Asbestos was used extensively throughout Australia prior to the 1980s. It was considered a good material for reducing fire and heat damages, while also providing sound deadening and insulation properties. Unfortunately, it can also create health hazards that lead to cancer and respiratory illnesses. If you have an older home, it's important to know the areas that are most likely to contain asbestos.
1. Egress Sealant
Sealants and caulk used around windows and doors used to contain asbestos as a common ingredient. The reason was simple—the asbestos helped insulate the sealed areas so that heat and cold transfer was minimised around the egress. When it comes time to replace a window or door, the sealant can be disturbed and asbestos will be released into the home if proper steps aren't taken to mitigate the risk.
2. Roofing Tiles
Old roof materials often contained asbestos. Often this was due to their insulating capabilities, but it was also common to put asbestos roofs in bushfire-prone regions because heat-resistant asbestos is also a fire retardant. When replacing an old roof or doing any type of roof work on older buildings, it is a good idea to work with a removal service to test for the presence of asbestos.
Insulation in attics, crawl spaces, and inside walls and ceilings may contain asbestos in your older home. This is especially true in areas that have been enclosed since the house was built. If you are doing any type of renovation work that will have you accessing old insulation, have the insulation checked for asbestos. You may need to schedule safe removal before progressing with your renovation.
4. Acoustic Panels
Acoustic panels were used to deaden noise. They can be found lining walls and ceilings in many homes. These panels pose little danger when in good condition with the asbestos safely combined inside. Unfortunately, these panels are beginning to degrade as homes age and small damages can lead to major asbestos hazards. Removing old panels and replacing them with modern versions made of safer materials is a wise decision.
5. Floor Tiles
Some old vinyl floor tiles contain asbestos. Vinyl was prized in the 1970s because it was durable, colourful, and easy to clean. Asbestos was layered inside some of these old tiles to provide additional insulation and sound deadening to the floor. If you have damaged old tiles or plan to replace the tiles, have them inspected for asbestos before proceeding.
Contact an asbestos removal service if you suspect that there may be some in your home.