6 places you might find asbestos in your home

Asbestos is very well known as a dangerous materials that has been banned from use in construction since 1999 in the UK. So if you have bought a home, you might think that there is a very low chance that you will find asbestos on your property. But according to reports, there is around a 50 per cent possibility that your home will contain asbestos somewhere.

Yes, while asbestos is illegal to use in the UK, there is no rule that states that asbestos needed to be removed from property that already had it. In fact in many cases it is actually dangerous to do so. This means that if your home was built before 1999 there is a chance that it could be found somewhere on the premises.

Don’t panic – having asbestos at home is not necessarily dangerous, and many homeowners live with asbestos on their property for many years with no problem. However, asbestos can be very dangerous if it is damaged or if it erodes and fibres are allowed to get into the atmosphere. Therefore it is vital that you should know exactly where asbestos is in your property. Here we look at six common places that asbestos can be on your home without you knowing about it.

  1. Artex and ceiling coatings

Does your home have Artex or some sort of ceiling coating? There is a decent chance that it could contain asbestos. These sorts of coatings were very popular through the 1970s and 80s and at this point asbestos was very commonly used as a thickening agent because of its many excellent properties for construction. So if your ceiling coating comes from the 70s or 80s if could well contain asbestos.

Remember that not all coatings do have asbestos, and there’s no way to tell from just looking at it, so it may be necessary to have a survey carried out.

  1. Insulation

One of the most common uses for asbestos is an insulation, so if your home has a loft or hollow walls, it could be the case that it uses asbestos as the insulating material. This is one of the types of asbestos many people are aware of. But once again it is easy to think that any kind of insulating material is asbestos, but many are not.

Some of the other places that you might find asbestos insulation boards are in bath panels, ceiling tiles, window panels and around your boiler.

  1. Cement

Another very common way for asbestos to find its way onto your property is in cement. For example, it may be the case that you have a garage or shed made with cement that actually had a relatively high percentage of asbestos. Even if the cement itself does not contain asbestos it should also be noted that some outbuildings and garages are sprayed with a coating that contains asbestos, so this can be a likely place for you to find it.

  1. Toilet cistern

Many older models of toilet cisterns actually contain asbestos as a reinforcing material. If you have a toilet somewhere on the property that has not been updated or modernised it could be the case that the cistern itself contains asbestos.

  1. Floor tiles

Some older style properties might have vinyl floor tiles that are made using asbestos. Of course it doesn’t mean that you need to worry if you do have floor tiles, but if they are old and you are worried that they are in poor condition, it could be worth having an asbestos specialist come in to take a look at them.

  1. Gutters and downpipes

As mentioned before, asbestos was a multi-use material that was useful in a broad variety of contexts, which is why you can find it in gutters and cement downpipes. Due to the weathering of asbestos gutters and downpipes, it can be worth having these looked at sooner rather than later as they can deteriorate to a state where they would need to be replaced.

In general, however, if they are in very good condition then it smarter just to leave them alone and monitor them – this is the same for most asbestos around the house.

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