Asbestos Africa News Blog

Asbestos in Homes – A Guide to Identification for Property Owners

Identifying Asbestos in Your Home

In this article, we will be looking at how to identify asbestos in a building. Whether you are a first-time homeowner, or looking to buy commercial property, spotting asbestos is an important thing to do and will help keep you, your family, or staff safe.

Asbestos Management and Identifying Asbestos in a Building

Asbestos is an extremely versatile material and is commonly found in thousands of building materials also known as Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM).

Asbestos Removal

This material is used in construction because it has several useful properties which include the following:

  • Chemical resistant
  • Heat resistant
  • Fire resistant
  • Sound deafening

These properties are particularly useful in the following applications or areas:

  • Areas that require fire proofing such as:
    • Emergency exits
    • Heating systems
  • Areas that require chemical resistance such as:
    • Within pipework, plants, and boilers
  • Areas that require sound deafening such as:
    • Anywhere there is a noisy area next to a quiet area

In November 2006, asbestos was banned for use in building materials in South Africa. However, buildings that were constructed before this date are likely to contain asbestos and therefore, educating the public on asbestos remains a relevant topic.

The unfortunate reality is that, despite the asbestos ban in South Africa, there have been several reports of asbestos being found in properties that have been built after November 2006.

Asbestos exists in three main types of fibre for commercial use: blue, brown, and white. However, to the untrained eye, it’s almost impossible to identify the presence of asbestos without using specific testing and analysis procedures.

If you are a homeowner, it’s advised to make use of an asbestos company in South Africa to carry out a comprehensive assessment of your property to establish whether or not asbestos is in fact present in your home.

Asbestos Testing in South Africa

The following is the process of testing for asbestos in South Africa:

  1. A trained and qualified asbestos expert will carry out a visual inspection of the property which is conducted using a flashlight
  2. The asbestos company or professional will take a sample for testing and analysis. This is done by collecting a sample size of 1cm by 1cm of the suspected ACM
  3. A safe technique is used to collect the sample, along with protective equipment
  4. The sample is sent to an accredited asbestos testing center or laboratory
  5. The asbestos consultant will then provide feedback with an asbestos survey report which details the risk rating of the ACM as well as recommendations for the homeowner to carry out safe asbestos management or removal depending on the risk factor

Property owners who are intending to carry out renovations or demolition of a building, it’s important to request a Type 3 asbestos survey on the property. For those who are just looking to establish the presence of asbestos in their buildings, a Type 2 asbestos survey will be sufficient.

Asbestos & Building Compliance Services – Asbestos Company South Africa

There is no need to panic if you discover that your home or building contains asbestos. As a professional, qualified asbestos compliance company in South Africa, we have all the knowledge and expertise necessary to advise you on the safety measures you can implement.

Contact us to find out more.


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