Asbestos first become popular in the UK in the 1950s, where it was commonly used in building materials up until the 1990s. There is the possibility that many homes which were built before the year 2000 may contain asbestos.
How to Check for Asbestos
Although asbestos is not always easy to identify, it can be found in a number of different building materials around your home, including those in the following locations;
A) Asbestos insulating boards (AIB) – used in ceilings, windows and door panels
B) Sprayed coating – found as fire protection on structural supports (e.g. columns and beams)
C) Textured decorative coating – textured coatings, like Artex
D) Pipe Insulation – asbestos thermal pipe lagging is a high hazard asbestos product.
E) Floor tiles – vinyl (PVC) or thermoplastic tiles contain asbestos
F) Cement roof sheeting – found in roofs and sometimes walls
G) Rainwater Items – including gutters and downpipes
H) Water tanks
I) Loose asbestos in ceiling and wall cavities
All Shapes, Sizes and Colours
Asbestos is very difficult to visually diagnose as it comes in all shapes, sizes and colours. It is categorized into three types;
- Chrysotile (white)
- Amosite (brown)
- Crocidolite (Blue)
Although asbestos is mostly common in the locations previously mentioned, it is often mixed with many other building materials making the colours very difficult to identify by the naked eye.
Check it before you Disturb it
Generally speaking if the asbestos is undisturbed it usually poses no problems to you or your family’s health. However, if the material becomes damaged then asbestos fibres may become airborne. If the asbestos fibres are inhaled, they can cause serious diseases, and are responsible for approximately 4,500 deaths in the UK per year.
If you are a homeowner, you have legal responsibility to determine if the suspected material contains asbestos prior to disturbing it or commencing any construction work on the area. This can easily be determined through GD’s quick and cost-effective asbestos sampling service.
What if I Have disturbed it?
The removal of Asbestos waste (any material containing more that 0.1% asbestos) is part of a stringent and rigid process which is governed by legislation issued by The Environment Agency.
It’s advised that If you’ve disturbed the asbestos you must remove it quickly and professionally to prevent damage to you or your family’s health. It is recommended that you use a reputable licenced contractor, like us. With a team of highly trained hazardous waste handlers, and the appropriate Hazardous Waste Carriers Licence, we can transport and dispose of the asbestos from your home.
So, now you know how to check for asbestos, it may be time to get the professionals in. Here at GD Environmental we have a team of specially trained hazardous waste specialists waiting to take your call. If your based in Wales, and would like more information on asbestos removal and disposal from your home, call a member of our Hazardous Waste team today on 01633 277755 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org