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  • Asbestos Removals Marlborough

Cyclone Gabrielle - Asbestos Warning

With Cyclone Gabrielle currently wreaking havoc in New Zealand, Asbestos Removals Marlborough has a timely warning on how severe weather can impact asbestos and what homeowners should do with displaced items that could contain asbestos.

In New Zealand, any structure built before 2000 is considered to contain a certain degree of asbestos-containing materials. With the wild weather causing vast amounts of damage to homes and businesses, New Zealanders are urged to take care, particularly in heavy winds and flooding.

"Homeowners need to be incredibly cautious concerning any debris from high winds and flooding," Clayton Cowan from Asbestos Removals Marlborough says. "Some debris may contain asbestos, and communities mustn't attempt to remove or dispose of this without professional advice."

Homes with asbestos in the roofing or other sections of the house must be correctly assessed to ensure any damage has not disturbed the asbestos.

"While asbestos is safe when not damaged, high winds, flooding, and other severe weather events can cause asbestos to erode and end up a health risk quickly," he says. "Homeowners need to be incredibly cautious to protect themselves and their community during these trying times."

The New Zealand Demolition and Asbestos Association (NZDAA) suggests contacting WorkSafe New Zealand at 0800 030 040 if you are unsure of asbestos health and safety procedures and do not attempt to remove debris or enter the affected building.

"If you suspect your property is damaged and does contain asbestos, call in the experts," Cowan says. "It is important that all asbestos be correctly assessed and disposed of."

It is also advised for homeowners to get a good understanding of what asbestos is and what it looks like. Identifying asbestos is critical to keeping the community safe.

"Most commercial and urban homes built before 2000 will contain asbestos, and you'll be surprised where this could be lurking," Cowan says. "Understanding the risk is vital to keep New Zealanders safe and potentially becoming exposed to asbestos from damaged buildings and homes."

While it may be legal to remove non-friable asbestos under 10m2, Asbestos Removals Marlborough recommends not attempting to remove it yourself.

"The risks associated with your health and possibly contaminating the environment further, we recommended that you do not attempt to remove any asbestos yourself," Cowan says. "It is always better to leave this dangerous work to the experts, who can safely remove and dispose of this toxic fibre in a safe and managed way."

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