Deaths and serious illnesses, normally results from inhaling the fibers in building asbestos materials. Asbestos use in building materials was to strengthen structures and improve fire resistance and was commonly used in houses.
Asbestos related deaths usually followed long-term exposure to the raw material. The critical factor is whether it is exposed or not and whether you come into contact with it. For example, the asbestos contained within your roof shed cement is common and is not as dangerous to health as asbestos in an enclosed room. Asbestos in ceilings will may not be very dangerous if left alone, but drilling into the asbestos to fit new wiring or light fittings will expose asbestos dust fibers. The European Union banned the use of asbestos in materials.
The areas of a property were a building surveyor would typically find asbestos include drainpipes, corrugated and old type fiber cement roofs, ceilings panels, insulation, storage heaters, central heating flues and in partition walls.
If an asbestos roof on a garage or shed is in good condition, there is no reason to change it. Bear in mind that asbestos roofs can become very fragile and can break easily if walked on.
If there is asbestos inside the house that you maybe buying, it is very important to determine its location and risk factor and its cost of removal. Depending on the type and extent of asbestos will determine the cost of making the property safe. If the costs of removing the limited asbestos with an approved contractor is relatively small you may use this added cost in negotiating the price of the house and there may be no need to pull out of the deal to buy the property.
If there is substantial amount of asbestos in the property the cost of removing and renovating a property can be very high.