Is Asbestos Common in New Zealand Buildings

Is Asbestos Common in New Zealand Buildings?

Asbestos was commonly used as a building material and insulator before the dawn of fiberglass materials and sealants.  Due to its composition and usage, asbestos has become a health hazard that is present in many older buildings.

With this article, we’ll cover the most common places to find asbestos and what to do if you ever find some on your own property.  As an added bonus, we’ll also provide some useful sources for asbestos removal services and the like.

What are the possible locations for asbestos materials?

What are the possible locations for asbestos materials

Roofing and Siding Shingles

Due to its fibrous nature, asbestos was commonly added to asphalt shingles and roofing materials in order to make them more durable.  These types of asbestos products usually become hazardous when the roof or siding of a structure is damaged.  

In turn, this causes the asbestos compounds to be exposed to the elements and released.  To safely handle such occurrences, we’d recommend hiring a qualified roofing company to repair your roof and remove any asbestos products.

Insulation

As mentioned earlier, asbestos is often used for insulation in homes built between the 1930s and 1950s.  Since it was so good at slowing the transfer of heat, asbestos was used in large amounts to line the inner walls of homes.  

Unfortunately, in this form, asbestos fibers are extremely susceptible to degradation over time.  The presence of asbestos insulation will usually call for the services of a professional technician equipped with high-grade air filtration equipment.

Hot Water & Steam Pipes

Much like roofing and siding materials, asbestos was used to wrap pipes as a means of adding tensile strength and insulative properties.  So long as these pipes remain intact, there is a relatively low risk of asbestos exposure.

But if these pipes are broken or fractured in any way, this can cause the asbestos lining to degrade and release harmful fibers.  Fortunately, most plumbers are more than capable of handling such pipes and they can easily be removed after a quick inspection and consultation.

Vinyl Tiles & Linoleum

Although it was not as popular, asbestos was also used to hold vinyl and linoleum flooring together.  As with all other asbestos products, damage to old vinyl and linoleum floors can cause harmful fibers to be released.

To handle damaged flooring safely, we’d recommend enlisting the help of a building or home renovation company.  When all the harmful products have been removed, the next step is to enlist the help of a flooring specialist to install a new floor.

Though asbestos is certainly present in older structures, its declining usage in New Zealand during the 1980s has resulted in a relatively low presence of asbestos overall.  We sincerely hope you’ll keep this guide handy if you ever find asbestos or asbestos products in your home.