top of page
  • Asbestos Removals Marlborough

What Is The Difference Between Asbestos Fibre Cement & Modern Cement Fibre?

The concerning aspect of asbestos, particularly cement, is that it can look almost identical to modern day cement fibre. So how can you tell the difference, and what should you do if you suspect the cement you are dealing with is riddled with asbestos?

Super six and panel sheets were a prevalent housing material in the 1980s – made from a mixture of cement and asbestos fibres. However, any home or building that has been refurbished pre the year 2000 could contain asbestos cement.

By combining asbestos and cement, the building sector had a super solid and durable material that was fire-resistant and cheap. The asbestos content often made up over one-third of the entire mixture. The trademark grey material was compressed and moulded to produce corrugated sheets commonly used in roofing and garage sheds. It also created cladding for homes, downpipes, and guttering.

The good news is if this product is intact and in good condition, it poses little to no risk to your health and well-being. The problem is, if this cement is disturbed, damaged, or demolished, you could put your future health in dire strife.

What Is Modern Cement Fibre?

Unlike in the past, modern day cement fibre does not contain asbestos. It comprises cellulose fibres with sand, water, and cement. However, the hard part for homeowners and the untrained eye is that both products can look very similar.

For this reason, even if you are sure the product you are dealing with is cement fibre and not asbestos cement, it is always highly advisable to have this checked.

Particularly if you are considering a DIY or demolition. Not having it checked and finding out later down the track could cost thousands. Contaminated sites can pose a massive problem for the homeowner, neighbours, and contractors working on the site. The only sure way to know is to have the substance tested by an asbestos professional before you disturb the material.

How To Tell The Difference Between Asbestos Fibre Cement and Modern Fibre Cement?

You need help deciphering if you are dealing with asbestos cement or modern fibre cement by look alone.

It is always recommended to call in the professionals to protect your life and those around you. However, there are some tips to help you decide if you have an asbestos problem. These tips should only be utilised if the substance is undisturbed. If the cement is crumbling and not intact, it is better to be safe than sorry - stop all work and people going near the area and call in the professionals immediately.

  1. The Age – if the cement was used after the year 2000, there is all likelihood it does not contain asbestos. If the cement was utilised before this time, seek advice before removing it.

  2. Look For Logos – if you find any stamps or logos, a quick online search can let you know if the material is full of asbestos. If you can’t tell the age and have no logos to go on, a full test will be required to rule out asbestos.

  3. Wear & Tear – if the cement looks old, chances it is! Likewise, old and worn-looking roofing materials will tend to possess asbestos.

What Should I Do If I’m Not Sure It’s Asbestos Cement?

Before you start demolition, or your next DIY project, get some much-needed skilled advice from a trained asbestos professional. They can allow you peace of mind that what you are doing will not put unnecessary risk to you and your loved ones.

In addition, a trained professional can quickly tell if the product is asbestos or advise you to have the material tested.

Homeowners often wish to save money with renovations, but risking their health is not worth the money. Having a budget set for asbestos checks should be a main priority, particularly with all homes built or renovated before the year 2000. Understanding that if you disturb asbestos, you are legally required to have this correctly tested, removed, and disposed. If the site is contaminated – and most times they are – you could be looking at a very hefty bill to ensure the contamination is handled correctly. This could mean a disturbance to your neighbours, not to mention the disruption to your renovations and living conditions. Homes contaminated with asbestos cannot be lived in until they are deemed clear of all dust and additional contamination.

218 views0 comments


bottom of page