Many people today value the practicality of an open plan home. It gives the impression of more space, can make the living area more bright and airy and can make it easier to serve meals that have been prepared in the kitchen. Therefore, it is little wonder that some people choose to remodel an existing, traditional home with such a goal in mind. If you're in this situation, you may be planning the construction job ahead. However, why do you need to pause for a moment and consider a potentially hidden danger behind those interior walls?
Open Plan Living
In many cases, it's relatively simple to modify the design of an older home to join the kitchen and living area together. The wall in question is unlikely to be load-bearing and will probably be made from drywall or gypsum as well. This type of material does not put up much resistance when you need to remove it, and you may think that the overall job should be quite easy.
Widespread Asbestos Use
Yet you will need to find out what type of material you're working with. If you are living in an older home and it has not been renovated in any way, there's a strong chance that your drywall product will contain some form of asbestos. Before the dangers associated with asbestos were first revealed, designers and builders would often specify drywall that had been fortified with asbestos fibre. This would add strength without additional weight, give the builder a lot more flexibility and add fire resistance to the mix. All in all, asbestos was the "magical" material of the day and found its way not only into the drywall itself but the tapes and compounds used to finish off work.
The Situation Today
Sadly, the workers who installed your drywall may have suffered in the following decades due to fibre inhalation. However, the risk would have been removed once the construction had been finished and the drywall painted. So, as it stands today, you face no risk, but if you break into the surface of the drywall to start with your renovation, it is a different story.
Getting the Experts Involved
So, before you proceed, call in an asbestos removal professional for their advice. They will test the material, and if they find asbestos present, they'll make arrangements to remove it with great care and according to established practice.
Hi! My name is Robert. I live in Brisbane with my wife and our two kids. For many years, I have been saving up money so I could build our dream home. I first saw my dream home when I was aged 21. I was on a holiday to the USA and was staying with friends in California. While down on the beach one day, I spotted a lovely mansion house which was high up on the cliffs. I decided that one day, I would like a house like that. Last year, I instructed a team on house builders to begin construction of our new home and I couldn't be happier. I have learnt so much from the experience, I decided to start this blog.