Asbestos in homes
Everything you need to know about asbestos in homes in the United Kingdom
Asbestos was commonly used as a construction material in the UK between the 1950s and 1980s in particular. If your home was built between these years, chances are that you are living with Asbestos Containing Materials (ACMs).
Current UK legislation does not make any legal requirements of domestic homeowners on how to handle ACMs in their property – but that does not mean that ACMs can be ignored.
While the majority of ACMs in domestic settings does not a pose a serious threat, it is still worthwhile to discover what ACMs are in your property and seek advice on how to deal with them.
In most instances, just following common sense and keeping the ACMs in a good state of repair will ensure you and your family are not exposed to any serious health risks. However, having an asbestos survey carried out by specialist professionals such as Total Demolition Services, will give you added information and peace of mind as regards the extent and condition of ACMs in your home.
We will efficiently and expertly assess your home and advise on any action that may be required. And while you are legally allowed to work on and remove low density materials yourself, hiring trained professionals instead will ensure that the work is done in accordance with strict legislative measures to ensure maximum safety and full compliance with the law.
For a home asbestos survey and any removal and disposal needs that may arise, just contact Total Demolition for the best service available.
The most common ACMs homes in the United Kingdom are:
- Asbestos cement water tanks
- AIB (Asbestos Insulating Board) ceiling tiles
- AIB path panels
- AIB behind fuse box, airing cupboard, or fireplace
- AIB around boiler
- AIB partition wall or interior window panel
- Vinyl floor tiles
- Pipe lagging
- Loose fill insulation
- Older toilet seats and cistern
- AIB (Asbestos Insulating Board) exterior window panels
- AIB or asbestos cement soffits
- Asbestos cement gutters/downpipes
- Asbestos cement roof
- Asbestos cement panels
- Roofing felt
FAQ – For Homeowners & Tenants
That depends on the type of asbestos found, how much of it there is, its condition, and how likely it is that it will ever be removed or disturbed. Some ACMs are absolutely fine to live with as they are. Others may need to be repaired (even just painting can make a difference), or removed if they present more of a danger. Our expert surveyors will fully advise you on any action needed after they call to your home.
That’s a bit like calling a car dealer and asking ‘how much does a car cost?’ The cost of asbestos removal depends on factors such as the type of asbestos, the amount of it, ease or difficulty of access, and more. Prices can vary from £100 to several thousand pounds. The only definite guide we can give you regarding price is that our rates are amongst the most competitive around.
It depends on the condition of the asbestos, and also how often the shed/garage is normally used. Asbestos is safe until it is disturbed, but then its cancer-causing fibres are released and can be inhaled. We always advise that any asbestos shed/garage should be treated with specialist interior paint to prevent fibre release
Theoretically, some asbestos removal work can be carried out by builders, such as removal of asbestos cement roofing, toilet cisterns, floor tiles, and other low-risk items. It is important to note though that in order to do so, they must meet strict legal requirements. They include:
- Having Asbestos Removal training – NOT Asbestos Awareness training.
- Holding a full Hazardous Waste Licence.
- Having ‘face fit’ tests for all his workers conducted by an accredited company.
- Carrying out the works to HSE standards.
- Using UN approved waste sacks (red & clear).
- Providing you with a genuine waste consignment note.
In our experience, we have yet to find builders who comply with all these requirements. A builder could be prosecuted for removing asbestos from your home without the necessary credentials, but remember you could be prosecuted too, as you have a legal duty to appoint only a competent and accredited company to carry out asbestos removal works from your property.
Unfortunately though, there are still far too many cowboy builders out there who remove asbestos from homes, and put both themselves and the homeowner’s family at risk.
You are legally allowed to remove some of the more minor types of asbestos yourself. They will need to be removed carefully under controlled conditions. You will need specialist overalls that are for asbestos removal and a mask with a P3 filter. The asbestos must be wrapped in polythene and taken to a local site which takes hazardous waste.
There are lots of areas where you can find asbestos material in your home, as it was used to mix with things like cement and plaster
- Insulation boards between wall partitions Flooring ( PVC tiles)
- Sprayed coating and textured paints on ceilings and walls (Artex)
- Cement products like gutters, water tanks and rainwater pipes.
- Roof tiles, paneling and exterior walls.
There is no legal requirement for an asbestos survey on a domestic property unless it is to undergo refurbishment. If this is the case the landlord will need to commission a survey before any works are started
The Duty Holder or person responsible for maintenance should have commissioned an asbestos survey to establish this by now. If you are responsible for maintenance then this is your responsibility and you need to give us a call immediately. If this is your landlord’s role, ask him for a copy of the report.
No, many houses in the UK contain asbestos and there is no legal requirement to remove. The material just needs to be kept in good condition and away from disturbance. Please note however, that it is illegal to sell any type of asbestos product in the UK including second hand material such as roof sheets or floor tiles.
Give us a call and one of our operatives will come out and take a sample. We will then analyse the material and provide you with a certificate showing if it is asbestos free of the type and concentration of asbestos found within it.
Exit the room immediately and close the door. If possible wet a towel and place it at the bottom of the door to prevent any fibres from blowing out with the draft. Then give us a call and one of our operatives will call to assess the situation.
Yes, we can arrange for the provision of air testing in the property which will determine if there are asbestos fibres present in the air. Give us a call for further information and pricing.
We are able to provide any level of survey required, up to the Demolition and Refurbishment survey now required prior to the demolition of any building or structure.
The strategy of the HSE is to ensure that those involved in the repair, removal or disturbance of asbestos containing materials (ACMs), such as insulation coatings or insulation boards, are licensed & competent
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