Two Things you wish you knew about asbestos before buying an older house.

Two Things you wish you knew about asbestos before buying an older house.

Asbestos was used in over 3000 products it was in just about everything you could imagine, asbestos was so widely used because its ability to resist acids, electricity, fire and it was extremely flexible and it was very cheap. Asbestos was known as the wonder mineral because it had so many applications. Australia was one of the biggest users of asbestos per capita in the world so it is no surprise that it could be found just about anywhere in older houses.

But asbestos isn’t just asbestos what we are talking about here is asbestos containing materials or ACM’s, so it is basically a normal product that seems harmless that has had asbestos added to it. It was added to “enhance “the product and make it more versatile.

Now that we have established that we are really talking about ACM’s there is another factor to consider, this relates to the two categories of ACM’s. Friable and non-friable and the definitions are explained like this:

Non friable ACM

Non-friable means, when dry may not be crumbled, pulverised or reduced to powder by hand pressure (for example materials containing asbestos that have been mixed with cement or other hard bonding materials).

Friable ACM

Friable means when dry, or as the result of a work process, may be crumbled, pulverised or reduced to a powder by hand pressure.

So, what does that mean to me as person purchasing an older home? Basically, it means that older homes can contain friable and non-friable ACM’s. Ok so what next you ask? Obviously friable ACM’s are much more hazardous to be around and can in some cases be ten times the cost to remove this can add up fast especially when all of the internal linings of a home can be classified as friable!

So how are you going to know?

Well the easiest and cheapest way to know is to get the experts in and have an asbestos report completed on the home in the pre purchase process. You will need a qualified and licenced asbestos inspector, most building pre purchase inspections will not include asbestos in any great detail because most pre purchase building inspectors aren’t insured for asbestos liability so they will only make small mentions of asbestos in the home. This is a real trap for the trusting public and one that can end in you buying a home that could have around one hundred thousand dollars in additional costs to remove friable asbestos. Look at it this way if you are going to be spending a few hundred thousand dollars on a family home, investment property or a renovator surely a few hundred dollars on a comprehensive asbestos inspection with some samples is a solid investment.

So where can ACM’s be in houses built before 1990?

The family homes

  • Asbestos vinyl tiles on floors.
  • Lino flooring, this commonly had an asbestos backing.
  • Compressed fibro flooring sheets.
  • Hessian carpet underlay. This underlay was made from recycled hessian sacks that were used to transport raw asbestos in.
  • The roof asbestos containing sheeting and shingles are quite common.
  • Insulation in ceilings, floor cavities and walls.
  • Guttering
  • Downpipes.
  • Vent pipes.
  • Stormwater pipes./li>
  • Sewage pipes.
  • Tilux sheeting, often used in wet areas
  • Wall linings.
  • Cover strips on wall linings.
  • The linings in wardrobes.
  • The linings in linen presses.
  • Ceilings.
  • Textured coatings on ceilings and walls.
  • Bakelite switches and power points.
  • Fencing.
  • The putty in windows
  • Adhesives, glues, and mastics.
  • In electrical fuses.
  • In the backing of electrical meter boxes.
  • Around gas heaters.
  • Flues for gas heaters.
  • Hearths for wood heaters.
  • Around wood heaters for insulating walls.
  • The coatings on swimming pools.
  • In brick letter boxes as a lining.
  • Lagging on pipes.
  • Packers in the frame and on stumps.
  • Garden edging.
  • Retaining walls.
  • Pool pump covers.
  • Drain surrounds.
  • Around electrical wiring on old appliances like ovens, hot water systems.
  • External cladding.
  • External joining and corner strips on cladding.
  • Eaves linings.
  • Ornamental planter boxes.
  • Saunas.

These are all places we commonly find friable and non-friable in older homes every single day there are just as many older homes that are full of asbestos as there are older homes that may only have asbestos in one or two places. Only a trained and skilled asbestos expert will be able to identify all these items. So, the answer to the big question should be clear by now.

Question “What do I need to know about asbestos before I buy an older house?”

Answer “Asbestos can be lurking anywhere, and the only way to Know where is to get an asbestos inspection and report from an expert”

4 Things that Will Shock You About Your Metal roof tiles or Decramastic roof.

4 Things that Will Shock You About Your Metal roof tiles or Decramastic roof.

Decramastic roof tiles, also known as pressed metal tiles or Decrabond, were a popular roofing material in Australia in the 1970s and 1980s, made of galvanised steel or aluminium with either a painted finish, or a bitumen coating that allowed grit or small stones to stick to the pressed metal / aluminium sheets .

They were favoured because they were lightweight and attractive to look at people believed they were a great mix of the look of concrete roof tile with the advantages of being lightweight .The sheets came in all colours and by now most of them have been re painted to suit the owners taste so the only way to identify them is to compare them to a picture gallery like the one in this blog post .

As you can see from the pictures, they look like a concrete tile roof at first glance but there are some tell tail signs to help you easily identify them.

  • The ridges and hips are really square as opposed to the rounded hips and ridges on tiled roofs.
  • The way the sheets are bent into the valleys with concrete roof tiles the tiles are cut and usually have a rough edge not a clean bent edge.
  • The surface of the metal tiles may be bent concrete tiles never bend.
  • The surface of the tiles have what looks like a pebble or grit coating, concrete tiles are glazed and always smooth.
  • There may be rust on the tiles, concrete tiles don’t rust.
  • There are heaps of small stone chips or grit in the gutters.

The only catch is the bitumen coating also contained deadly asbestos when these roofs get old and the stones along with the asbestos fibres start to shed. It is really common that the small pieces of grit are all through the guttering as well. These roofs are literally breaking down and becoming hazardous.

These roofs are really at the end of their lifespan now and repairs are difficult because many of them have years of abuse from foot traffic it is so easy to damage a decramastic roof if you don’t know where to position your feet and just walking on them will release asbestos fibres. The only way to know if your decramastic roof has asbestos is to get it tested in a NATA lab

What are your options if you have a decramastic roof?

  • Have it inspected by a reputable asbestos company to see if it can be encapsulated safely.
  • You may just have to have it removed if it is beyond repair, this can only be done by a qualified asbestos reputable asbestos company.
  • An asbestos removal job of this scale is far beyond the capabilities of DIY
  • Call the professionals to get it tested for asbestos.

What should we never do if you have a decramastic roof?

  • Have it water blasted.
  • Cut it with a grinder.
  • Sand it.

In Summary.

  • Decramastic roofs were installed from the 1970’s
  • Some have the grit coating that has been asbestos mixed with it.
  • You need to get it tested by a Nationally Accredited Laboratory that carries the NATA endorsement.
  • Not a DIY job to remove.
  • Never water blast it, sand it, or cut it with a grinder.
  • They come in a wide range of colours and many have been re painted.
  • You can use the pictures in this blog to easily identify them.

So, what is next?

If you even suspect that you may have a decramastic roof with asbestos coating on it the best thing to do is call the office and get us out and have a full inspection of your roof. We can give you advice on how you can make the roof safe and how to manage it in the coming years. And give you an estimate on the price to remove it safely.

Gold Coast Asbestos Removal

Gold Coast Asbestos Removal

We set out to build the best asbestos removal business on the Gold Coast and in 2019 we won a small business excellence award in, The Gold Coast Business Excellence awards we feel like we had received some hard-earned recognition for all the hard work our team put in over the years it was an award for them It’s a dirty job and we believe they are the very best at what they do . We have one of those jobs like a fireman or a police officer the job not many people are prepared to do and are glad that there are people out there prepared to keep them safe.

So why asbestos removal Gold Coast?

The Gold Coast is our home its where we live and have chosen to raise our family and start this business. After 20 years as a roof plumber, we had just had enough of roofing we were done. A career that saw us involved in so many different projects from installing patio roofs on top of high rises up to working on the roof or Robina town centre when it was being built. We were well known for our ability to solve complex problems and were sought after for our skills in fixing roof leaks. We worked for a lot of Iconic Gold Coast Businesses St Hildas school, The Southport School, The Bruce Lynton Group BMW, Range Rover, Mini , Billabong, Rix Developments, Stockland shopping centres, The Cecil Hotel in Southport and many more businesses on the Gold Coast.

After 20 years of roofing, we had enough of roofing and needed a new challenge we needed a new WHY a new reason to attack the day. We had a look at all of the work we had done and decided that asbestos removal was the most fulfilling for us, that keeping people safe was more important to us than keeping them dry. With that one word, we built a business based on keeping people safe. Every decision we make in the business is based on “Keeping people safe” it’s what we do.

We have specialised in asbestos removal to allow us to really develop our skills to provide the very best asbestos removal on the Gold Coast so whether it be.


  • Asbestos reports
  • Asbestos roof removal

  • Asbestos fence removal

  • Asbestos transport

  • Asbestos bathroom removal

  • Asbestos cladding removal

  • Asbestos commercial reports and registers

  • Asbestos wall removal

  • Asbestos ceiling removal

  • Asbestos eave removals

  • Asbestos pipe removal

  • Asbestos contaminated soil removal

  • Asbestos testing

  • Air monitoring

  • Asbestos assessments

  • Asbestos decontamination

  • Asbestos guttering removal

  • Asbestos downpipe removal

  • Asbestos flooring removal

If you need an asbestos expert on The Gold Coast call the office on 07 55 703706 to book in an inspection for a quotation today! Or call into our office at 4/55 Upton street Bundall

email admin@coastalasbestos.com.au

 

Burleigh Asbestos Removal

Burleigh Asbestos Removal

Burleigh 4220 Gold Coast is 12 km from our Bundall office we spend a lot of time in the Burleigh heads and Burleigh areas some notable job we have done in Burleigh is the safe removal of the some asbestos removal in the old Burleigh theatre arcade, we have even done a job at the Ranger station on Burleigh hill we were surprised to find that there was such a ranger station what an incredible view ,awning linings out the front of Justin Lane and the Hurley surf shop , we have also completed some asbestos reports for the Bank of Queensland Burleigh heads branch.

The job we are most proud of is the safe removal of the asbestos pipes from the sewer pump station in Burleigh heads it was the biggest test of our skills and planning abilities this job required collaboration between us and some rope technicians the job was completed for gold coast city council it took 3 weeks and to date is the most challenging job we have ever completed .

Typically, our asbestos removal jobs in Burleigh are alot simpler they include bathroom removals, asbestos fencing removal and asbestos roof removal.We have done about twenty jobs on acanthus avenue it seems to be a happy hunting ground for us asbestos eaves removal and asbestos bathroom removal seem to be the biggest jobs we do in Burleigh.

Other Asbestos Removal Services We Offer In Burleigh Heads and Burleigh Are

  • Asbestos reports
  • Asbestos roof removal
  • Asbestos fence removal
  • Asbestos transport
  • Asbestos bathroom removal
  • Asbestos cladding removal
  • Asbestos commercial reports and registers
  • Asbestos wall removal
  • Asbestos ceiling removal
  • Asbestos eave removals
  • Asbestos pipe removal
  • Asbestos eaves removal
  • Asbestos contaminated soil removal
  • Asbestos shop awning reomval
  • Asbestos testing
  • Air monotoring

If you need an asbestos expert in Burleigh call the office on 0755703706 to book in an inspection for a quotation today! Or call into our office at 4/55 Upton street Bundall e mail admin@coastalasbestos.com.au