Despite what some people may think, asbestos cannot be identified just by looking at it, however, if you aren’t sure if your roof or fence contains asbestos or not, you should treat it as if it does, taking all the relevant precautions.
So, if asbestos can’t be identified via the eye, how can you tell?
A licensed asbestos removal company will send samples to a NATA accredited testing facilities to confirm before removing your fence, ceiling, walls and more. By confirming first, you will know whether you can go ahead with your renovation or if you need professional wall asbestos removal before you start.
There are a couple of very prominent building materials that generally tend to contain asbestos including:
- Fibre cement sheet ceilings and internal and external walls
- Vermiculite sprays applied to ceilings (popcorn ceilings)
- Eaves – especially in houses built prior to 1990
What about when it comes to your fence? A licensed company will be able to offer you fence asbestos removal but there are some signs to look out for to work out if you have an asbestos fence including:
- How old the fence is – if it was installed or replaced after 1990 there is a good chance it isn’t asbestos
- Is the fence capping made of the same material? If so, it is likely to be asbestos. Because the capping is more exposed to the elements, often the fibres are more exposed which means you need to be careful.
- The number of ridges – if your fence has 7 ridges per 1-metre panel, it is likely to contain asbestos. Of course, this isn’t a guarantee and if you suspect you have an asbestos fence, a licensed asbestos removal company will be able to have the fence tested.
Because asbestos products are so hard to identify, it is always a good idea to have a licensed company test and remove the item in question. Never try to identify asbestos yourself – the consequences of getting it wrong can be dire.