Tips to Identify Asbestos & What It Looks Like

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Tips to Identify Asbestos & What It Looks Like

Worried that your building contains asbestos?

If your building was constructed before the year 2000, there is a chance it may contain asbestos. Even if you only had your building renovated, you should still check for any asbestos.

For homes built before 1990, many buildings will contain cement materials with asbestos. This includes eaves, wall cladding (both inside and outside), and ceilings.

If you’re not sure if your building contains asbestos, we’re providing you with tips to help you identify it.

#1. Check the surface

While you can’t tell for certain if a material contains asbestos without sending a sample to the lab for testing — some visual signs can indicate a higher chance of it containing asbestos.

For example, many materials contianing asbestos have a dimpled pattern on the surface. Inspect the surface of the material and see whether it has a texture or is smooth instead. More modern materials usually have a smooth surface.

#2. Don’t discount anything

Asbestos is usually mixed with other materials. Depending on what it was mixed with, the shape, colour, texture, and many other physical features will change.

If it was built before the 1990s, it’s worth getting checked.

#3. Check for an oily appearance

Tiles containing asbestos will usually gain a discoloured oily look. If you have older tiles that are looking uneven in colour and oily — you should contact an expert and have them help you send a sample to have tested.

#4. Check for manufacture stamps

Many companies stamp their information onto the material they make. However, this could be difficult to locate. If you’re struggling to find the stamp’s location, avoid moving the material around. This could dislodge the asbestos fibres and lead to you inhaling them.

Overall, identifying asbestos is a difficult task. Even for professionals, it’s impossible to know for sure if a material contains asbestos. However, experts have experience dealing with asbestos and will know what materials have a higher risk of containing asbestos. Plus, they’ll be able to take samples for testing while minimising your risk of exposure.

Need help identifying any asbestos in your building?
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