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Hidden Hazards: The Risks of Asbestos in Home Renovations

Introduction

Home renovations can breathe new life into your property, but they can also unearth hidden dangers like asbestos, particularly in older homes. Understanding the risks associated with asbestos exposure during renovations is crucial for ensuring the safety of homeowners and tradespeople alike.

Where Asbestos Might Be Lurking in Your Home

  • Walls and Partitions: Asbestos was commonly used in textured coatings and as a fireproofing material.
  • Ceilings: Popcorn ceilings and ceiling tiles often contained asbestos for its insulation properties.
  • Floors: Vinyl tiles and the adhesive used for laying floor tiles might contain asbestos.
  • Insulation: This could be in lofts, walls, around boilers, and pipes.

The Risks During Renovations

  • Disturbance of Asbestos: Renovation activities like knocking down walls or ripping up old floor tiles can release asbestos fibers into the air.
  • Health Impact: Inhalation of asbestos fibers can lead to serious diseases such as mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis, which may not manifest until many years after exposure.
  • Increased Costs: Discovering asbestos after beginning renovations often leads to significantly higher costs due to the need for emergency asbestos abatement and potential health and safety violations.

The Importance of Professional Asbestos Surveys

  • Pre-Renovation Checks: Before starting any renovation work, especially in properties built before 1999, conducting an asbestos survey is essential. This can determine whether asbestos is present and the type of asbestos-containing material (ACM).
  • Choosing the Right Contractors: Tradespeople are NOT equipped to handle or recognise asbestos. Hiring licensed contractors who are aware of and can manage asbestos risks is crucial for safety and compliance.

WestCross Environmental Services: Your Safety Partner

  • Expert Surveys and Advice: We provide comprehensive asbestos surveys that help identify potential asbestos before you begin renovations.
  • Safe Asbestos Removal: If asbestos is found, our licensed professionals will safely remove and dispose of it, ensuring that your renovation project proceeds safely.
  • Ongoing Support: We offer advice and support to homeowners and contractors to manage asbestos safely in their ongoing projects.

Conclusion

Renovating your home should be an exciting venture, not a risky one. By being proactive about potential asbestos hazards, you can ensure that your renovations are not only beautiful but safe. If you’re planning a home renovation, start with a call to WestCross Environmental Services to ensure your home is free of asbestos and ready for a safe transformation.

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