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Asbestos is a fibrous silicate material previously used in construction and industry. Asbestos is now banned in Australia and must be removed from buildings because of the dangerous health effects of breathing in asbestos fibres/ dust. Brisbane City Council says only licenced contractors should remove or break asbestos fibres.
Asbestos is made from mostly silicon and oxygen and is found naturally as bundles of fibres in soils and rocks. There are two types of asbestos based on formation: chrysotile, or ‘white’ asbestos; and amphibole asbestos. White asbestos was most commonly used in construction because of its spiral formation, which makes it highly durable and heat resistant. However, because these fibres are too small to see, can be breathed in, and are made of silicon, they are highly toxic.
White Asbestos can be further broken down in construction as friable – or non-bonded – asbestos, or non-friable – or bonded – asbestos. Friable asbestos was used in objects you might consider fragile, such as paper products, vinyl sheets, patching compounds, fire blankets and sprayed insulation. When dry, friable asbestos can be easily powdered and therefore dangerous. Non-friable asbestos is asbestos mixed into cement, used for roofing, ceiling and flooring. Non-friable asbestos is harder to break down and thus should be lower on your removal priorities than friable asbestos.
It is illegal to use asbestos in Australia, but it was previously used for cement sheets and pipes, clutch and brake linings, insulation, building materials, boilers, electrical fittings, gaskets, floor tiles, plastics, textiles and other products. Your building could have asbestos in it if it was constructed before 2003. If you suspect your building may have asbestos in it, get the material analysed then removed. iSeekplant offers asbestos removal services.
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It is difficult to tell whether asbestos has been used in your building material, but if you can see fibrous fuzz or strands in the air, the building is dangerous and should only be approached by a licenced contractor or asbestos removal specialist. If your building was constructed before 2003, it may have asbestos in it. But it is most likely that your building has asbestos in it if it was constructed before 1980. After that, the younger it is the less likely it was constructed with asbestos. It is recommended if your building was constructed before 2003 that you presume your building has asbestos in it as a precautionary measure. You can then get the material analysed and removed.
Asbestos is banned today in Australia. It is illegal to import, buy, sell, supply, install or re-use asbestos. But that doesn’t mean all buildings are free of it; asbestos is still found in commercial and residential buildings constructed before 2003.
The average minimum cost for an asbestos removal job based on research from Asbestos Removal Brisbane, AirTasker and hipages is around $1750. Beyond that, pricing depends on the material you have to remove and the size of that material. Average Pricing
-$25 to $50 for removal of one sheet of asbestos fencing
$40 to $100 for removal of a square metre of asbestos ceiling
$1500 to $2500 for removal of eaves
$1000 to $1500 for removal of internal cladding for a single room
$4000 to $5000 for removal of external cladding
$100 to $900 for removal of asbestos flooring depending on the square metres that need to be removed
$187/tonne on average to remove asbestos from soil.
Per Square Metre
$90 to $160 per metre for removing asbestos fencing
$80 to $110 per square metre for removing roofing
$40 to $100m2 for ceilings
$80 to $110 per square metre for external cladding
$70 to $100 per square metre for internal cladding
$50 to $80 per metre for eaves
$100 per square metre for vinyl flooring