Accounting for asbestos
Though it’s been months since Airsafe first reported on the Mr Fluffy insulation scandal, Australian homeowners are continuing to come forward to share their concerns. While a Commonwealth cleanup program between 1988 and 1993 was thought to have fixed the problem in 1,049 homes, it seems that fibres have since been found, affecting a number of innocent occupants.
As a result, everyday Australians are becoming increasingly worried about the safety of their properties, concerned they too may have been exposed to deadly asbestos fibres.
So far about 500 people associated with Mr Fluffy homes have registered with the asbestos task force established by the ACT Government to help them gain support. But it looks like the problem goes beyond the ACT. Recently, a parliamentary report found more than 5,300 NSW homes may be riddled with loose-fill asbestos, recommending that the state government should buy and demolish all affected homes.
Amid the scandal, many homeowners remain unsure if their properties contain asbestos. For these residents, knowing what to do or where to get support can be hard. While getting a sample tested for asbestos is a wise thing to do, the process can be confusing. With so many contractors now offering (supposed) certified asbestos testing services, how do you know who to trust? And where to spend your money?
What is asbestos testing?
The only way to determine whether the materials of your house contain asbestos is to have testing carried out by an accredited professional company, such as Airsafe. Testing is conducted using specialised microscopes. The scientific explanation is that this examination confirms if the fibres are composed of structured crystal lattice that exhibits refractive index within a specified range. But to put it in layperson’s terms, the materials of your home are looked at closely to determine if they might be dangerous to your wellbeing.
Because the process is so complex, when hiring a professional to carry out testing, it’s vital you ensure that the asbestos testing laboratory is accredited by the National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA). This will ensure that the laboratory is the highest quality and that the report you receive can be trusted.
How much will it cost?
The amount you spend on having your home tested for asbestos will vary depending upon which company (or laboratory) you choose to engage. Given the rise in asbestos related illness in Australia, the market for testing services has grown. However, not all asbestos testing companies are created equal.
In the case of some companies, their “low prices” often include hidden extras that make the final price of your testing a lot more expensive than you’d originally assumed. These hidden extras can include:
- Surprise surcharges: Some companies will charge you up to 100% more for a fast turnaround. Original quotes are often based on a 5-day turnout, and if you want your results sooner, you will have to pay. But who wants to wait a week to find out if they have asbestos? And why should you pay more for common sense efficiency?
- Administration batch fees: An administration batch fee can be charged whenever a homeowner sends in their asbestos sample. These extra costs are often not included in the initial quote price.
- Minimum reporting fees: Simply put, minimum reporting fees make it more expensive to have a single sample tested. So, while one sample might cost $50 to be tested, the company may insist on a minimum of three samples being submitted for analysis by their lab.
- Excess charges: If your sample exceeds a particular size or weight, the company could charge you extra. But here at Airsafe, we believe that testing for asbestos should be simple and affordable. This is why we charge a single, low flat fee per sample tested—no matter what the size.
Asbestos testing shouldn’t break the bank
Asbestos testing should be a simple and affordable process. Since the collection of your sample can be carried out by you (using tools purchased at your local hardware store), the delivery of the sample and its analysis is all that’s left to do. Certain companies however, with hidden fees here and mysterious dues there, make the process a much greater financial burden.
But at Airsafe, we make it simple. We charge a single, low flat fee per sample tested. It’s the same price per sample whether you’re having one sample tested or 10, and we offer fast turnaround times for every sample — at no extra cost. After all, you wouldn’t charge a diner more for wanting their meal on time, why would you charge a client more for expecting a timely result?
To check Airsafe’s current price for asbestos sample testing, please call us on (02) 9555 9034.
Does your home need asbestos testing?
If your house was built before the 1990s, it is likely to contain some form of asbestos material or product (unless it has been removed by a previous owner). As a result of the varied uses of asbestos, there are multiple places it can be found around the home. For this reason, the Australian Government have put together the brochure Identifying Asbestos in Your Home, a comprehensive resource designed to educate homeowners on the potential dangers in their house.
Collecting a sample yourself is a great option if there’s a particular material you suspect of containing asbestos, but if you’re planning general renovations or just want the maximum peace of mind, your best option is to engage Airsafe for a full-scale asbestos inspection. Our experienced inspectors will give your home a thorough going-over and collect any suspect materials for testing.
If you suspect that your home could be affected by asbestos, it’s important to try to identify the risks before it’s too late. Storm damage, home renovation, and general wear and tear can all lead to asbestos fibres becoming airborne in your home, endangering your health and wellbeing.
Airsafe, asbestos and you
The only definitive way to tell if there is asbestos in your home is through a sample analysis under microscopic examination. Here at Airsafe, we own a fully-equipped asbestos testing laboratory, ensuring that:
- Sample analysis results are provided as quickly as possible, without any shortcuts in the testing process.
- Airsafe asbestos inspectors are free to take any samples needed during the asbestos inspection process, without having to worry about the costs of third-party testing.
- All our laboratory staff are highly trained, so your asbestos testing is conducted by experienced experts.
Airsafe is more than just an asbestos testing lab, we’re Sydney’s most experienced asbestos consultancy. For over three decades, we’ve been conducting asbestos surveys and air monitoring and clearance inspections. Not only do we service households, we’re fully equipped to inspect and test large corporations and government departments. WorkCover NSW even uses our documentation as an example of industry best practice. When it comes to testing for asbestos in your home, there’s no one better qualified to help than Airsafe.
If you’re concerned that your home could contain asbestos, get in touch today. Give us a call on (02) 9555 9034 and we’ll talk you through how to get your sample to us.