Renovators warned of asbestos risk

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Photo: SafetyCulture Library

DIY enthusiasts and renovators are cautioned against the dangers associated with asbestos when conducting home improvement projects over the summer period.

Master Builders Australia warns renovators that approximately one third of all homes in Australia contain asbestos and pose a potential health risks unless managed with utmost care.

“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,” said Master Builders Australia Acting Chief Executive Officer, Richard Calver.

“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 renovations or DIY projects,” he said.

Mr Calver said asbestos is difficult to identify and, once disturbed and airborne, it can pose serious health implications. He advises people to seek professional advice before starting home projects.

Master Builders offer the following tips for all renovators and DIY enthusiasts to protect themselves from asbestos exposure.

  • Check with building experts regarding the age of your home and the possibility of having asbestos- containing material in your home.
  • Never start any renovation work unless you are certain that you won’t disturb asbestos. When in doubt, always assume that your house has asbestos.
  • Engage a licensed professional to handle and dispose of any asbestos containing materials, regardless of the quantity.

Master Builders also said asbestos can usually be found in roofs, floors, kitchens and bathrooms, wall and ceiling products, and even outside the house (gutters, downpipes and fences).


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