Asbestos at your Property
It’s thought that around one-third of all buildings constructed in New Zealand throughout the 1980s and 1990s contain asbestos.
Depending on the type and condition of the asbestos, this can be a serious health hazard for anyone undertaking renovations or deconstruction of these buildings. It is recommended that a specialist asbestos removal company is contracted to check for the possibility of asbestos before any work is commenced.
There are a number of materials around your building that may contain asbestos. The most common ones are:
- Textured ceilings and walls
- Exterior cladding
- Lino flooring
Textured ceilings and walls
You probably knew this already. Many of the textured ceilings that were so popular in homes built in the 80s and 90s contain asbestos. So do some of the wall products that were used to create the same effect.
It is not possible to tell if a textured ceiling or wall contains asbestos simply by visual examination – it requires testing by an accredited asbestos testing laboratory. If asbestos is present specialised removal is required by law. This can involve scraping to remove the texture or, in some cases it may be more cost-effective to remove the entire ceiling.
You will have seen houses throughout New Zealand that have been constructed using asbestos exterior cladding. This was often called “Fibre Board” or “Fibre Cement Sheeting.” Popular because of its resilience and ease of installation, this cladding was also common in fencing.
We have experienced instances recently where the asbestos-containing cladding had been covered and was hidden from view until the exterior boards were removed.
As with textured ceilings and walls, the only way to be certain of the makeup of these materials is to have it tested by an accredited asbestos testing laboratory. A plan for safe removal can then be made.
The asbestos roofing commonly used in both residential and commercial buildings is quite distinctive. There are other roofing products that contain asbestos, however. An example is that some Decramastic roofing also contains asbestos.
Decades after their installation, many of these roofs are brittle and require replacement. Another common practice is to clean these roofs by water-blasting. In either case, the roofs should be tested for asbestos before any work is commenced.
Many people may not be aware of this; older lino flooring often contains high levels of asbestos. The removal of this lino, especially using grinders or other means that “disintegrates” the sheeting, can release dangerous asbestos fibres into the air.
Because it is difficult to visually distinguish whether a lino contains asbestos or not, it is advised to have it tested at an accredited laboratory.
For more information about asbestos removal anywhere in Auckland, contact us.