Asbestos: 5 Essentials Agents Should Know
Asbestos … Did You Know?
It wasn’t until I had children that Asbestos really ever meant anything to me.
It was when we were renovating a house that it really hit home. We had decided to scrap the ceiling in the living room and my wife was a few months pregnant. It was one of those old ornate,1950′s style ceilings with patterns, which to me, looked like normal stipple coat.
We were covered from head to toe in the resulting dust and flakes!
After scrapping about a third of it off, my brother-in-law, who lived around the corner, came over to see how we were progressing – I think he was a bit parched!
Anyway he picked up a piece and said the dreaded ‘A’ word!
Neither of us hadn’t really encountered asbestos before, so we started panicking a bit.
We decided to get it tested and luckily came back negative.
So we got pretty lucky really and because of our indifferent approach or might I say ignorant approach, we put a lot of people at risk.
…turns out we aren’t the only ones!
What Is Asbestos?
It’s actually a group of minerals if we want to be exact, that are made up of lots of small fibres. They are resistant to fire, chemicals and heat.
Because of the strong retardant properties they became a popular choice for building materials such as:
- Cladding and roofing
- Textured ceilings and wall surfaces that were sprayed on
- Thermal protection for backing boards around fireplaces
- Drainage spouting
- Insulation around heaters, hot water cylinders and pipes
- Different types of textiles
… Incidentally it was also used for oven gloves, ironing board pads, simmer mats for stoves etc
Pretty handy stuff eh?
Mining of asbestos started around 4000 years ago and became popular with manufacturers in the late 19th century.
Toxicity - In the early 1900s researchers began to notice a large number of early deaths and lung problems in asbestos mining towns
If we want to get a tiny bit technical, it’s made up of 6 different naturally occurring minerals, which we won’t go into. But I’ve put a link back there if you’re interested.
How Does Asbestos Harm Our Health
The Asbestos Removal Guide
Asbestos becomes a risk when it is inhaled as a fine dust. It increases with the frequency of exposure and the number fibres replaced.
When it is inhaled it is the finer fibres that are difficult to remove and can be lodged in the lung or go onto further penetrate the body.
The following are some of the diseases that Asbestos causes:
Mesthelioma – Cancers and malignant tumors, which develop around the lungs and intestines.
Asbestosis – Scarring of lung tissue
Plural Plaques – Thickens membranes around the lungs
So How Do You Identify Asbestos?
The Bad news is … this is a big topic and requires lots of images and references, The good news is, we’re going to explore it in bite size chunks and make it easy-to-understand, so you can become an expert at it … and your clients can reference it at anytime, if they need to know more.
But what I’ll say for now is, that it can’t be identified by looking at it. It has to be labelled or identified through a sample and analyzed by a professional with a white coat sitting in a laboratory.
If you need to get a sample tested, you can find a health protection officer at any public health unit of your local
A list of laboratories can be found on the NATA(National Association Testing Authorities) website – www.nata.asn.au
Asbestos In The Home
What should you do?
If you find asbestos in a home, there are protection measures, which should be discussed with a health protection officer.
But some of the options are: Leaving it as is, removing it or sealing, encapsulating or enclosing it.
- Enclosing involves constructing something around the area effected.
- Encapsulating happens when a coating is applies to the area, which soaks through to the effected area, hardens and prevents it from loosening and crumbling as it ages.
- Sealing it with paint will again, prevent it from loosening and crumbling.
Identifying Common Areas Around The Home
- Roofing and Siding Shingles - Shingles being overlapping elements, which are typically laid in overlapping rows and are flat and rectangular.
- Homes constructed between 1930 and 1950 may have insulation which is asbestos.
- Can appear in textured paint and compounds used for patching on the ceiling joists and walls.
- Old gas fire places with artificial embers and ashes may have asbestos
- Old Stove top pads may contain asbestos compounds
- Wood-burning stoves with protection around floors and walls with asbestos cement sheets, millboard (stiff gray pasteboard) and some paper.
- Vinyl flooring tiles and the adhesive to hold the tiles can contain asbestos
- Asbestos blanket and tape around hot water and steam pipes as well as asbestos coated material for the same use.
- Coal and furnaces as well as door gaskets may have asbestos insulation.
Next issue we’ll go a bit deeper into identifying the elements around the home like:
What is Super Six
Below is a link to a great resource – A guide to the safe removal of asbestos products in Australia
Why An Annual Building Inspection Brisbane Will Benefit Your Property
Nobody wants to regularly pay for an annual building inspection Brisbane, but there are
some serious benefits that you may reap from keeping up with your property and making
sure that everything is intact each and every year. This is something that property
managers do year after year religiously. It’s a very important part of the process of a
property owner because you don’t want to let anything go for a long time and ultimately
end up costing yourself a tremendous amount of money that you probably wouldn’t have
had to pay if you just took care of these repairs early on.
The reason you want to make certain that you do an annual building inspection Brisbane
each and every year is that you want to keep track of the actual condition that your home
is in during the inspection so you can notice any damage or items that may soon need
repairs at some point in the very near future. This kind of inspection will help you stay
aware of exactly what’s going on with your property so that you don’t run into any
surprises at some point in the future that you just didn’t expect.
Plus, if you have tenants at your property you want to have the ability to find out whether
or not they are intentionally damaging your property by being negligent or just not being
very careful with the things that you technically own. This is another fantastic reason to
make sure you follow through with your annual building inspection Brisbane, because
people are often very careless and you do not want to keep a tenant or group of tenants
around that are going out of their way to destroy your property and devalue your home.
This is only going to cause a tremendous amount of headaches and problems for you at
some point in the future when you could have definitely avoided them by keeping up
with your regular inspections that you have planned do at the end of every year.
The other excellent benefit to doing an annual building inspection Brisbane is that it
shows your tenants that you truly care about the property and you also care about the way
that they live in the home that you own. Nobody wants to live in a rundown and
dilapidated apartment, and you doing these annual inspections and then making the
subsequent repairs show them that you care of great deal about the property and that you
also care of great deal about the well-being of your tenants and the people who rent from
you. So this is definitely a much needed and very surprising added bonus that you may
not have even considered when you first decided to start this process of annual building
inspections. So certainly keep this in mind because it’s definitely an added bonus to you
and your tenants as well.
The other important thing that you might not have realized about doing an annual
building inspection Brisbane is that you can pay a lot closer attention to any preventative
maintenance that may be required of you and your maintenance team. Preventative
maintenance is important from letting problems get too far out of hand and stopping them
before serious issues arise.