Chris Bombolas: Hi, everyone. I'm here at this 1970s property with our asbestos expert, Steve. Steve is going to guide us through the home and show us potentially where there might be some asbestos containing material. Welcome, Steve. I guess, first up, how do we actually know it's from the 1970s?
Stephen: It's a standard design. You've got part brick, and then part of it's closed with the tilt-a-door doors, and you're also starting to move into the aluminum-framed windows and extrusions.
Chris Bombolas: All right. We've worked out, it's a 70s home. Let's go and check it out.
Stephen: Just walked inside of the kitchen here, and I've had a quick look around and I noticed it has been renovated. There's brand new kitchen cupboards and appliances. New walls have been replaced with Gyprock and the ceilings have been replaced with Gyprock. It's all asbestos-free in this part of the household. I've come here and I've actually identified the veranda has been enclosed, and there's an original ceiling, which is only very small, and then it goes to a raked soffit. That is an asbestos containing material, both of those items. You can actually see clout head nails protruding, and there happens to be a V-joint where the joints were, and it's been plastered over or sealed over with some sort of putty. I've come into the bathroom here and I identified that the ceiling sheets are an asbestos containing material. One of the telltale signs is there's a plastic joining strip up there where the joins in sheets. The wall sheeting here also is an asbestos containing material. You can actually see there's a V-joint and there's nail heads either side of it. We've come downstairs to the enclosed rumpus room and I've identified the wall sheeting. You've got D mold cover strips and nails, and also the ceiling is an asbestos containing material. So you've got the ceiling and the walls are an asbestos containing material. You've got the clout heads and the timber cover strips. This is an asbestos containing material. It appears to be in good condition. It's been painted. It's encapsulated. Also inside the building, I can actually see that there has been a toilet installed and the homeowner or the builder has actually enclosed it with Shadowline sheeting.
Chris Bombolas: Steve, we've been through this 70s style property, but what if we find asbestos in our home?
Stephen: I wouldn't worry about asbestos in your home. As long as it's left alone and you're not abrading it or cutting it or anything like that, it is quite safe.
Chris Bombolas: If we potentially find what we believe is asbestos, what's the safest way to deal with it?
Stephen: Well, my opinion is to organize somebody that's licensed, that can actually perform a survey of the property. Use either a licensed asbestos removalist, or an asbestos assessor, or a NATA accredited lab that actually can perform the activity of doing a survey, and that survey will form part of a location. It's called a register, then you know exactly where your asbestos is, and then you can take that document over to an asbestos removalist, or a builder, that could actually engage an asbestos removalist, so then you know where your asbestos all is, especially the condition of it.
Chris Bombolas: Well, that's the optimal way. I've got a couple of mates who are tradies. Can they remove asbestos from my home?
Stephen: Yes, they can, as long as they had the proper training on the asbestos awareness and they have been fit-tested through the respirators and they can perform safe removal practices. They are only allowed to remove up to 10 square meters, but if the project takes more than 10 square meters, they'll have to either have a business that's registered for removal of greater than 10 square meters or engage somebody that actually can perform that activity.
Chris Bombolas: Great advice and some great tips, Steve. Of course, if you need more advice on asbestos, visit our website, asbestos.qld.gov.au.