What is Fibro Sheeting?
Fibro sheeting, also known as fibrous cement sheeting or fibro, is a common building material composed of thin sheets of cement and a fibrous material used to reinforce them. Asbestos was the most commonly used reinforcement material beginning in the 1940s, but it was phased out in the 1980s. Modern fibro sheeting is reinforced with cellulose instead of asbestos. Australia is the top manufacturer of fibro sheeting globally and provides building products to many other countries. The country also uses the most fibro sheeting, with whole suburban areas of cities constructed with the product.
What Kinds of Fibro Sheeting Are Available?
Fibro sheeting is either flat or corrugated. Flat sheets of fibro are used on walls and ceilings, while corrugated fibro sheets are used exclusively for ceilings. Corrugated sheets are often called Super Six roofing. Other fibro sheeting varieties include wet area sheeting, also known as Tilux, water drainage pipes, and other moulded products.
Does All Fibro Sheeting Contain Asbestos?
Before the 1980s, most fibro sheeting included asbestos fibres. Today, cellulose is used in place of asbestos to reinforce the cement sheet. If your home was built before the 1980s, it is highly likely it contains fibro sheeting, and it is of the older variety of asbestos cement sheets. However, fibro sheeting is not as popular a building product as it used to be, so you may not find it in newer homes and buildings.
What Is Asbestos?
Asbestos is an insulating material that is highly resistant to corrosion and heat. It is a fibrous material made from naturally occurring minerals, including chrysotile, crocidolite, amosite, anthophyllite, actinolite, and tremolite. It also includes altered or chemically treated forms of these minerals. Asbestos fibres can be very easily inhaled, and cause scarring in the lungs called asbestosis, lung cancers, and mesothelioma.
Is Fibro Sheeting Containing Asbestos Material Harmful?
The asbestos used in fibro sheeting is called bonded asbestos. In bonded asbestos, the asbestos is mixed with a cement-like product, which means the asbestos fibres aren’t likely to crumble. This means the fibres cannot be breathed in, preventing severe respiratory damage. Bonded asbestos is safe if it is in good condition and handled carefully. However, when the fibro sheeting is broken down in any way – for example, from outdoor weathering, fire or hail damage, or being drilled or otherwise disturbed – the bonded asbestos may be freed and could pose a health risk.
Are There Special Precautions That I Should Take When Handling Fibro Sheeting?
Do I Need to Remove Fibro Sheeting?
What Is Asbestos Abatement?
Asbestos abatement involves safely removing asbestos materials from a site. Understanding the process of asbestos abatement can help you ensure that the materials containing asbestos, such as fibro sheeting, are removed and handled safely and correctly. Asbestos abatement begins with an inspection. We at Asbestos Watch Brisbane will examine the construction area and any other areas of concern. We take samples of the building materials and check the building for any signs of wear and tear that could cause asbestos fibres to be released into the air. If we detect asbestos fibres, we will provide you with an evaluation of where the fibro and asbestos were found and recommend how to resolve the situation safely.
Want More Information?
Asbestos Watch Brisbane has earned a sterling reputation as one of the country’s best asbestos service providers. We complete even the most challenging projects with skill and attention to the highest quality health and safety standards.
We serve residential and commercial asbestos assessment and abatement needs in the Greater Brisbane area, including Toowoomba, the Gold Coast, and the Sunshine Coast.
For more information about fibro and asbestos or a consultation,
contact Asbestos Watch Brisbane at 07 3180 1405.