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Asbestos FAQs

Below are answers to a handful of common frequently asked questions. For expert advice and guidance surrounding potential asbestos in your property contact Auckland Asbestos Surveys.

Asbestos is a mineral fiber. In the past, asbestos was added to a variety of products to strengthen them and to provide heat insulation and fire resistance.

Asbestos that is in good condition and left undisturbed is unlikely to present a health risk. The risks from asbestos occur when it is damaged or disturbed where asbestos fibers become airborne and can be inhaled. Managing asbestos in place and maintaining it in good repair is often the best approach.

It became illegal to import blue and brown asbestos into the country in its raw form from 1984. Asbestos-containing products (also known as ACMs) in New Zealand at the time were used until supplies ran out.

On 1 October 2016, it became illegal to import asbestos-containing products into New Zealand.

The only way to be sure whether a material contains asbestos is to have it tested by a qualified and trained asbestos technician (inspector) such as Auckland Asbestos Surveys.

It is especially important to have materials tested if they are damaged/fraying or if you are planning a renovation

Some of the most common building materials used in New Zealand that contain Asbestos include…

  • Textured coatings – a soft matrix of a variety of materials, including Asbestos, usually sprayed onto surfaces to provide a decorative effect.
  • Flooring – Some vinyls and linoleum may incorporate Asbestos, but Asbestos is more commonly found in the backing material.
  • Sprayed on fire-proofing – Usually found on structural steel, or sometimes on the underside of roofing iron. May be both hard and impervious or soft and friable.
  • Acoustic plaster soundproofing – A firm, open pored, plaster like material. Usually exposed and not painted.
  • Insulation – Used to cover hot and cold water pipes, hot water reservoirs, pressure tanks and boilers, and generally covered with a fabric or metal jacket. Fire doors often contain laminates of Asbestos materials covered by wood, metal and vinyls.
  • Lagging – Usually found in industry to insulate boilers, condensate tanks, steam headers, hot pipes, steam pipes and condensate pipe work.
  • Asbestos cement products – In the form of roofing, exterior and interior wall claddings, interior wet area cladding, ceilings, pipes and spouting’s, fume cupboards, bench tops and sometimes found behind ovens.

Asbestos is both fire and moisture resistant. The fibres also provided strength without adding much weight to cement. Cement was a very popular choice for cladding during the mid-twentieth century.

We are independent in the fact that we provide inspection/testing services and asbestos plans (if required) but we don’t provide asbestos removal.

If asbestos removal is required Auckland Asbestos Surveys can refer you on to one of our trusted partners.

The price for asbestos remediation varies according to the following factors;

  • Quantity/volume of material
  • Encapsulation or removal
  • Asbestos product (tiles, sheeting, etc)
  • Type of asbestos (friable/non friable)
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We pride ourselves on our ability to offer independent asbestos surveys and consultancy, rapid reactive works for our clients and a friendly, efficient service that is consistently at a high standard.

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The Health & Safety at Work (Asbestos) Regulations 2016 requires the identification and management of Asbestos in the Workplace through a compliant management plan.

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Whether you are a private homeowner who is concerned about asbestos or an owner or manager of a commercial premises, we are here to help and offer you free advice on what to do next.

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