Posted on: 30 August 2017
If you've recently bought an older style home, then you're most likely aware of the need for an asbestos inspection of the building materials used to construct it. Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that was used prolifically in the construction industry before it was discovered to cause certain types of lung cancer and a deadly lung disease called asbestosis.
Asbestos is harmless when it's intact, but if the material is broken or cracked, it releases the minute but incredibly harmful fibres which lodge in the tissue of the lungs and cause disease. As well as having your home checked for any materials that contain asbestos, it's also important to have your garden checked. Here are two areas of your garden where asbestos is commonly found lurking.
1. In garden beds
Your garden beds may be the last place you'd expect to find asbestos. However, it's all too common to find small pieces of it buried in the garden beds of older style homes. This can be due to rotten garden structures that have fallen to pieces and become scattered through the garden or due to the inadvertent or deliberate disposal of asbestos by burying it.
Asbestos in this form is considered the most dangerous in terms of potential exposure. The fragmented pieces allow the fibres to be released and the dry soil may have increased the brittleness and shedding of the asbestos fibres.
A qualified asbestos contractor will inspect your soil for asbestos pieces. If any are found, the garden will be comprehensively searched and all asbestos will be removed and disposed of following asbestos handling safety guidelines.
Sometimes there is a very large concentration of asbestos or the pieces are too small for manual removal. In this scenario, a contractor may recommend total asbestos soil removal.
2. In the garden shed
Like many homes built prior to the 1980s when asbestos use was banned, many garden sheds were built using materials that contain asbestos. In some garden sheds, the offending material is obvious, such as cladding for the exterior or interior lining of the shed.
However, asbestos may not always be recognisable to an untrained eye and you'll need a professional inspection to find any less apparent material. Asbestos was commonly used in items such as electrical conduit housing, light fittings, storage cupboards and guttering.
Your asbestos contractor can identify any asbestos materials and evaluate how much risk they present. They can also advise you whether removal is recommended to ensure the safety of the structure or if protective coatings to seal the surface of the material will be sufficient.Share