One of Sydney’s more northerly suburbs, property titles within the beach side area of Dee Why were first allotted in the early nineteenth century with the vast majority of land ending up in possession of The Salvation Army by 1900.

Further Australian urban sprawl saw the formation of Warringah Council in 1906 to help govern the still relatively low population of Dee Why and neighbouring suburbs of Brookvale, Narraweena and North Curl Curl. Given the resilience and cost effective nature of fibro (asbestos reinforced cement board) it was an all too common building resource for many homes in the northern beaches, in fact - the fibro beach shack is almost as iconic in some coastal towns as the fibre cement cottages of Sydney’s western suburbs are.

 

This particular house despite not having an exact record of it’s construction date, seemed to fit the bill of period asbestos housing with the majority of internal and external walls containing at least some levels of contamination. The property also contained a great deal of dense shrubs which, although no match for a twenty ton excavator, made initial assessment, salvage and asbestos removal a little tricky in some areas.

Other dangers of older properties such as this which may not be apparent to the untrained eye include other (now regulated) substances and additives to common materials such as lead in paint and potentially carcinogenic wire insulation designed to shield conductive metals from oxidisation. Stay tuned for further updates on this quintessential Australian beach shack including asbestos removal and demolition.