thinking of renovating your property, you’ll need to get an asbestos test to prove whether or not there is asbestos in the building structure. As soon as you start renovation plans, you become a PCBU (Person Conducting Business or Undertaking) and you are therefore responsible for anyone coming on to your property. It then becomes your responsibility to ensure that there are no risks of interfering with asbestos.
An asbestos sampling survey or test may be undertaken to confirm the presence or absence of suspected or assumed asbestos containing materials (ACM). Asbestos sampling may be more appropriate in identifying a single material in part of a building where a tradesperson needs to work, or an area that was not previously surveyed and recorded in the Asbestos Management Plan.
In an asbestos test, a surveyor will take a small sample of the material that is assumed to contain asbestos. Depending on the area being sampled, there may be some intrusive work required: such as accessing behind fascia, panels or flooring.
The material sample is then sent to a lab for full analysis and reporting. This will determine the amount of asbestos in the material, and what condition the asbestos is in. From here, you will be able to decide the next stage of asbestos management and if asbestos removal is required.
Asbestos can be found in a number of key areas:
Flooring and vinyl
While it is possible to do your own asbestos sample, you need to follow strict health & safety procedures as well as some basic building material knowledge. The asbestos testing process is generally better when left to the professionals.