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Betta Inspect It Ltd
Pre-Purchase and Pre-Sale building Inspections.
Pre-Purchase and Pre-Sale building Inspections.


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12th Betta Inspect It “Asbestos Alert” - Don’t ignore the new rules

Any business choosing to ignore NZ’s new asbestos management and disposal rules and regulations could find itself in court.
After successfully fining a Christchurch construction company $45,0000 earlier this year for not properly managing asbestos on a demolition site, WorkSafe NZ says there’s no excuse for not knowing the rules.
In December 2015 Blakely Construction was prosecuted under the Health and Safety In Employment Act. This related to a 2014 incident where sheets of asbestos containing roofing were a broken up during demolition. Work also continued on site even after additional contamination was found and reported.
“There are clear rules around asbestos and as an experienced contractor, Blakely Construction had no excuse for not meeting is obligations to its workers and those who may have been in the vicinity,” WorkSafe GM Jo Pugh stated.
WorkSafe also prosecuted and find Yakka Contracting Limited $8,607 in 2015 after an employee broke up large sheets of cladding, with asbestos in it, at Bayfield Primary School in Herne Bay.
Other countries are also cracking down on unsafe workplace practices associated with the removal and disposal of asbestos. An Ontario contractor was jailed for 30 days and fined C$45,000 earlier this year after being found guilty of nine OSH-related charges. These related to the way asbestos-containing insulation from a residential home was removed and dumped, with flagrant disregard for Canadian safely and health regulations.
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9th Betta Inspect It “Asbestos Alert” on every day items

Many NZers will be shocked to know how many older every-day products they use may contain asbestos
While we’d expect to find it in textured ceilings, asbestos cement “Fibrelite”, roof tiles, wall textures and flooring how about the insulation around our fires places, the lagging around our pipes, old spouting and oven door seals?
Asbestos has also been used in oven gloves, iron board covers, fire blankets, electrical switchboards and expoxy paints. Even older hairdryers used it as insulation around their heating elements.
It is also relatively common in machinery parts such as brake linings, gaskets and seals. Kiwi Rail recently discovered in engine bay doors of its 40 Chinese manufactured locomotives.
Since the mid 1980s it’s been illegal to import “raw blue and brown asbestos” into New Zealand but not products containing them.

So the only way to actually know if asbestos is present in your home and what type it is to test for it. That’s why Betta wants to alert you to this. Call us on 0800 422 388 to test any home surface you suspect.
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8th Betta Inspect It “Asbestos Alert” - Ban or no ban asbestos is with us for the long-haul …
While the New Zealand Government has finally banned the importation of products containing asbestos there’s still no room for complacency.
Thousands of NZers will still be living in houses made using asbestos for decades to come. The health risks associated with this will only increase as these buildings age – especially if they’re not properly maintained.
Even the Government’s Order-in-Council covering the importation of all products containing asbestos from October 1 isn’t a total ban. There will still be exceptions. These include allowing for parts for older machines such as vintage planes, ships and other vehicles were no alternatives exist.
Proving whether any imported products contain asbestos, also largely relies on the honesty of foreign manufacturers and importers. The government also freely admits the ban won’t be “rigorously controlled”.
So if you suspect any parts of your home are made of potentially of building-related products containing dangerous asbestos have them tested by us. Call 0800 422 388 us and arrange that today.
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Do you have an elephant in your living room?
If you are one of the 99.9999% of Kiwis answering “of course not” then read this.
There’s a good chance that the walls, ceilings, flooring, insulation or another part of your home or rental property contains something much worse than an elephant – asbestos.

Providing it’s still in good condition and still sealed inside the building product or products your risk is decreased and it allegedly poses little risk. However, if hundreds of thousand of Kiwis are unaware of it, disturbed it and it gets into the air they breathe each day it’s a totally different story. There’s also no safe level of exposure to asbestos or any room for complacency. Most people currently dying of asbestos-related illnesses were exposed to asbestos in the 1960s and 70s. It can remain in your body 40 or more years before you become aware of it. That’s why it’s the proverbial elephant in living room!
While long-term exposure to asbestos is the largest cause of “work-place related disease” in NZ – killing around 170 people a year – where did all this asbestos go? Much of it went into homes and other buildings built or renovated between the1940s and 1990s.
There’s no way to tell if building material contains asbestos by simply looking at it. It’s often found in cement sheeting, cement “brick” cladding, cement roof shingles, decorative ceilings and corrugated roofing, in cement flues and cowls, in old vinyl floor tiles and in pipe lagging. It may be in many older terraces houses, townhouses and units – affecting neighbours as well.
Two Australian states are currently spending more than $A1.25 billion on buying back and demolishing hundreds of residential homes contaminated by asbestos insulation installed in the 1960s and 70s…
That’s why Betta Inspect It is taking asbestos seriously and we now test homes for it. Call us on 0800 422 388 to book a test today.
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7th Betta Inspect It “Asbetos Alert” - Don’t vacuum that!

Renovating our homes and rental properties is a burning passion for many of us Kiwis.
We love getting stuck into our DIY projects - ripping out old parts of our homes and replacing them with something new. While this has become a national obsession many of us have no idea we could also be exposing themselves, and our families, to asbestos, in the process. Vacuuming can make the situation even worse by making these minute asbestos fibres even more airborne, exposing yourself and helping to spread throughout your home!
Work Safe NZ advises in its new Approved Code of Practice: “Never use household vacuum cleaners if asbestos is or maybe present, even if they have a HEPA filter… Only use vacuum cleaners for collecting small pieces of asbestos dust and debris. Pick up larger pieces by hand and place them in suitable waste containers. Never break them into smaller pieces to vacuum them up.” The Government agency also strongly advises against “hiring” specialist vacuum cleaners.
Most Kiwis don’t realize that domestic and even commercial vacuum cleaners aren't designed to pick up and filter the very small fibres asbestos has.
In order to pick up wet and dry hazardous materials including asbestos, specialist HVAC vacuum cleaners are need that comply with Class H (high hazard) AS/NZ 60335.2.69. They have to special high efficiency HEP filters filters capable of sucking up the smallest particles down to a fraction of a micron with better than pin-point accuracy.
The people trained to operate them also have to wear face masks and other, often disposable, safety clothing and the dust collected has to be properly bagged, tagged and disposed of.
So, think twice before break into any surface in your home creating lots of dust. If you suspect it’s asbestos call us on 0800 422 388 to independently test it for you.
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6th Betta Inspect It: “Asbestos Alert” for Kiwi DIYs
If you’re planning any DIY home renovations this weekend you won’t increase your risk of asbestos exposure if you “take proper precautions”.
That’s the overall message from a top-level scientific review commissioned published by the New Zealand Government in 2015.(1)
This Governmental Review found the level of asbestos residents have been exposed to during the Canterbury rebuilt was unlikely to cause residents significant health problems “unless” they carried out repairs themselves “without taking proper precautions such as wetting the surfaces and using a respirator”.
While many people would find this reassuring, the detailed report warns that no-one should be complacent about the risks of working with asbestos.
“Uncontrolled removal of [asbestos containing materials] using power tools, dry scraping or sanding methods can generate significant concentrates of airborne asbestos fibres, and exposure of this kind may cause risk to people performing such work repeatedly,” the Prime Minister’s chief science advisor stated.
The Review also recommended homeowners get trained professionals in to repair, remove or handle damaged, flaking or “friable” asbestos containing materials.
So before you drill, scrape or sand anything you really shouldn’t call us and get a Betta asbestos test report. Call 0800 422 388.
(1) Source: Asbestos exposure in New Zealand. Review of scientific evidence of non-occupational risks, April 2015, produced for the NZ Government.
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Our first home inspector mentors

Having an experienced building inspector in your corner really helps especially if you’re a NZ first homebuyer.
Finding and buying a decent new or pre-existing home is a daunting process for most prospective first homebuyers - especially given the state of the housing stock within their price bracket. Many of these entry-level properties come with “issues” that only an expert can fully uncover and properly assess. That’s when a timely red flag from one our building inspectors can literally be worth its weight in gold!
Sorting out which houses new buyers should - or more importantly - shouldn’t buy is a responsibility that Betta Inspect It takes very seriously. Everyone on the Betta team does their best to go that extra mile - especially our inspectors turned first home mentors. Yet, surprisingly, this is one side of our inspections and pre-purchase reports that we rarely comment on.
Our inspectors often inspect and write reports on two or three residential properties before a particular client finds a suitable property they’re happy to put an offer on.
Wellington - Hutt Valley inspector Darryl Fawcet as a prime example. This is the feedback he recently received.
“We’d like to say a big, big thank you for all your help on this journey of ours and for the incredible service you’ve given us,” an Upper Hutt buyer said. “You couldn’t have made it any easier for us and we really appreciate that as first home buyers. We’ll be in touch when we’re looking for our second house…”
Over in Taranaki, Melanie also wrote back thanking New Plymouth inspector Scott Henderson for his “thorough and prompt report”.
“We’ve now been able to complete our house purchase.”
So if you know a first home buyer struggling to weigh up the merits or pitfalls of one or more properties share this with them get them to call us on 0800 422 388. We’ll make the process go a whole easier and better!
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5th Betta Inspect It “Asbestos Alert” - why builders give it a wide berth!

The first time many Kiwis discover they have asbestos in their homes is when a builder wants to steer clear of a fibre lite wall, a ceiling or ripping up a floor.

Even experienced, master builders do not know for sure which exterior claddings, ceilings, surfaces or roofing materials contain asbestos but they know the tell-tale signs.
Many would rather reinsulate a wall from the inside rather running the risk of ripping off any 1970s or 80s cladding containing asbestos to tackle the project from the outside. Yet other companies seem only too happy to bore large numbers of holes or rip it up with their electric saws.
Most houses built before the mid 1980s are likely to have asbestos cement in them in some form, somewhere. Even some recently imported fibrous cement board from Asia has tested positive for asbestos despite its “asbestos-free” labeling. It’s no wonder many experienced builders are so wary.
“The presence of ACMs throughout many older homes and buildings means that the asbestos hazard still lingers…,” the 2015 scientific review of the Non-Occupational Risks of Asbestos Exposure in NZ states.
So, before you embark on a major renovation or employ a builder in to tear down a wall better get it tested first.
Betta Inspect It will safely sample it and get it lab tested for you. You’ll then have a happy builder or at least know what you’re contending with. Phone 0800-422 388.
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4th Betta Inspect It “Asbestos Alert” - Why landlords should be worried!

NZ’s residential landlords list of legal responsibilities now includes – wait for it – asbestos.
On top of dealing with tenants, meth tests, ensuring their properties meet the new insulation standards - landlords are now PCBUs.
This means they’re now subject to the Health and Safety St Work Act 2015 and with that WorkSafe NZ’s new Approved Code of Practice for the Management and Removal of Asbestos (ACOP released this month.
While the Government regular can only recommend what homeowners should do in their own homes with regards to safely managing and removing asbestos, landlords run businesses. “Landlords are PCBUs and must comply with the Act and Regulations.” (PCBUs being persons conducting or undertaking a business or operation.)
WorkSafe also recommends that only PCBUs “with training and experience in work involving asbestos” should carry out this work because of the health risks involved. So while they’re legally responsible for the any asbestos in their rentals, most landlords won’t be able to remove it themselves. They’ll have to hire appropriately trained professionals instead.
Betta Inspect It can help. Our building inspectors can test any residential tenancy for asbestos and report back on what we find where. Book a test today on 0800 422 388.
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3rd Betta Inspect It “Asbestos Alert” - don’t disturb the sleeping dragons!

Hundreds of thousands of NZers happily live in homes, home units, town houses and apartments oblivious to the fact they’re surrounded by asbestos.
Many residential and other buildings constructed between the 1930s and mid 1980s were built with composite materials containing this natural mineral product. This was used for its heat, wear and tear resistantce and other properties.
The good news is that asbestos is “not usually dangerous unless is disturbed” (1) – namely starting to break or show signs of wear and tear.
The bad news is that “exposure to asbestos” is the number one work-related cause of death in New Zealand, accounting for 170 deaths annually. So even though it is our no 1 workplace killer there is no way of knowing if you actually have it in your home unless you get it professionally tested. Many composite building related materials used in your home probably contain asbestos.
Even builders cannot tell for sure and the experts all agree there is no safe level of exposure to asbestos.
Asbestos comes in all shapes and forms as you can see from Asbestos Aware’s website and products containing it are still being imported.
So, if you have any suspicions about a ceiling, a wall cladding or even your floor give us Betta Inspect It a call on 0800 422 388. Our inspectors will safely take samples of it, send them off for independent laboratory testing and let you know the results.

(1) Source: Asbestos exposure in New Zealand. Review of scientific evidence of non-occupational risks, April 2015, produced for the NZ Government.
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