Potential sources of asbestos around your yard

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Asbestos is not only a danger to homeowners if it is in the house, but it can also be a danger to homeowners when it is outside the home and in the yard. Asbestos that has been exposed to the elements and is weathered is more likely to release the harmful asbestos fibres that are responsible for health problems, such as lung disease. Here are some places it is a good idea to check around your home, particularly if you have an older home. 


Fencing was once a common source of asbestos around Australian homes in the 1950s and 1960s. Even if your current fencing does not contain asbestos, you may find traces of the old fencing that was cut off at or just under ground level, which could have released asbestos into the soil. (Many DIYers opted for this solution if they didn't feel like digging up concrete footings or found the asbestos too crumbly to easily remove from the yard). 


Many old sheds still have pieces of asbestos in the roofing or structure of the shed, even if the panels have been replaced. This can be hard to visually identify as it looks very similar to inert fibre cement boards. This is generally reasonably safe as long as the boards remain painted and sealed, but in sheds that have not been effectively maintained, the asbestos can become dangerous. If you are concerned about any weathered boards or roofing in your shed, it can be worth paying for an asbestos inspection to confirm if it is actually asbestos. 

Buried material

Unfortunately, not all asbestos was properly disposed of when it was removed, and many homeowners are unaware that previous homeowners have simply buried sheets of asbestos underground. This often stays hidden until a precipitating event such as a bad storm or during some earthworks when you are starting to renovate. If you do discover buried sheets in the yard, then it is important to call a professional service that specialises in asbestos testing and removal to assess whether the material is asbestos and how it will need to be removed. 

As you can see, there are a number of locations in the yard where you might find asbestos. If you are not sure whether material that you find in your yard is asbestos, then it is a good idea to get a professional opinion from an asbestos testing service.