Asbestos in the Home – be “Asbestos Conscious”

We have touched upon the scaremongering of Asbestos before, however with many coming into the New Year with vigour and resolutions to finally address that living room revamp or property renovation – now seems a prudent time to remind folk to be “Asbestos Conscious” especially regarding Asbestos in the home.

First and foremost, the gist of this post is to be aware of Asbestos, not scared of it. To be forewarned is forearmed after all.

If you are planning building works, especially in older buildings, we’ve put together a very quick guide of the usual hot-spots where this sneaky substance resides completely unseen:

  • Fireplaces / Surrounds
  • Insulation (around Boilers, ducts, pipes, sheeting)
  • Artex Ceilings
  • Floor Tiles
  • Ceiling Tiles
  • Roof Tiles
  • Soffits & Fascias

We all know that there are many different types of asbestos, but an obvious question is “do we necessarily know what we’re looking at”?

Say you’ve removed a couple of the old tiles from the fireplace surround, would you know what Asbestos looks like? Most people wouldn’t.

So, what is the solution?

Firstly, be mindful that it COULD be Asbestos, do not be blasé about it.

Nobody likes to think that a harmless bit of DIY could result in the airborne release of harmful Asbestos, but if people were armed with the correct information, maybe they will be more cautionary rather than unaware.

The official first step would be to refer to the HSE website and more specifically locate the HSG210 EM1 information for formal guidance.

If you suspect Asbestos may be present yet it is not damaged, my first action would be to take a picture of the area, source a trusted and reputable Asbestos Removal Contractor/ Surveyor or Consultant and ask a very quick, simple question: Could this be Asbestos?

However, if you have damaged the suspected Asbestos, vacate the property immediately and contact a licensed Asbestos Removal Contractor/ Surveyor/ Consultant to assess the situation.

As a brief guide, houses built during or before the 1980’s are more likely to contain Asbestos. It is typically contained in insulation, ceilings, floor tiles, walls and pipes.

What are the types of Asbestos if it is suspected? This may mean little to you now, but if identified at least the names will confirm which type of Asbestos is present.

  • Chrysotile (white asbestos)
  • Amosite (brown asbestos)
  • Crocidolite (blue asbestos)
  • Tremolite
  • Anthophyllite
  • Actinolite

The moral of our Blog is simple, don’t fear the unknown – but especially with Asbestos in the home – be “Asbestos Conscious”.