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Health Risks and Removal of Asbestos-Containing Materials

Asbestos, a set of silicate minerals widely used in construction, has been known to cause serious health hazards. In Australia, if a structure was built prior to the complete ban of asbestos in 2003, there is a possibility that asbestos or asbestos-containing materials are present in your property.

Why Asbestos Can Mean Danger

In the late 1980s, the use of asbestos has been gradually phased out, leading to its complete ban in 2003. The main reason of its ban is the toxicity of asbestos and the illnesses it can cause, which can be acquired by mere inhalation of asbestos particles. And because these small particles can freely move in air, anyone exposed to asbestos is at risk of developing certain diseases.

Asbestosis

Asbestosis is the most common health condition caused by asbestos. This is an inflammatory disease affecting the lungs as a result of prolonged exposure to asbestos fibres and dust. Symptoms are not usually experienced until extended periods of inhaling asbestos particles. This means that if you live on a property where asbestos-containing materials are present, you may develop asbestosis without experiencing any symptom until several years later.

Mesothelioma

A rare type of cancer, mesothelioma affects the protective lining of the lungs, as caused by repeated inhalation of asbestos. Even with short durations of exposure to asbestos, people can develop mesothelioma at a later time. Those suffering from asbestosis may also be at a higher risk for developing mesothelioma.

How Do I Know If There Is Asbestos in My Property?

In most cases a visual inspection of your property may not be sufficient to determine the presence of asbestos-containing materials. However, it pays to be aware that homes built prior to the ban of asbestos, especially those before 1990, may contain materials with asbestos.

Our team at Twinspectors Building and Pest Inspections can also assist you with examining your home and checking for asbestos-containing materials. Building materials that contain asbestos include gaskets, electrical fittings, cement sheets, floor tiles and roofing products.

Can I Remove Asbestos on My Own?

Depending on the type and amount of asbestos, a licence may be required for asbestos removal work. No licence is required for removing up to 10 square metres of non-friable asbestos materials. On the other hand, a licence is required for removal of loose asbestos of any amount and non-friable asbestos that is more than 10 square metres.

Removal of asbestos is also hazardous to your health due to exposure to asbestos particles, so it is widely suggested to have the job done by licensed professionals. And to ensure that the removal of asbestos-containing materials from your home will not put anyone’s health at risk, our technicians at Twinspectors Building and Pest Inspectionsuse only high-quality equipment and safe removal techniques.

 

 

Protecting Your Home From Rat Invasion

According to recent reports, rodents are currently on the loose in major cities of Australia, including Brisbane. The sightings include both communal areas and private residences. In fact, at Twinspectors, we continue to receive more and more inquiries from our clients who are getting concerned that rats may have trespassed into their properties. And for a number of these residents, we have found that they were indeed sharing their homes with rodents.

Keep Them Out the Door

Many property owners, however, may not be aware that it isn’t just the increase in rat population that makes their home vulnerable to invasion. Rather, they may be unknowingly luring the rats into their houses.

Rodents are always on the lookout for food, water and shelter. But while they can easily rummage through the rubbish bin outdoors for leftovers, they may still keep coming back to your home for the comfort they get in your roof voids. Although, that’s not to say that food left scattered in your kitchen will not be as attractive to them.

One of the best ways to avoid rats from invading your property is to not give them a reason to come and stay. Leftovers should not be left lying around and stored food should be kept in sealed containers. Leaking water pipes must also be repaired as a constant water supply is very inviting to rats.

Another thing you’d want to consider are the access points that rats are most likely to use to enter your home. Are there any openings on the roof or ceiling? Are the spaces around your doors or windows big enough to fit even a small rodent? The entry points, however, can be difficult to find unless a thorough inspection of the property is done. This is why our team at Twinspectors recommend that owners have their homes inspected regularly.

Check For Signs

If you’re wandering around the park in the evenings, you might be one of those people who has reportedly seen rats running out and about – and this is probably one way to tell that there are rat infestations in the area. But how about in your home? How do you know if rats are already taking residence, when they might even be hiding from you most of the time?

Here are things you might find that will tell you that you are housing some rats:

Droppings and urine;

Footprints or tail swipes that might be left on dusty surfaces;

Chew marks on furniture and other wooden house items, as well as cables;

Pieces of paper or books that have been chewed on.

Getting Rid of Rats

If you suspect that your home is about to become a nest of rats, you should have your property investigated immediately. This will prevent infestations from becoming difficult to control. Even if there are no signs of infestation, an inspection will help secure your place to avoid rodents from paying you a visit.

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