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The Laws Around Asbestos




Thinking of an extensive renovation or buying an investment property on a home built before 2000? There are some very important things to consider before you start smashing down walls and removing old roofs. Asbestos Removals Marlborough takes a look at some of the dangers, and what you need to legally do before you begin on your new project.


Shockingly, asbestos exposure is the number one cause of work-related deaths around the world. It is estimated that 125 million people globally remain at high risk for asbestos exposure and 90,000 people die from work-related deaths linked to this toxic fibre. The depth to which this toxic fibre was installed in homes before the year 2000, is alarming. Leaving many new homeowners and renovation dreamers in a state of disarray as to what to do.


It’s important that before you buy an older home, or contemplate your dream renovation to get an asbestos risk assessment on your project. Many councils will now require an asbestos survey to be conducted before granting a building consent and if asbestos is found it will need to be professionally removed before the work can commence.


All homeowners need to understand that more than 10m2 of non-friable asbestos can only be removed by a licensed asbestos removal specialist. If you find friable asbestos, which is far more toxic, no matter how small, this will need to be professionally removed. On removal, your licensed operator will provide you with a clearance certificate from an independent expert to clear your home for work.


This can come at a huge cost to unsuspecting homeowners. So being prepared is vital to ensure you can budget these costs into your new renovation or home project.


Friable vs Non-Friable


Friable asbestos is the most dangerous form of asbestos. This dry form of asbestos creates a lot of dust and debris and can contaminate many surfaces including soil. It can turn to power very quickly, even with hand pressure meaning it can affect the lungs easily. Non-Friable is when this powder has been mixed with other materials such as cement or vinyl. However, it is important to understand, particularly in older homes, that non-friable asbestos can become friable (dry) after some time, mostly if damaged or disturbed.



Asbestos Removal Experts


All asbestos removal specialists are licensed by WorkSafe New Zealand and have to abide by stringent rules and regulations for the safe removal of asbestos. Even though you can remove a small amount of non-friable asbestos yourself, it’s important to remember that the rules do apply to anyone who is chosen to work in your home. Meaning if you have contractors coming in to work around areas you have removed asbestos yourself, they may need to be checked to ensure that the job was done correctly before they can start work. These rules are in place to ensure not only the safety of your home but also those working in areas that could be contaminated by asbestos.

No matter how small or large the job, if you do suspect asbestos is in your home, it’s recommended you use a WorkSafe New Zealand licensed asbestos removalist, such as Asbestos Removals Marlborough, to conduct any inspection, removal, and disposal. Working with asbestos is a very risky task, that can leave you with irreparable disease and put the health of your family at risk.


It’s also important to consider that some asbestos can be sealed instead of removed. However, if it has been severely damaged through your attempts to remove it, a full removal will be your only option and will add to your costs. Asbestos-containing materials cannot be sealed if the product is badly damaged, in an area that it could be constantly disturbed or if it is not attached correctly.


If you are starting a new project it is recommended to reach out to the experts and get your home cleared before you start. This can not only save you a huge amount of money in the long run, it can protect the health and wellbeing of yourself and your family.




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