“Can you visually identify asbestos”
The short answer is no, not with the naked eye. The only CONCLUSIVE method for confirming the presence of asbestos in building materials is to have them assessed under a microscope in a lab. These materials are broken down and viewed under a microscope using colouring and dyeing agents to identify the actual asbestos fibres.
The 3 Most Common Types Of Asbestos
Typically the presence of asbestos is confirmed in a report that identifies what type of asbestos is found. The three most common types of asbestos that were used in building products are Chrysotile (white asbestos) Crocidolite (blue asbestos) Amosite (brown or grey asbestos).
If In Doubt Get It Tested
An experience asbestos removalist will be able to give you an educated guess based on what the material looks like, where it came from and what age the building is, but that’s all it would be – an educated guess. If you want to check what type of material you think you may have yourself you may CAREFULLY undo and remove a power point or ceiling fan or vent. If the material is between 4 and 6mm thick and a mid-grey colour (ie cement based) then leave it alone and get it tested or removed before proceeding with any work. If its white and chalky it’s likely to be plaster board or gyprock which don’t normally contain asbestos.
Obviously we recommend you get an experience removalist like South Adelaide Asbestos Removal to check for you, however we do recognise the needs of the home renovator and would prefer (if the situation doesn’t allow for us to check for you) that you inspect what you have BEFORE breaking into it.