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Frequently Asked Questions

 

Need Advice on Asbestos?

Learn How To Identify Asbestos & What To Do If You Have An Asbestos Problem With Our Useful Information About Asbestos & Asbestos Testing In New Zealand

Do you find yourself wondering what your next move is in getting rid of Asbestos?

If so, this page should help you understand a bit more about what and where asbestos is and the steps you need to take if you think asbestos might be present at your property.

Whether you’re a builder contracted to complete renovations on a heritage home, the owner of an industrial warehouse built in the years prior to 2000, or a first home buyer wanting to protect your family from potential harm, we hope you’ll find the answer to your question here.

If you don’t see your question listed below please feel free to contact us.

Identifying Asbestos Is Easy With Knowledge

These 10 Frequently Asked Questions Will Help You Determine When To Call In An Asbestos Removal Expert

What Is Asbestos?

Asbestos is mined from rock. It is the loose fibre broken down from the mined rock material that is used in the manufacture of numerous products. Asbestos is invariably mixed with another material and is rarely encountered in its raw form.

There are three identified types of Asbestos:

  • Chrysotile (white Asbestos)
  • Amosite (brown Asbestos)
  • Crocidolite (blue Asbestos)

Why Was Asbestos So Popular In The Building Industry?

Asbestos is both fire and moisture resistant hence it was popular and commonly used in buildings and building materials. The fibres also provided strength without adding much weight to cement. Cement was a very popular choice for cladding during the mid-twentieth century.

What Is The Difference Between Friable & Bonded Asbestos?

Asbestos containing materials are referred to as either friable or bonded.

Friable Asbestos is Asbestos containing material that can be crumbled, pulverised or reduced to powder by hand pressure when dry. Friable Asbestos includes materials such as sprayed and thermal insulation, pipe lagging and millboard, and can release fibres with only minimal disturbance.

Bonded Asbestos is Asbestos fibres that are bound within the matrix of the material it’s contained within. Bonded Asbestos is more difficult to damage and cause the release of fibres by hand and includes materials such as Asbestos cement sheeting (fibre cement or fibro). However, bonded Asbestos containing materials that have been subjected to weathering, physical damage, water damage, fire or other conditions may contain exposed fibres which could be released upon disturbance.

When Did We Stop Producing Asbestos In New Zealand?

Nationally, all manufacturing of Asbestos sheet products ended in the early 1980’s. However, although the New Zealand OSH guidelines and controls came into affect at the end of 1982, Asbestos products were still available for use and Asbestos was still mined and used overseas. The two main plants producing Asbestos cement products in Christchurch and Auckland ceased production in 1974 and 1987 respectively. Bonded Asbestos materials were still able to be imported into New Zealand until October 2016.

What Are The Health Risks?

Exposure to Asbestos fibre may occur when materials containing Asbestos are in poor condition, are flaking or crumbling. Consequently, exposure to Asbestos fibre may occur when materials containing Asbestos are sanded, sawn, drilled, or handled in maintenance and/or removal tasks.

Three main disease states have been associated with the inhalation of Asbestos fibre:

  • Asbestosis
  • Lung cancer
  • Mesothelioma

Inhalation of high concentrations of all forms of Asbestos may result in Asbestosis, a progressive fibrosis of lung tissue. The two forms of cancer associated with the inhalation of Asbestos are lung cancer and mesothelioma. Asbestos exposure is considered to account for at least 80% of mesotheliomas that develop with Crocidolite (blue Asbestos) and Amosite (brown Asbestos) providing the greatest hazard.

What Are The Dangers Of Removing Asbestos Yourself?

Asbestos that is crumbly will quickly turn to powder and create a tonne of dust if removed incorrectly. This dust is easily ingested through your nose and mouth and into your lungs putting your health at risk – maybe not immediately but certainly in the future. If you do manage to remove Asbestos safely there’s still the issue of disposal. You need a license to dispose of Asbestos at a landfill and the landfills themselves require a permit to take Asbestos. The cost is high for both your wallet and your health.

How Can I Tell If There Is Asbestos Textured Coatings On My Ceiling?

The best way is to organise for a sample to be taken and then analysed by a registered laboratory. Save yourself the time and energy and get Asbestos Solutions Ltd to handle this for you. We are licensed to undertake this type of work with Worksafe NZ and all work is 100% independently tested by a third party laboratory.

What If I Have Asbestos Roofing & Am On Tank Water?

Fortunately, any water tanks installed near an Asbestos roof pose no threat to your health. Asbestos dust is the main cause of harm which is immediately inhibited by water of any kind. Just remember it’s the dust you inhale that is cause for concern.

Do I Need To Remove Asbestos Cladding/Roofing Immediately?

Any of the Asbestos products, if they are in good condition, can be left alone. Sometimes the best thing to do is nothing. Ideally, you may look at painting your cladding or roof for extra protection but this is a process that requires careful management – for example, you wouldn’t sand the surface or do anything that generates dust – but once it’s painted there’s no way for the Asbestos to break down to dust.

I Have Asbestos Wall Cladding And Want To Put Some New Windows In The Wall, What Should I Do?

Firstly, it’s important to have someone take a look at the area and assess the extent of the situation but, if possible, the best option is complete removal of all Asbestos containing walls. Get rid of full panels and don’t break them, or if you can, get rid of it all. For more detailed information about Asbestos testing in the home and where in the home Asbestos can be found, take a look at our Residential page on the website. For Asbestos removal on industrial buildings head over to our Commercial page. Asbestos removal doesn’t have to a scary experience. While Asbestos does pose a danger there is no need for panic. If you are worried that your property might be contaminated the best solution is to get in touch. The team welcomes your enquiry so contact us today.

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If you have concerns about asbestos at your property, leave your details with us and our asbestos experts will be in touch to discuss the likelihood of any asbestos hazards and the appropriate steps to take.