Friable asbestos products have been commonly used in commercial and industrial settings since the late 1800s for fireproofing, soundproofing and insulation. Some friable products were also used in houses and may still be found in houses built before 1990.

As a general rule, if your house was built:

  • Before the mid-1980s, it is highly likely that it would have materials containing asbestos.
  • Between the mid-1980s and 1990, it is likely that it would have materials containing asbestos.
  • After 1990, it is highly unlikely it would have materials containing asbestos.

A list of common Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM):

Bonded asbestos products

The vast majority of asbestos-containing products used in houses were bonded asbestos cement materials, including:

  • Roofing
  • Shingles and siding (villaboard and similar)
  • Exterior and interior wall cladding
  • Eaves
  • Fencing
  • Thermal boards around fireplaces
  • Water or flue pipes.

Friable asbestos products

Some friable asbestos products may also be found in houses, including:

  • Spray-on insulation or soundproofing
  • Low-density asbestos fibreboard
  • Insulation on hot-water pipes, domestic heaters and stoves (e.g., lagging)
  • Backing material on floor tiles and vinyl flooring
  • Carpet underlay
  • Textured paints, decorative ceiling coatings
  • Heat-resistant fabrics
  • Brick and plaster sealants, fillers and some adhesive products
  • Hail or fire damaged, or badly weathered asbestos cement materials.

Did you know that as quantity surveyors, we prepare a report that provides a visual (non-intrusive) asbestos inspection and subsequent asbestos register and management plan in order to identify the assumed presence and location of asbestos or ACM within the property, and recommend the appropriate control measures.

Australian Government Department of Health. 2013. ‘When and where was asbestos used?’ <>