3 signs you should have your home or business checked for asbestos

Many people know that asbestos is a dangerous substance, and that working or living in a building with asbestos can result in serious health problems.

The tough part is knowing whether or not you have asbestos in the building, or even if it’s something you should look for. And unfortunately, there are plenty of homes and workplaces around New Zealand where asbestos was used during construction.

It’s not always obvious, but there are a number of signs that suggest you should have your home or business checked just in case.

1. Your property was built prior to the year 2000

Asbestos was a popular building material until the 90s because it is a great insulator, it is fire resistant, and an excellent reinforcer. Eventually, the negative health effects of asbestos were discovered and its use phased out, but that still left countless homes and buildings around the country with asbestos as part of its materials.

Homes and buildings built between 1930 and 1950, in particular, are likely to have asbestos as part of the insulation.

That’s why, if your home was built prior to the year 2000 (and especially before the mid 1980s), it may contain asbestos.

2. There is textured paint on the property

In the 1970s, interior designers often incorporated textured paint into their decor. This trend was popular for a long time, and saw plenty of homes and businesses decorated with textured paints – especially on ceilings.

In New Zealand, it became known as ‘popcorn ceilings’, due to its popcorn-like texture. Unfortunately, asbestos was often an ingredient in textured paints and the products that created popcorn ceilings, as it helped the paint to retain its shape.

If your home or workplace has stippled, ‘popcorn’, or even a ‘swirled’ texture and the building is older, it may contain asbestos.

3. You are planning to renovate or do other work on the property 

One false belief about asbestos is that if it’s in your property, it will harm you. In fact, if there is asbestos on a property but it is in good condition and well contained, it is not necessarily an immediate danger. 

The problem is if the asbestos becomes airborne. This can either happen when it ages and becomes friable, which means that it can easily break down into a powder that can be stirred up in the air, or when work is done on the property that essentially releases the asbestos. 

That’s why most people exposed to asbestos these days are those who work in the demolition industry – because they regularly work with properties where existing asbestos has become exposed. And that’s why it’s so important for property owners to have the site checked for asbestos prior to completing renovations or other work, as this can release asbestos and create a health hazard for those who live or work on site.

Asbestos removal in New Zealand 

If an asbestos specialist discovers the substance on your property, you may wish to have it removed to ensure your own safety, and that of any workers on site. 

PRO Environmental Services specialises in commercial and residential asbestos removal across the lower North Island and upper South Island. We can safely remove all kinds of asbestos on time and on budget, and provide you with an ‘all clear’ test and re-occupation certificate. 

Get in touch for a free, no-obligation quote for asbestos removal today.