Start a discussion

The Workshop community can help with your home improvement projects.

Asbestos in your home

Experienced Contributor

Asbestos in your home

It's asbestos awareness month, so I thought I'd share where there might be asbestos in your home. Any house built or renovated before 1987 might contain asbestos. 


Inside the house:


- Backing of vinyl sheet floor covering

- Carpet underlay
- Cement flooring
- Compressed asbestos sheet
- Flues to fireplaces
- Insulation below wood heater
- Internal and external ventilators
- Internal angle mouldings
- Internal walls & ceiling
- Kitchen splashback
- Loose fill insulation in roof cavity
- “Tilux” marble finish wall panel
- Vinyl floor tiles
- Wall sheeting - internal


Outside the house:


- Backing for electrical meter boards
- Dog kennels
- Downpipes
- Eaves and gables ends
- External angle mouldings
- Fences
- Garages
- Gutters
- Insulation for hot water pipes and tanks
- Internal and external ventilators
- Ridge capping
- Sheds & external toilets
- Wall sheeting – external


Stay safe when renovating everyone!

Established Contributor

Re: Asbestos in your home

Chalk me up for "insulation below wood heater".
We plan to get the heater removed eventually, seeing as we have ducted central, and will definitely be calling in the experts when the time comes.

We had a sparky around a few weeks back who was going to quote on some external lights around the deck and he said we're have to get the fascia asbestos tested first, so if anyone knows about how to get this done on a very small scale without costing the earth, if be interested to hear. (Located in the ACT)
Community Manager Jason
Community Manager

Re: Asbestos in your home

Yes, be careful everyone!


I thought this was an important point from the Asbestos awareness website:


"Most people can’t tell whether building materials contain asbestos just by looking at them. Only scientific testing of a sample of material by an accredited National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) asbestos testing laboratory can confirm the presence of asbestos. For a NATA Lab List call 1800 621 666 or refer to their website at When searching for an asbestos testing facility use a capital A in Asbestos."

Show off your handiwork at the Workshop Gallery
Trusted Contributor

Re: Asbestos in your home

@Jason, do you (in a '50s home) have a ballpark guesstimate of what the lab testing will cost?

Valued Contributor

Re: Asbestos in your home

Eaves yes, switchboard not anymore.

Ceiling maybe, carpet underlay changed to foam and lino not sure.
Community Manager Jason
Community Manager

Re: Asbestos in your home

No, I haven't had to use the service before @Andy_Mann. Perhaps another Workshop member can assist, or you can contact them directly.



Show off your handiwork at the Workshop Gallery
Trusted Contributor

Re: Asbestos in your home

@Jason, I contacted NATA & they were very quick to reply:


Apologies for the incomplete message, as much as I tried, I couldn't get around the formatting.


Good morning John

NATA does not undertake testing; NATA is an accreditation body and our role is to accredit laboratories that undertake testing.

If you let me know which state in which you are located I will be able to provide details of relevant testing facilities.

Kind regards



Hi John


There are 3 accredited asbestos laboratories in SA that should be able to assist you with your enquiries and their details are included below:


> Bureau Veritas Minerals Pty Ltd

> Adelaide Geo-analytical

> 35-37 Stirling Street


> CONTACT: Ms Kate Miller

> PHONE: (08) 8416 5334 FAX: (08) 8234 0355 MOBILE: 0404 470 812




> Greencap - NAA PTY LTD

> Adelaide laboratory

> 12 Greenhill Road


> CONTACT: Ms Karin Thomson

> PHONE: (08) 8299 9955 FAX: (08) 8299 9954 MOBILE:




> Health Safety Environment Australia Pty Ltd

> 193 Henley Beach Road

> Mile End SA 5031


> PHONE: (08) 8152 0555 FAX: (08) 8152 0500 MOBILE: 0448 861 871




I am not sure if you are aware of the following website that may also provide some useful information on asbestos


Kind regards



I contacted Bureau Veritas Minerals Pty Ltd, their reply:


Hi John:

Thanks for your enquiry.

In general, house built bwteen 70s~90s has relatively high chance contain asbestos building material, e.g wall, floor, eaves, ceiling. etc.  We are a NATA accredited asbestos identification lab, we can certainly test those samples for you if you are interested in find out.

I have attached forms for asbestos testing below should you decide to send samples to us for testing. Please complete them and send them back to me or attached with samples.

Sampling requirements: Sample should be double bagged using zig-lock bag, a small size of sample will be fine for the test (e.g 2cm x 2cm)

Cost for asbestos identification testing:

PLM test: $50.00+ GST per sample
TAT:  2 business days


Hope you it helps, please feel free to contact me if you have any other questions.



So from my enquiries, there were a lot of surprises:

1 .. "In general, house built bwteen 70s~90s has relatively high chance contain asbestos". YIKES

2 .. There was no mention that an assessor could be sent, to appraise the risk of a domestic environment.

3 .. More surprising, was that they wanted homeowners to send them samples, but no advice on how to do it safely.

Having said that, I thought that $50 per sample was very reasonable.


I hope this helps




Experienced Contributor

Re: Asbestos in your home

Scary story - Many now expect to see a growth in asbestos deaths arising from home renovations.



Why join the Workshop community?

Workshop is a friendly place to learn, get ideas and find inspiration for your home improvement projects