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Asbestos Testing in Toowoomba & Lockyer Valley

Asbestos testing helps you understand the risks to you and your family  

Suspect that the home you own, or are about to purchase, has asbestos? It’s not always easy to tell, but it is extremely important to know. Any renovations or abrasions to asbestos-containing materials (ACM) can release minute particles into the air, putting you and your family at risk of exposure. Asbestos particles have been shown to cause deadly lung conditions asbestosis, mesothelioma, and lung cancer. Importantly, you can’t tell by looking at the material whether it contains asbestos. In its natural state, asbestos can range in colour from green, brown, white, or blue. However, it was often painted, or mixed into other materials - which can change its appearance. The only way to tell, is by getting a qualified inspector to provide asbestos testing and or sampling before you renovate your home. 

How likely is it that my home contains asbestos? 

Asbestos is a natural fibre which was mined for its strong, flexible, and insulating properties. Up until 1984, Australia had one of the highest rates of asbestos use in the world. It was used widely in homes from the 1930’s right up until 1990, when it was banned in building products. However, a total ban didn't come into effect until 2003. So, if the home in question was built before 2003 it may contain asbestos. This includes older homes that pre-date its introduction. Asbestos-containing materials could potentially (and often) have been used in additions or renovations after initial construction. Asbestos was not only used in the wall sheeting of many Australian homes. It was used in floor sheeting, roofing, fences, pipes, thermal insulation, and fireproofing.

When is it a good idea to get asbestos testing and or sampling? 

  • Before you buy a home. Any home built before 2003 may contain asbestos. If the home was built before 1983, this is even likelier. If you suspect there’s asbestos in the home, you may choose to make your offer subject to asbestos testing and sampling. This will give you a full picture of exactly what structures contain asbestos, and your potential level of risk and costs involved in removal if necessary. 
  • Before you sell your home. Pre-sales asbestos testing can help you get a clear picture of the level of asbestos in your home, and the level of risk. This allows you to be upfront with purchasers and negotiate before they choose to buy the home. 
  • And definitely, before you do any renovations on your home. Before you make your first cut on an older home, you should always verify where or if any materials contain asbestos on the property. Removal must be handled by a licensed asbestos remover.  

The asbestos sampling process 

Benchmark Building Reports take the utmost care during asbestos testing to ensure the safety of the occupants during the process. There are stringent requirements around asbestos sampling, and we follow those to the letter. After I visually inspect the property, I will identify any asbestos or ACM, and make a report. If a sample or samples are required, I make a separate time to take this. Only a small sample of possible ACM is required. When send the sample to a laboratory, where it is usually tested the same or next day.  

Whether the testing is for pre-purchase or for renovation, knowing exactly what the home contains helps you understand the risks. It is not impossible to renovate a home with asbestos but knowing allows you to get a clear understanding of exactly which materials  on the property put you at risk. This allows you to factor in asbestos removal to your renovation budget. If we are testing a commercial building, it is the first stage of  your asbestos management plan.  

Elanor – Harristown

“Pleasant and competent, very efficient with my lab results returning the next day enabling me to proceed with my renovations next month instead of in the new year.”
Elanor – Harristown

Asbestos management plans for commercial buildings 

Do you need a licensed asbestos tester to help you form an asbestos management plan at your commercial property? Since 2014, commercial buildings constructed before 31 December 2003 require an asbestos inspection. Any asbestos or ACM that is present in the building requires labelling and mandatory recording in the asbestos register. An asbestos management plan is compulsory for ACM in commercial buildings. This helps you manage and control the building and relevant structures and help prevent exposure to airborne fibres. Benchmark Building Reports can guide the process of inspection, reporting, registration and implementing an asbestos management plan, so that you can comply with these codes.  

This information on asbestos regulations is a guide only and is not comprehensive. For a full and complete list of regulations, please refer to the QBCC guidelines on asbestos safety

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