Top ten locations women renovators will find asbestos during their renovation

Are you renovating at the moment or planning your next one?  Here are the top ten places women should check for Asbestos Containing Material before we start any renovations.


1. Roof sheets – start by checking out your roof which you can usually do from a distance, look for the corrugated pattern.

2. Gutters and down pipes – plumbers are some of the people most affected by mesothelioma as it was throughout the pipes they’d work with.

3. Eaves – these are the usually white sheets that visible where the roof line overhangs the walls.

4. Wall sheets – generally referred to as Fibro cladding some external wall coverings are in fact constructed with asbestos throughout.

5. Fences – a traditional pattern of six corrugations is the give away hence the name super six fencing

6. Sheds and outbuildings like car ports, garages and keep an eye out for things like old chook sheds, dog houses where people have used recycled materials

7. Stored materials and debris, be wary of building debris dumped under the house during old renovations or stored down the side of the house or if you dig it up in the garden. Asbestos can be expensive to dispose of and people may hide or bury the material instead.


8. Internal wall and ceiling linings – especially in or near heat or water so kitchens and bathrooms and around chimneys or heaters you are likely to find asbestos sheets behind tiles or wallpaper

9.  Vinyl flooring – it may be hidden under layers of added flooring materials installed over he years. Asbestos can be in both the vinyl sheet material as well as the tacky glue it was installed with.

10. Internal plumbing, vents, lagging and anything like insulating materials around Hot Water Services.

So what to do if you find or suspect Asbestos? I’ll cover this in my next post but in the meantime here are the first aid strategies I apply when I discover or suspect Asbestos.


1) Assume it is asbestos and treat it like it is

2) Remove yourself from the area and wash yourself and your tools down with water, the biggest risk is inhalation.

3) Isolate the area and let other people on site or tradies that are coming or going know it’s suspected ACM

Then contact someone like Jim’s Building Inspections on 131546, they can send someone out to take a sample safely and get it tested. It’s more affordable than going through an environmental hygienist or lab and just as well insured and reliable – trust me I literally wrote the procedure on this one!!

Remember this problem is most likely to exist in homes constructed pre 1990s which is unfortunately still the largest portion of Australian housing stock.

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About Suzanne Commerford

Suzanne has stepped out from behind the desk of Australia's largest home inspection business to build the skills, confidence and independence of women to tackle maintenance and home improvement projects around the home.

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