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Renovating Older Homes - Asbestos-Containing Materials




Renovations are all the boom in 2023! Buying up, DIY, and flipping are familiar catchphrases for many homeowners looking to get ahead. However, a significant catchphrase that needs to be discussed is asbestos! Asbestos Removals Marlborough discovers the risks of renovating older homes and how to be prepared to safeguard your health and your budget.


Renovating an older home can be an exciting adventure. Transforming the old into new and functional is a beautiful project concept. However, for any homeowner, it is crucial to understand the potential hazards that may lurk behind those old walls. It is not uncommon to hear of the sudden discovery of asbestos-containing materials that can send owners and budgets into a spin. This, once a commonly used building material, poses colossal health risks when disturbed and, sadly, contained in most older homes in New Zealand and worldwide. For any home renovation enthusiast is imperative to know how to identify possible asbestos and who to contact to ensure the material is safely handled and contained or removed altogether. The correct procedures can protect you and your family from harm – not to mention the contractors involved in the renovation project.


Understanding the Asbestos Risk

To effectively deal with asbestos, it's essential to understand its origins, properties, and health risks. This widely accepted and used material was once deemed a hero-building texture, from popcorn ceilings and decorative details to acoustic, insulation, and fireproof qualities. Until the discovery of the significant health risks this material caused, it was widely used in everything from flooring to walls and roofs. Because of this, it’s no surprise to understand that any home built before the year 2000 and any home that had undertaken any renovation before this time likely contains asbestos to some degree. A budget for inspection, testing, and removal is essential for any older home renovation.


Identifying Asbestos-Containing Materials

Identifying asbestos is also a challenging feat. Many other products, such as concrete, can look like asbestos. For any older home, it’s always advisable to seek professional advice to ensure it is asbestos-free before you start knocking down walls and removing flooring. A trained professional can give you a good idea of the risk areas and provide testing and removal options. This practice can save your budget. If you accidentally disturb asbestos and contaminate the area, it could spell disaster for your project and budget. Not to mention the health risks posed to those working or living in the home.


Licensed Asbestos Professionals

When it comes to asbestos, calling in the experts is vital. Finding a qualified and licensed asbestos professional can provide peace of mind before your project begins. They are also trained in testing asbestos and giving you a good idea of how to best contain or remove the toxic fibre.


Have An Asbestos Management Plan

If you are renovating an older home, it is highly advisable to have an asbestos management plan before the project begins. Having a clear budget set in place for this and calling in the experts before you decide to buy can also help. Asking the current homeowner for details about any possible asbestos is also recommended. A comprehensive asbestos management plan will ensure you and your family are kept safe while also allowing you to understand the extent of the asbestos and how this will affect your renovation project.


Asbestos Removal Practices

It is also advisable to get a good understanding of the rules and regulations around any asbestos removal. If asbestos-containing materials need to be removed or contained, it should only be done carefully and in compliance with regulations. Enlisting the advice of a professional can ensure you get this done correctly and, more importantly, safely. It is not uncommon to hear of accidental asbestos disturbances that have caused the stand-still of projects and even caused homeowners to move out of their homes while the area is decontaminated. In some situations, contamination can even affect your neighbours.


Asbestos Education

Knowledge is power – particularly when it comes to dealing with asbestos. Sharing your knowledge with friends and family could save their health and well-being, and also their hip pocket – an important aspect of any renovation! Educate yourself on the risks and take steps to ensure you are safe when renovating and share your story with the world. Many new to the DIY trend are entirely unaware of the risks of asbestos. Sadly, the bargain of a lifetime leading to financial security could turn into a never-ending money pit because the asbestos issues were never contemplated.


Renovating older homes can be an enriching experience for many homeowners and investors alike. However, it is essential to prioritise safety when dealing with any asbestos that is extremely common in older homes. By understanding the risks involved with this toxic fibre and hiring professionals to get a clear picture of the asbestos situation you can easily navigate the renovation process while protecting the health and well-being of those working on the project. Knowledge and caution are your best friends when it comes to any asbestos. Needing advice? Contact Asbestos Removals Marlborough today.

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