Given the prevalence of asbestos being used in construction during the 20th century anyone who has a house built in that era should be asking themselves if their house has any asbestos in it. Asbestos was used in many different applications in construction including:
- Fire retardant coatings
- Pipe insulation
- Ceiling insulation
- Fireproof drywall / plaster board
- Flooring (tiles, linoleum, etc.)
- Roofing tiles
- Roofing felt
- Insulations around wires
- Lawn furniture
- Drywall joint compound
- Fireproof doors
- Popcorn and acoustic ceilings
- Exterior siding
In Canada one of the main uses that I was warned about was in ceiling insulation. Some types of blow in insulation that was used included small percentage of asbestos. This type of blow in insulation was called vermiculite, specifically Zonolite.
Australia seemed to have most of it’s asbestos in roofing and sheeting. Many homes were built using asbestos siding, including our first house in Townsville. Asbestos was also very common in insulated roofing and the building that I worked in while up in Townsville included this type of corrugated roofing material. Neither of these were a problem if left undisturbed, but if disturbed either through renovations, repairs or damage the asbestos could become airborne and potentially dangerous.
If you are at all worried that some of the material in your home may have asbestos in it then it is best to leave it undisturbed and to contact a specialist to get it tested. Given that asbestos related diseases are usually fatal it is better to get that piece of mind that risk exposure …
For more information about Asbestos check out the Asbestos Awareness web-site.