How to Tell if Your House Has Asbestos: An In-Depth Guide
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  • Asbestos Identification: While most asbestos requires microscopic inspection, certain construction characteristics, like thick joints in eavesheets, can indicate its presence.

  • Construction Era Clues: Homes built before the 1980s, particularly around 1955, are more likely to contain asbestos based on construction methods used during that time.

  • Visual Indicators: Differences in product installation and materials, such as green tinges on boards and metal capping on fences, can help differentiate asbestos-containing materials from newer, safer alternatives.

If you’re living in a house built before the 1990s, you might be wondering, “how to tell if your house has asbestos?” This guide will walk you through everything you need to know, from identifying potential asbestos to dealing with its removal. Don’t forget to watch the acary video above where we uncover a Subiaco home filled with asbestos in pre purchase building and pest inspection in Subiaco, Perth.



What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that was widely used in construction materials due to its durability and heat resistance. However, it was later discovered that asbestos fibers pose serious health risks.



Why Asbestos is Dangerous

Inhaling asbestos fibers can lead to severe respiratory diseases, including asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma. These health risks make it crucial to identify and manage asbestos in your home.



Common Places to Find Asbestos in Homes

Asbestos was used in various parts of homes. Here are some common places where it might be found:



Asbestos was commonly used in insulation materials, particularly in homes built before the 1980s.



Roofing materials, including shingles and eaves, often contained asbestos.



Many older homes have asbestos-containing siding.



Floor tiles, especially those installed before the 1990s, may contain asbestos. Asbestos is usually found in older homes when laying tile over old flooring.



How to Tell if Your House Has Asbestos

Identifying asbestos isn’t always straightforward, but there are some signs you can look for.


Visual Indicators

Look for discolored or brittle materials, especially in insulation, roofing, and siding.


Age of the House

If your house was built before the 1990s, there’s a higher chance it contains asbestos.



Signs of Asbestos in Different Home Areas

Eaves and Roofing

In my recent inspection, I found asbestos in the eavesheets of a 1950s house. A telltale sign was the thick joints in the sheets. While not conclusive, it’s a strong indicator based on the construction practices of the time.


Walls and Siding

Asbestos siding often looks like cement but with a fibrous texture. If you notice unusual textures or suspect your siding might be asbestos, it’s best to get it inspected. Many people notice fibres coming out of their weep holes or during a termite inspection.


Flooring and Tiles

Older vinyl floor tiles might contain asbestos. If your tiles are cracking or deteriorating, they could be releasing asbestos fibers.


Pipes and Insulation

Check around old pipes and insulation. Asbestos was commonly used in pipe insulation due to its heat resistance.



Using Professional Inspections to Detect Asbestos

While there are visual cues, confirming asbestos presence usually requires professional inspection. At WA Building Inspections Perth, we offer comprehensive asbestos inspections to ensure your home is safe.


Steps to Take if You Suspect Asbestos

If you think your home has asbestos, avoid disturbing the area. Contact a professional inspection service like WA Building Inspections Perth to assess the situation safely.


How Asbestos is Removed

Asbestos removal is a meticulous process that should only be handled by professionals. It involves sealing off the area, using protective gear, and safely disposing of the asbestos materials.


Costs of Asbestos Removal

The cost of asbestos removal can vary depending on the extent of contamination and the size of the area. Typically, you can expect to pay between $1,500 and $3,000 for a standard removal job.


Legal Requirements for Asbestos Management in Australia

In Australia, strict regulations govern the management and removal of asbestos. Ensure your removal contractor complies with local laws to avoid hefty fines and ensure safety.


Benefits of Asbestos-Free Homes

Removing asbestos from your home not only improves your health and safety but also enhances your property’s value.


Preventing Asbestos Exposure

Regular inspections and safe maintenance practices are essential to prevent asbestos exposure. Keep an eye on deteriorating materials and get them inspected by professionals like WA Building Inspections Perth.


My Wrap Up

Understanding how to tell if your house has asbestos is crucial for maintaining a safe living environment. If you suspect asbestos in your home, don’t take chances. Contact WA Building Inspections Perth for a thorough inspection and peace of mind.




What should I do if I find asbestos in my home?

Avoid disturbing the area and contact a professional inspection service immediately.


Can I remove asbestos myself?

No, asbestos removal should always be handled by licensed professionals due to the health risks involved.


How long does asbestos removal take?

The duration varies depending on the size and complexity of the job but typically takes a few days.


Is asbestos still used in new constructions?

No, asbestos has been banned in new constructions in Australia since the late 1980s.


What are the signs of asbestos-related diseases?

Symptoms include shortness of breath, persistent cough, and chest pain. If you suspect exposure, seek medical advice promptly.