Asbestos in Adhesives

Back in the ‘70s and ‘80s asbestos fibres were frequently mixed in with gules and adhesives to make incredibly strong, virtually indestructible building adhesives, often referred to as mastics.

These heavy-duty mastics mixed virtually indestructible asbestos fibres with cements, plastics and rubber, to create some of the hardiest glues available.  Asbestos adhesives and finishing products were available as ready glues, but also came in emulsions and power form to be mixed prior to use, setting into incredibly hard substances.

These asbestos infused glues and finishing products were widely used in most aspects of building fit outs:

Asbestos adhesive used in flooring

  • Sticking down vinyl flooring tiles and lino,
  • Installation of timber flooring,
  • Floating floorboards
  • Carpet underlays,
  • One of the most common culprits in this space was the black asbestos mastic or asphaltic.

Asbestos adhesives and claddings

Back when every home and office had a feature wall made from some form of textured cladding or wallpaper, most of these decorative finishes were attached with asbestos based adhesives.

Years later removing these feature items comes at a high risk to the renovator or remover, as the glues rarely come off without the need for impact or abrasion – two things which are incredibly dangerous to friable asbestos.  Safe removal of these products should never ever be attempted DIY for your health and those in the adjoining properties.

Asbestos adhesive kitchen and bathroom uses

Asbestos tile glues and grouts were very popular; almost as popular as the 1” burnt terracotta tiles in square or mosaic octagonal designs found plaguing kitchen splashbacks and bathrooms in every corner of Australia.

Asbestos containing sealants and glues were also used in the construction of cabinetry for kitchens, wardrobes and bathrooms, sealing gaps between benches and walls, and even attaching benches to the kitchen furniture.  Pulling apart a kitchen from this era should be approached with extreme caution.

Asbestos putty and finishing products

Most of the classic double hung windows and French doors from this era have been either made or refurbished with asbestos putty.

Due to its durability, asbestos sealants were also a big part of the finishing of many homes before asbestos containing materials became outlawed in 2003.

If you’re having work done on an office space, home, or community building constructed or renovated in the ‘70s or 80s, there’s an extremely high chance that you’ll uncover these potentially lethal forms of #friableasbestos, in addition to the more commonly known asbestos containing cladding, sheeting, and roofing.

Removing or disturbing these ACM glues and sealants is very dangerous and requires a lot of safety considerations.  For more information on the legal requirements for asbestos removal and disposal within a business, head to or for homeowners head to

HTS Group are class A licensed asbestos removal contractors, also licensed for demolition and working at heights.

If you need complex building maintenance encountering asbestos, or asbestos removal in Newcastle, the Hunter Valley or the Central Coast please get in touch with us.

Our Northern Division looks after asbestos removal and disposal in Port Macquarie, Taree, Forster, Grafton and throughout the NSW North Coast.

Our Project team, focusing on restoration and refurbishment projects in regional NSW can also take care of your safe, legal asbestos removal and disposal in regional NSW.

We have the experience, expertise, problem solving skills and the multi-skilled teams to deliver safe, professional, and timely projects around Newcastle, throughout regional NSW, and right across the country.

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