How much does asbestos testing cost?

How much does asbestos testing cost?

How much does asbestos testing cost?

Asbestos testing can save you thousands of dollars and may very well save your life asbestos, if left alone and maintained safely, poses no threat to your health. Pre-purchase asbestos testing can save you from getting stuck with an asbestos money pit. Workplace Health and Safety states that “homes built before 1990 may contain asbestos”. And “One in three Australian homes may contain asbestos”. Asbestos has been used for thousands of years for all sorts of things, it could be moulded into shapes, woven into fabrics and asbestos was used in over 3000 products and in the 1920’s it was used in a broad form and made its way into Australian homes twenty years later in the 1240’s.

The basic ingredients of asbestos sheeting found in your home are sand, cement, water and asbestos shards. When mixed together, these ingredients made really strong and flexible water, a fire-resistant product that was lightweight, easy to use, chemically inert and electrically inert. Asbestos was known as the miracle mineral. When these sheets are cut, broken, sanded, water blasted or filed; the asbestos shards break into millions of asbestos fibres. These fibres are so small that they get into the deepest parts of your lungs and cause diseases like mesaphelemonia, asbestosis, and various other cancers with no cures.

Getting suspected asbestos sheeting tested is the only way to know 100% whether you have asbestos. The only way of testing for asbestos that is recognised Australia wide is in a NATA laboratory. This stands for National Accredited Testing Authority Laboratory. This system was developed and is regulated by the OPEC nations to ensure best laboratory practices are followed and a standard of testing procedures used to produce reliable results globally. You can rest assured it is the gold standard in testing for asbestos globally and ensures consistent, reliable results.

All that said, how much does asbestos testing cost?
Obviously, it varies from lab to lab and region to region and whether you DIY ( not recommended) or engage a professional to come to your home safely, harvest a sample and package it up and label it correctly for the high standards required by the NATA laboratory. The price can range from $60.00 to as high as $350.00 +GST. These prices may contain just one sample or multiple samples; currently, Coastal Asbestos rates are $165.00 for the first sample, then $77.00 for each sample. After that, if there are more samples of ten plus, we would negotiate a low rate on request for a total sample package.

So what do you get for your money? 

Do it yourself asbestos testing (not recommended)
You can DIY this is the riskiest way and may end up the most expensive basically because, without experience and training, you may be harvesting building products that have never had asbestos used in their manufacture. You also may harvest a sample that is too big or too small for the lab to handle. You will have to spend time and money purchasing the right equipment, protective equipment, packaging materials and learn how to fill out the paperwork correctly so that you get the right paperwork back from the lab. There is a huge risk you may expose yourself to asbestos and contaminate your family home with the method you use to harvest the sample and how you leave the site of the sample once it has been harvested. You also have to hassle of driving the samples to the NATA laboratory yourself because it’s illegal to post asbestos in the mail.

Engaging a professional like Coastal Asbestos.
You get all the benefits of over twenty-five years of experience in the industry that can help you find out if you even have anything in your home that may contain asbestos. Over many years of experience working on thousands of jobs, we have learned that every job is different, and asbestos can be lurking anywhere; you would not believe the places asbestos turns up in family homes. We have complied an eighty-eight point checklist to train our technicians and where asbestos can be lurking in family homes and commercial buildings. We are constantly updating our database of asbestos locations; our skilled technicians can assess asbestos-containing materials for the likelihood of it being friable or non-friable and ensure there is no risk of contamination to the rest of the building.

Asbestos sampling is just like every part of the industry. There is no room for DIY enthusiasts. It’s just not safe. Call our office today. We are constantly traveling around our service area and can usually get there that day.

The ultimate guide to asbestos testing ,10 things you need to know about asbestos testing!

The ultimate guide to asbestos testing ,10 things you need to know about asbestos testing!

Asbestos testing is about knowing 100% weather you have Asbestos or not and if you do, knowing weather it is friable or non-friable it can be the difference in thousands of dollars in the costs of removal. This ultimate guide is designed to help you make an informed decision about whether asbestos testing is going to deliver the certainty you need.

Asbestos products have been in use in buildings since the 1800’s mainly for fire proofing in commercial buildings it wasn’t until the 1920’s when the first cement based asbestos products were manufactured in Australia and they found their way into housing construction in the 1940’s

Asbestos was commonly used in the building and construction industry until it’s total ban in 1985 and The Australian Government Department of Health recommends treating any building built before 1990 as suspicious because builders were running out stocks of asbestos sheeting well after the ban.

Asbestos can be lurking anywhere in these homes and with older homes that predate asbestos they quite often have had many renovations during the asbestos era. The good news is we can safely test for Asbestos in a NATA laboratory.

Asbestos testing requires the location and harvesting of a sample of suspected Asbestos. Without knowing the correct safe harvesting method, you can be putting yourself at risk, and many not harvest enough of a sample for testing. It’s definitely not recommended by Coastal Asbestos to attempt such a risky undertaking, especially when we have highly skilled technicians trained in the identification, harvesting and the correct documentation procedures required by the laboratory.

Asbestos testing FAQ

It sounds expensive do I really need it?

The prepurchase stage of buying a home is a great time to get some testing and an audit completed. Asbestos testing can save you from buying an asbestos money pit.

Is it important to get testing done before a renovation?

Most reputable builders will insist on asbestos testing before demo works are carried out because Asbestos can be lurking anywhere in older homes.

A lot of companies online are saying we can post them the results. Is this even legal?

No, it’s illegal to send Asbestos through the post. Australia post classifies Asbestos as a Class 9 Hazardous product, and it cannot be sent by mail. It’s illegal and reckless, and it puts everyone in the postal network at risk.

Can anybody test for Asbestos?

Absolutely not NATA laboratory testing is the only form of asbestos testing recognised in Queensland. All other methods, including handheld infrared analysers, are not recognised by Queensland Health, local councils, courts, reputable asbestos removal companies.

What’s NATA laboratory testing, and how do they test?

The two main methods of testing for Asbestos in A NATA laboratory are.

Polarised light microscopy (PLM)

Dispersion Staining (DS) techniques

NATA stands for National Association of Testing Authorities and has been the leading accreditation for over 70 years. It offers accreditation for many internationally recognised standards and the only way to know if your results have been tested in an accredited lab.

Can I do a sample myself?

There is no safe level of exposure of Asbestos, and untrained persons should never mess with Asbestos.

What can go wrong with asbestos testing?

When testing Asbestos, it’s required that a sample must be removed from a part of a building this often requires breaking the sheet and them sealing it , if you are reckless and damage some friable asbestos sheeting you can release millions of asbestos fibres into your home and if the sheet is not sealed properly after a sample is harvested this remains hazardous ,it’s definitely a job for trained professionals .

How do I get the information?

Because we only use NATA laboratories you will get a certificate of analysis e mailed to you it will show the location of the test and weather it is positive or negative, the type of Asbestos and information on whether it is friable or non-friable.

How long am I going to have to wait for my results?

We can get you same-day results if we can get to the laboratory by noon.

Why choose Coastal Asbestos?

Coastal Asbestos only uses NATA accredited laboratories and is the trusted name in Asbestos on the Gold Coast. Jason Spaull, our director, has over 25 years’ experience with asbestos removal and has been involved in thousands of asbestos removal projects. Coastal Asbestos have even won a Workplace health and safety excellence award and a Gold Coast Business excellence award.

We are the number one professional asbestos company on the Gold Coast that is proud of its track record for excellence. Our mission is to eradicate Asbestos-related disease in Australia. We do this by educating the public and always striving to improve our methods therefore we are the trusted name in Asbestos you have been looking for. We have a 4018 accredited Safety management system.

  • We don’t illegally post samples!
  • We are highly trained how to safely harvest samples.
  • We don’t use unrecognised testing methods.
  • We have over 25 years’ experience dealing with Asbestos.
  • We have processed thousands of samples.
  • We are a multi-award-winning business.
  • We are accredited 4018 Safety management system.
  • We will supply you with a laboratory certificate of analysis.
  • We can give you quotes quickly because we are aware of your needs.
nata 150x150 - The ultimate guide to asbestos testing ,10 things you need to know about asbestos testing!
The ultimate guide to replacing your asbestos roof!

The ultimate guide to replacing your asbestos roof!

Many homes and commercial buildings in Australia have asbestos roofing. It was a standard roofing material for many reasons right up till 1985, when The Australian government banned the use of asbestos in the housing and construction industry. Work safe Australia believes there were asbestos roofs still being installed as late as 1990. The excellent news about asbestos roofs is that they are easy to spot to the trained professional.

What is the lifespan of an asbestos roof?
Builders and homeowners favoured asbestos roofing products because of their long lifespan of 30 to 50 years. Like all building products, you must maintain them, especially roofs. The harsh Australian climate punishes everything, and asbestos roofs are no exception. Burning sun, hail, and storms all play a massive role in making asbestos roofs dangerous and shortening their lifespan hail. It’s time to replace your asbestos roof!

When should we replace our asbestos roof?
The simple answer is NOW. Asbestos roof removal, and new roof replacement is not getting any cheaper. We see climbing waste levy for asbestos dumping, rising labour prices, and increases in new roofing materials skyrocket. The longer you wait, the more it will cost you; trying to get a few more years out of your asbestos roof is a false economy. There is always a surge of asbestos roof replacements between December and March because of storms when people start panicking about their roof and the approaching storm season. It is always better to plan your asbestos roof removal at any other time of the year because there is always a shortage of skilled trades due to storm season.

What are the benefits of replacing my asbestos roof?
Asbestos roofs are dangerous because they are continually releasing asbestos fibres both from the rooftop and inside the roof cavity. Once an asbestos roof is removed by a qualified professional, your family home is safer.
Asbestos was heavily favoured for roofing because it was seen back in the day as being thermally efficient. We have a much higher standard for thermal efficiency today asbestos roofing would not pass current energy rating standards for construction. There is likely no insulation under it, making your home hotter in summer and colder in winter, costing you more in heating and cooling costs. It costs you a fortune to keep your asbestos roof!
It’s just ugly and off-putting to potential buyers; a roof on a house is 30% of the street appeal, and having an old dangerous asbestos roof can dramatically reduce the value of your home and its saleability. Many new buyers will use the fact that the house has an asbestos roof that needs replacing as a bargaining chip to reduce the price up to as much as thirty to forty thousand dollars.

In Summary:

  • Asbestos roofs are dangerous.
  • Asbestos roofs are way past their lifespan.
  • Asbestos roofs are costing you a fortune.
  • Only qualified professionals should be engaged to remove asbestos roofs.
  • The best time of the year to plan an asbestos roof is between April to October.

If you need an asbestos roof removed, get in contact with the office today!

The ultimate guide to replacing your asbestos roof bottom - The ultimate guide to replacing your asbestos roof!
A Case study of how a roof leak ending up costing $250,000.00 and left a family homeless!

A Case study of how a roof leak ending up costing $250,000.00 and left a family homeless!

A Case study of how a roof leak ending up costing $250,000.00 and left a family homeless!

We attended a family home after a huge storm when an asbestos roof leaked, and the family home was pretty much flooded. This house had an asbestos roof and our company policy is if the roof leak is from an asbestos roof we have to get the interior of the home assessed by a qualified asbestos assessor. Her investigation revealed the entire home was now contaminated with asbestos and was uninhabitable. The owners were now forced to relocate until remediation works could take place, and that all they had left from their family home was the clothes on their backs, they were left with nothing.

Asbestos roofs are continually releasing asbestos fibres into the atmosphere, especially if they are unsealed. Most of this is blown away by the wind. What most people don’t realise is that when the asbestos roof was first installed by the roofers, hundreds of holes were drilled into the asbestos roof sheets to screw it to the roof battens. Most of this would have just fallen to the floor as the ceiling would not have been installed until the roof was laid. However, much of this was left on the roof battens and is still in the ceiling space of many homes. Asbestos roofs are also overlapped together to create a waterproof seal. When a building moves with the forces of high winds in storms, more deadly fibers are released.

The entire contents of the home were contaminated beyond salvage and had to be disposed of as asbestos waste. Everything clothing, couches, Tv, appliances, carpets, family photos, even the artwork hanging on the walls all that was left when we finished was an empty home.

The owners were so shocked that they decided to have the whole home stripped of all asbestos, including the roof, guttering, eaves, wall and ceiling linings, a total strip out costing tens of thousands of dollars, leaving them with a shell of a house. This house is their family home; their kids had grown up here; they had friends in the street. Relocating was not an option. They decide that they never wanted to have to worry about asbestos again in their family home. It took a few months to finish the get the house back together but being able to live where you love and not having to be worried about asbestos was 100% worth it for them. In a way, the roof leak was a blessing in disguise. All be it an expensive one. Insurance covered a lot of the financial costs of the storm created damage, but the material possessions are gone forever.

All this could have been avoided if people get their asbestos roof removed before things get out of hand. If you need help or advice on what to do about your asbestos roof, call the office today we are ready to take your calls.

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.