Asbestos

The information below explains about asbestos in your home and what to do to ensure it does not present a danger. Asbestos is the name given to a naturally occurring material which has historically been used in buildings.

Where it is in good condition and managed properly, asbestos does not present any health risks, but it can be dangerous if it is damaged or disturbed.

Could my home contain asbestos?

Asbestos was used within buildings up until 2000, therefore if your home was built before this date it could contain some form of asbestos material. The most common uses are for fire proofing or moisture resistance.

The main uses of asbestos have been:

  • asbestos cement products (pipes, flues, roofs etc.)
  • lagging (on pipes and boilers etc.)
  • water tanks and toilet cisterns
  • asbestos insulating board (AIB – which closely resembles typical plasterboard)
  • loose asbestos in ceiling and wall cavities
  • sprayed coatings on ceilings, walls and beams / columns
  • textured decorative coatings (commonly referred to as Artex)
  • floor tiles, textiles and composites.

Estuary Housing Association has a surveying program which means we are checking all buildings constructed before 2000 to identify if there is any asbestos present.

If we find any asbestos we will decide what action needs to be taken. If it is in good condition we may decide that it poses no risk to health, and will leave it where it is – if we do this we will check it regularly to make sure the condition doesn’t change. If the asbestos is in poor condition, or we are worried that it is somewhere that could be damaged or disturbed, we may decide to remove it.

Removing asbestos is disruptive and costly, so we try to do any necessary work on asbestos when homes are empty or at the same time as other major works carried out.

What should I do?

If you are not certain whether something in your home contains asbestos, it is important that you do not damage or disturb it. Remember it is not easy to tell if something contains asbestos just from looking at it.

  • Get our permission before you make any alterations to your home. We will then be able to visit and tell you if there is any asbestos present.
  • Do not damage or disturb asbestos in any way. If you do any DIY work in your home, never drill, cut, break, rub down or scrape asbestos and avoid using electric tools near it.
  • Do not remove asbestos panels to gain access to services.
  • Provide us with access to carry out inspections.

If you would like any more information about asbestos, and the way we manage it; or would like to discuss this further, please contact us on 0300 304 5000.