Asbestos is a hazardous, fibrous material that was widely used throughout the construction industry from the 1950s until the turn of the new millennium when it was banned due to the health risks it caused.
This dangerous material has strong links to cancer and other serious lung conditions such as mesothelioma and numerous homes still have various forms of asbestos hidden and not so hidden in a variety of areas. Dangers exist when the material is disturbed and fibres become airborne.
We want you to stay safe so here’s our list of areas to look out for that might contain asbestos materials.
- Sheds and garages: Asbestos was widely used on corrugated roofing for garages, you might find it used as a cladding for walls as well. Care needs to be taken if you are demolishing old garages, if in doubt, get the material tested or evaluated before you proceed.
- Heating systems: Asbestos lagging was used on older types of central heating systems, look for signs of it wrapped around pipes.
- Insulating boards: Check our insulating boards inside the property, they could be grey and filled with fibrous materials.
- Cavity walls and lofts: Contractors used asbestos as an insulating material, look for a grey, blue-grey or white ‘fluffy’ material and use care because it could be a danger to your health.
- Tiles: Older floor tiles were sometimes made out of asbestos, if you lift a carpet and see old tiles underneath, treat them with respect.
- Coated ceilings or beams: It was popular to cover ceilings, beams and walls with asbestos coatings in the 1960s and 1970s, if you discover a rough coating in these areas watch out because it could be a dangerous material.
- Composites: Take on a house renovation for an older type of property and you could find examples of asbestos in bath panels, toilet cisterns and seats, it was used as a composite for a host of house features a few decades ago. Stay safe when ripping out old features, always wear a protective suit, respirator and gloves, and if you think you find hazardous materials seek specialist advice.