Asbestos was widely used during 1950-1980 to build businesses and homes. Asbestos is now illegal in any construction or refurbishment work, but many buildings may still contain asbestos.
Remember though, it’s only a health risk where fibres are released into the air and breathed in. When safely managed, asbestos doesn't present a health hazard. Therefore, never remove, sand, scrape or drill a textured coating or material which you suspect contains asbestos until it has been tested – this could be more dangerous than leaving it undisturbed. Surfaces which are in good condition and haven’t been sanded down can be cleaned and repainted.
Asbestos may be found in:
- floor tiles
- artex / textured coatings
- plaster finishes / wall boards
- sprayed coatings to pipework
- lagging around pipes and hot water cylinders
- water tanks
- lining boards on the back of boilers or service cupboard doors
- inside electrical distribution boards and fuses
- internal window sill boards
- corrugated cement roofing sheets (used on garages/outhouses)
- artificial slate roof
- gutters / rainwater pipes
Asbestos should only be removed or treated by a licensed contractor.
Housing tenants who suspect asbestos in their house should contact their local housing office, who will advise them what they need to do. The Council surveys a percentage of properties each year, allowing us to identify any risks and safely manage future repairs and improvements and keep you safe.
Home owners should contact a private asbestos contractor to sample and analyse materials and advise on what to do next.