Renovators should be wary of asbestos risk
DIY enthusiasts and renovators must be mindful of the dangers associated with asbestos when completing their home improvement projects over the summer period.
Summer is a popular time to complete home projects, but Master Builders Australia warns approximately one third of all houses in Australia contain asbestos and pose a potential health risk unless carefully managed.
Richard Calver, Acting Chief Executive Officer of Master Builders Australia said asbestos was widely used in building materials up until the mid-1980s and could be found in every room of a house.
“DIY and home renovation projects are obviously very popular. Master Builders estimates that the value of work done on home renovations, alterations, additions and DIY projects was more than $25 billion in 2012.
“However, home renovators and DIY enthusiasts should not downplay the importance of seeking professional advice to avoid disturbing asbestos in order to complete their projects safely.
“In good condition, asbestos in a home does not pose a serious health risk.
However, issues arise when asbestos containing materials are disturbed during home renova- tions or DIY projects.
“Asbestos is difficult to identify and, once disturbed and airborne, it can pose serious health risks.
It is crucial to seek professional advice before starting your next home project,” Mr Calver said.
Master Builders offers three tips for all budding home renovators and DIY enthusiasts to avoid exposing themselves to potentially harmful asbestos:
* Check with a building expert regarding the age of your home and the likelihood of the existence of asbestos containing material.
* Do not start any renovation work unless you are sure that you will not disturb asbestos.
If in doubt, assume that your home contains asbestos.
* Engage a licensed professional to handle and dispose of any asbestos containing materials, regardless of the quantity.