New Zealand’s householders often have questions about the quality of their indoor air, and for valid reasons. Most people spend at least one-third of their lives at home, and indoor air quality is essential to overall health. However, many air quality issues are difficult to accurately measure, but there’s one problem that surfaces quite often in older homes: asbestos. Below are some things for potential buyers, remodelers and householders to know about identifying asbestos in NZ.
Asbestos: What is It?
Asbestos is taken from the earth, and its natural properties make it an effective, cheap fire retardant. As such, asbestos was used in many building materials from the 1940s until the 1970s. The most common uses for asbestos include, but aren’t limited to:
Ceiling tiles with acoustic properties
Heating duct tape
Finding Asbestos in the Home
If a householder or buyer wants to find out if the home contains asbestos, they may hire an environmental lab or consultant to evaluate the structure. The contractor should follow strict testing protocol, and they may take dozens of samples. When the results are in, the owner should know whether there’s asbestos in the home—and they can learn how to safely go about removal of asbestos in NZ.
What Should a Householder do if There’s Asbestos in the Home?
Before the removal process begins, buyers should understand a few concepts about asbestos. If the questionable materials are not friable or damaged, the asbestos cannot become an airborne danger. Therefore, most old homes do not present a health risk if they are left intact. Householders should test for asbestos before renovations begin, and the contractor should receive a copy of the written inspection report.
Testing Before Purchase
Despite its importance, most buyers do not engage in asbestos testing as part of due diligence during the purchase process. If the home was built before 1980, however, buyers should assume that it contains some asbestos. Non-renovation homes are generally a low risk, but if remodeling is planned, the owner should include lead and asbestos remediation in the project’s budget. For help with asbestos testing service in NZ, householders, remodelers and buyers can rely on NZ Asbestos for the best possible advice and asbestos removal solutions in NZ. Visit www.nzasbestos.co.nz for more details.