So, you’ve been dreaming of that beautiful old Australian home, haven’t you? You’ve always had a soft spot for period properties, but before you sign on the dotted line, there’s a hidden peril you should consider. We’re talking about asbestos. It’s a potential hazard that was once a standard feature in many Australian homes and buildings.

What Is Asbestos and Why Is It a Concern?

So, what is asbestos exactly? Well, it’s a group of six naturally occurring fibrous minerals that are resistant to heat, electricity, and corrosion. Handy for construction, right? Too right! That’s why it was used extensively in the building industry until the mid-1980s. However, this isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. You see, asbestos fibres can be deadly if inhaled. They get trapped in your lungs and can cause diseases like asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma. Nasty stuff, eh?

The History of Asbestos Use in Australia

Now, why is asbestos a big deal in Australia? Well, during the 20th century, Australia was one of the largest consumers of asbestos. Its widespread use in housing, commercial buildings, and various industries has left a lasting legacy. It was not until 2003 that Australia fully banned the use, importation, and manufacture of all types of asbestos and products containing asbestos. Now, many property owners are left dealing with the aftermath, not quite knowing if their dream home could be hiding a health hazard.

Asbestos in Old Australian Properties: What to Look Out For

So, where might you find asbestos in an old Australian property? You’d be surprised. It can be found in roof shingles, insulation, floor tiles, cement, paint, and even the old textured popcorn ceilings popular in the 70s. Asbestos isn’t always easy to spot with the naked eye. If disturbed, for instance, during a renovation, those tiny deadly fibres can become airborne.

Assessing Your Property for Asbestos

Now, how do you go about checking for asbestos in your property? Rule number one: don’t try to do it yourself. Leave it to the pros. They’ll take samples from various areas of the home and send them to a lab for testing. Now, if asbestos is found, don’t panic. If it’s in good condition and undisturbed, it’s generally safe. However, if it’s damaged or you’re planning renovations, you’ll need to hire a licensed professional to safely remove and dispose of it.

How to Proceed After Asbestos Detection

So, you’ve found asbestos in your dream home, what next? After detection, Australian law requires you to develop a safe management plan. And remember, health first! Avoid areas containing asbestos and never try to handle it yourself. If you’re worried about property value and insurance, talk to a real estate professional. They’ll help you navigate the often-confusing process.


In conclusion, if you’re looking to purchase an old property in Australia, it’s crucial to be aware of the potential asbestos lurking within. Remember, there’s nothing like a bit of knowledge and preparation to help you secure a safe and sound home. So, next time you’re house hunting, don’t let your dream home become a nightmare. Be informed, be safe!

1. Q: What is asbestos and why is it a concern in older homes?

A: Asbestos is a group of naturally occurring fibrous minerals that was widely used in construction until the mid-1980s due to its resistance to heat, electricity, and corrosion. In older homes, asbestos can present a health risk if disturbed, as the fibres can become airborne and, if inhaled, can cause diseases like asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma.

2. Q: How can I tell if there is asbestos in a home I am considering purchasing?

A: It can be challenging to identify asbestos with the naked eye, as it was often mixed with other materials. If you’re considering purchasing an older property, it’s recommended to hire a professional for an asbestos assessment. This is where HM Group can assist. We provide expert asbestos assessments to give you peace of mind during your property purchase.

3. Q: What should I do if asbestos is detected in the property?

A: If asbestos is detected in your property, it’s important not to disturb it. If the asbestos is in good condition and left undisturbed, it’s usually safe. However, if it’s damaged or you’re planning renovations, you’ll need to engage a licensed professional to safely remove it. HM Group provides professional and safe asbestos removal services, ensuring the health risks are managed effectively.

4. Q: What are the potential impacts of asbestos on property value and insurance?

A: The presence of asbestos can potentially impact a property’s value and insurance, as it’s considered a risk. The degree of impact can vary based on factors such as the amount and condition of the asbestos. At HM Group, we work closely with real estate and insurance professionals to help you navigate these complexities and ensure you’re fully informed about your property’s status.

5. Q: How does HM Group help me if I suspect there’s asbestos in my dream home?

A: HM Group is here to provide peace of mind and expert guidance. If you suspect your property may contain asbestos, we offer comprehensive assessments conducted by trained professionals. If asbestos is found, we provide safe and effective asbestos removal services. We also offer advice and assistance on dealing with the potential impact on property value and insurance. We’re here to ensure that your dream home is safe and healthy for you and your family.