Management Consultancy Training. Asbestos Materials. Residential Guide

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1 Asbestos Materials Residential Guide This guide highlights some of the more common asbestos containing materials (ACMs) in low occupancy residential buildings, their uses and likely locations. The guide is designed for builders, renovators, trades people and home owners, to help identify ACMs and prevent asbestos exposure. Tel. (03) Web.

2 Asbestos Materials Floor Areas Asbestos containing materials (ACMs) are commonplace in most homes and workplaces built prior to circa 1980, most will have ACMs in the building structure, associated with services and equipment, or as furnishings and finishes. Recent History Although asbestos has been used in many applications for thousands of years, during the industrial revolution ACMs began to find use as insulation, fireproofing and other industrial applications. After World War 2, mass production moulding techniques for making asbestos cement products made it the material of choice for the post war building boom. An expanding and increasingly diversified manufacturing industry during this time called for use of ACMs as components in manufacturing equipment and end consumer products. Asbestos use peaked in Australia circa 1975, tailing off in the early 1980 s until only limited uses remained after Those limited uses included friction products/brake linings and gaskets where it was difficult to find suitable replacement materials. A complete ban on the new installation of ACMs, their sale, re-use and importation was legislated on 31 December Asbestos was used in flooring applications due to its durability, waterproof qualities, and the ease and low cost of levelling floor surfaces for other materials to be laid. Cement Sheet Asbestos cement sheet found a common use below ceramic and stone floor tiles in wet areas. Cement sheets were also often laid below hearth tiles, boilers, heaters, fires and ovens. Vinyl Backing Older style vinyl flooring sheets often have an asbestos paper backing, usually white or grey but potentially other colours. Other backings, e.g. bitumen, may be ACM. Asbestos is still commercially used in countries including Russia, China, India and Brazil and, despite the Australian importation ban in 2003, ACMs can still find their way into the local marketplace. Asbestos Cement As a hard wearing, weather and waterproof, fire resistant, strong, electrically nonconductive, heat and acoustic insulating material, asbestos cement was used for many applications, including water & sewage pipes, conduits and services pits laid below ground. Corrugated cement sheets were used for fencing, roofing and external walls of factories and other buildings, while flat cement sheets were used externally and more often internally as ceilings, walls, flooring and panelling. Other notable uses of asbestos cement include flue pipes, guttering and drainage, roof tiles and structural shuttering or packing. Asbestos cement sheets come in a variety of colours, and may be hard materials or softer and similar to a layered cardboard. Vinyl Floor Tiles Asbestos vinyl tiles can be found in many sizes and colours. They are typically thicker and more brittle than non-asbestos tiles. Right: Asbestos vinyl floor tiles & asbestos cement sheet below boiler. Hessian Underlay Above: Example of asbestos backed vinyl flooring. Right: White asbestos paper backing. In the past, raw asbestos fibres were transported in hessian bags between asbestos mills and factories making them into ACMs. Although relatively uncommon, there were instances of the bags being cut up and recycled as carpet underlay.

3 Ceilings & Walls Walls Flat asbestos cement sheet was an ideal material for ceilings and walls in the home. Cement sheet walls and ceilings can sometimes be identified by visible characteristics. Multiple Panels with joining strips Raised Nail Heads Grey in colour (maybe tinged other colours) Textured Surface ( golf ball dimples, or a more subtle cross hatched pattern) Visible Fibre Bundles at broken edges Ceilings Walls Ceilings in wet and hot areas, such as kitchens, bathrooms, laundries, boiler cupboards and garages, were often made of cement sheet. Internal ceilings to extensions may be asbestos cement sheet. Cement sheet is also found as panels to around flue pipes and electrics, or as loft and access hatches. Internal walls in extensions, outbuildings and hot areas (laundries, boiler cupboards, kitchens, garages etc.) may be flat cement sheet. Sometimes only parts of individual walls or wall panels may be ACM. Tiled Walls Laminated Panels Asbestos cement sheet designed for wet areas was often plastic laminated in a variety of colours and patterns. Other Panels Cement sheet panels can also be found to walls around hot equipment or electrics, as window in-fills, access panels, or as a filling and covering for gaps and holes. Cement sheet was often used as a backing surface for wall tiles, in wet or dry areas. Whole walls may be cement sheet. More often however, the cement sheet is only behind tiled sections, even for small areas such as sink splashbacks. Left: Cement sheet behind tiles, plaster walls above.

4 Heating Equipment Heating Equipment Heat insulating and fireproofing properties of asbestos meant common use of ACMs around fires, boilers, ovens and other hot or heating equipment. Panels & Linings Asbestos cement sheet backing boards and panels may be used around equipment, as linings to vents or to protect and insulate walls, ceilings and floors from heat or fire. ACMs can also be found connected to, or as components of heating equipment. Cement Flue Pipes Asbestos cement flue pipes are very common to heating equipment. They may be visible or concealed in walls, fireplaces or chimneys. Pipes can often be seen in the loft and externally to the roof or high level walls. Left: Cement flue pipe (and cement sheet walls). Gaskets & Seals Above: Asbestos cement lining oven extraction vent. Cement sheet panel to fance adjacent heater. Different types of asbestos gaskets can be found may be found in heating or hot equipment. Asbestos rope or millboard gaskets are typically found around doors, access panels and windows. Above: Cement sheet (decorative brick) fireplace. Asbestos cement (decorative brick) hearth sheet. Right: Rope gasket (white) to gas fire window. External Insulation Asbestos insulation covering boilers, heaters and pipes is less common, but may be present in low occupancy buildings. Examples include woven blankets or lagging, asbestos filled blankets, pre-formed sections and hand applied hard-set material. Internal Insulation ACM Insulation can be found within heating equipment, between inner and outer casings or as a lining to internal surfaces. Above: Recessed wall heater. Asbestos cement sheet lining to wall heater recess. Above: Boiler and cement flue pipe in loft. Right: White asbestos insulation below boiler cover.

5 Electrical Electrical Being non-conductive and fireproof, ACMs were used in and around electrics. ACMs may be visible around electrical equipment, or as components hidden inside. Fuse Boxes & Boards A variety of ACMs may be found in fuse boxes. Cement sheet lining (back, sides or door) (Right). Black resin boards behind fuses/electrics (Right & below). Millboard (white, papery) lining. Woven pads behind larger ceramic fuses (Below). ACMs in fuse boxes are often damaged or disturbed due to replacement of equipment and cabling. Light Fittings Light fittings, in particular oyster shell types, can contain ACMs. ACM pads (Right above light globe). ACM washers (Below - white). Wire insulation (Below right). Oyster lights can be found inside, or outside to eaves and porch ceilings. Wire Insulation Similar ACMs may be found near or around electrics in other areas of the home. Asbestos wire insulation may be found in older electrical equipment. (See Light Fittings) Below: Woven wire insulation Gaskets & Seals Various asbestos gaskets may be present to access covers or internal parts. Above: Asbestos rope gasket between equipment parts (top of photo). Other Electrical Rope. Millboard. Paper. Compressed sheet. Other ACMs were used within electrical equipment including insulation, insulating board or paper, cement components and linings, or bitumen coatings and pads to casings or components.

6 Loft & Underfloor External - Roof Lofts & underfloor areas can conceal ACMs as building features, debris or stored items. Loft Areas Heating equipment and electrics may be located in the loft, with associated ACMs (refer to Heating Equipment and Electrical sections). ACM debris from building works and damaged materials, typically cement products, can often be found in loft including flue pipe and cement sheet sections or debris. Loose asbestos loft insulation is not common in residential buildings, but can be found in some cases. Asbestos cement sheet roof features may be accessible from the loft. Underfloor As with loft areas, heating equipment and electrics may be present below the floor. Asbestos cement sheet often proved to be handy for filling gaps between floors and joists, as packing on house piles or shuttering in wall vents. Cement sheet formwork may have been left in place. Right: Cement sheet shuttering to top of wall vent. As durable and weatherproof materials, asbestos cement products were often used on and around the roof. Eaves & Canopies Fascias & Extensions Vertical panels, in-fills and walls to roof extensions are often cement sheet. Any flat sheet roof features may be asbestos cement. Roof Tiles & Felts Asbestos cement sheet eaves are amongst the most common ACM uses in residential property. Porch ceilings, canopies or other overhanging roof elements may be made of or lined with asbestos cement sheet. Imitation slate roof tiles (left) are often asbestos cement material. Above: Cement sheet packing (left) in concrete foundations. Above: Cement sheet debris below floor. ACM debris, typically from cement building products, is often present below the house and mains water, drains and sewage pipes can be made from asbestos cement. Guttering & Drainage Preformed cement guttering, drain pipes and other roof area rainwater goods are typically ACM. Lichen and moss growth is usually a visible feature of cement roof features. Bitumen roof felts and coverings may also contain asbestos fibres.

7 External Areas External Areas Asbestos materials can be found in many external locations. Imitation Timber & Brick Imitation brick sheets, with a lower cement sheet layer, and timber effect moulded (cement sheet) planks are used to clad homes and outbuildings. External structural elements or materials associated with services, such as gas, water, telecoms or electricity may be ACM. Drainage Drains, drain collars and pipes are often made of asbestos cement. Right: Timber effect fence plank. Below: Cement sheet planks. Below right: Brick effect cladding. Outbuilding Walls & Roofs Fencing & Wall Panels Corrugated, flat or moulded asbestos cement sheets are used for fencing. Flat asbestos cement sheet was used to create feature walls, with tile or stone cladding on top. Right: Moulded trellis fence. Flat or corrugated cement sheet used as walls and roofs to sheds, outhouses, and garages. Individual walls, wall sections and panels may be different materials or different types of cement sheet. Left: Flat cement sheet walls and roof to shed. Above: Asbestos cement mains drain pipe. Right: Asbestos cement drain collar (filled with non-acm). ACM Debris Other Uses Compressed sheet gaskets to gas mains. Structural shuttering in letterboxes, BBQs, etc. Moulded cement telecoms and services pits. Asbestos material debris is common to surface and below ground areas. The most common types of ACM found as debris and contamination are cement materials. The source of debris may be obvious, such as a damaged outbuilding wall, or from historical disturbance of ACMs at the site.

8 Other Materials Asbestos has been made into many thousands of different materials throughout its long history of use. This residential asbestos guide only highlights some of the more common uses of asbestos containing materials in a low density, residential building. Other asbestos materials may be present in residential sites. High rise residential buildings and other types of site are likely to contain additional ACMs. Mastics & Adhesives Asbestos was sometimes mixed with resins or tar to make adhesives to stick flooring, wall tiles and external coverings such as roofing felts. Right: Asbestos mastic patches below roof felt. Fillers, Putties & Plasters Asbestos hole and crack fillers. Decorative/fireproof/sound or heat insulating plasters for walls and ceilings. Putties for sealing edges of windows and doors. Bitumen Materials ACMs can be used as bitumen pads to the underside of sinks (acoustic insulation) damp proofing to stumps or brickwork, or as pipe and cable insulation and sealants. Above: Bitumen pad to building stump. Right: Bitumen pad below sink. Sample Testing If there are doubts whether or not a material contains asbestos a sample should be analysed by an appropriately accredited laboratory or, the material presumed asbestos and managed accordingly.

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