UNTIL last week Garry King and Sian Silk suspected their Nowra home’s loose-filled ceiling insulation contained asbestos.
Over the past few weeks their concern increased as they heard from a friend in the ACT who was evacuated from her home because it contained asbestos insulation.
An asbestos-based product called Mr Fluffy was used in the 1960s and 1970s in the ACT.
The family’s house was built in the 1950s. It had an asbestos roof over one section.
“The reason I found out about asbestos insulation was through talking to someone who had to change houses in Canberra because she had a house with Mr Fluffy insulation in the roof,” Ms Silk said.
“She put plans through her council in the ACT to have some work done and it was approved.
“But then not long after that the family was told to evacuate its home with only the clothes on their backs, once it was discovered the insulation was asbestos-based,” Ms Silk said.
“We’ve been in our house for nearly three years and have renovated it.
“So we’ve had that insulation falling from the ceiling from time to time, and used to just vacuum it up.
“It was a worry because we have two children.
“We had an asbestos roof at the back of the property which we had professionally removed,” she said.
Asbestos inspector and auditor Neil Wallace from Asbestos Reporting NSW took a sample of the insulation from the house last week.
He doubted it was a Mr Fluffy product but had the sample tested.
The results came back negative, which was a relief to the family.
Mr Wallace said it was a good example to help people become more aware of the products used in their home.
He said while most of the Mr Fluffy insulation was installed in homes in the ACT, some of it was suspected to have been used in houses in the Jervis Bay area.
“If you do have any loose-fibre insulation the only way to be sure of its asbestos content is to have it tested.
“After being tested you will be issued with a certificate of analysis.”
Mr Wallace said the certificate would become important when selling the house or when contractors had to work in the roof space.
“There are a lot of different types and colours of loose-fill insulation but Mr Fluffy was mostly white.”