Asbestos is a major hazard when undergoing any renovation project and bathrooms are no exception.
For any home built prior to 1990, asbestos is a very real concern and it’s essential that homeowners know what they are dealing with before undertaking any renovation work. Asbestos removal is a necessary part of many bathroom renovations and something that needs to be accounted for in a renovation budget.
Because exposure to tiny asbestos fibres can cause incurable disease if inhaled, no asbestos removal should be attempted yourself. Even if you think you know how to safely remove the substance, many homeowners misunderstand where the asbestos containing material can be located. The truth is it can be in many more places than just behind bathroom wall linings and the reality is that many people don’t understand they could be handling asbestos until it is too late.
Where is asbestos found in the bathroom?
Because of the water resistant properties of asbestos, it can be found in many places in the bathroom (and other wet areas in the home)
- Lagging on hot water pipes set in wall masonry
- Plasterboards areas.
- Internal angle mouldings.
- Behind floor sheeting.
- In roofing and wall linings.
- In cement tile underlay on floors and walls.
What does this mean for my bathroom renovation?
Depending on the scope of the project, some asbestos containing materials may be able to be left undisturbed. If the asbestos containing material has been damaged however, it’s recommended that it is completely removed to avoid further deterioration which could lead to exposure.
At All Bathroom Gear with our bathroom renovation projects we ask that an asbestos report is provided otherwise we will take a sample of the wall sheeting to have it analysed. If asbestos is found, depending on the type of sheeting it is contained in the costs of asbestos removal and disposal can add thousands of dollars to the renovation project so it’s important that the costs for dealing with asbestos are factored in to a bathroom renovation project before work a contract is signed with any Builder.
The contractor is also required to be aware of the potential hazard from a workplace health and safety position.
There is no safe level of exposure to asbestos fibres and the effects of asbestos can be devastating for you and your family in future years. Our team can provide the right advice on dealing with this hazard, and remove the risk during a renovation project. With the rates of non-curable disease caused by asbestos exposure predicted to rise in the next 10 years, before planning any renovation project for homes built before 1990, you need to also plan for the likelihood of asbestos.