What is Artex?

Artex (Asbestos Textured Coating) is a trade name for a type of textured coating commonly found on walls and ceilings in homes and businesses throughout the UK. It was applied throughout the 70’s and 80’s, and a similar form of textured coating is still used today.

How do I know if my textured coating contains asbestos?

Most textured coatings are painted white. However, if a small area is damaged, it may reveal the true colour of the coating beneath the paint. For example, an orangey-brown or grey colour will usually indicate that the coating is plaster (as opposed to a true Artex coating). Plaster coatings are generally more modern, and so are unlikely to contain asbestos fibres.

However, if the coating is white throughout, then we recommend that you contact us to arrange for asbestos sampling to be undertaken prior to disturbing the material, as this generally indicates a true ‘Artex’-type coating. Artex and other similar textured coatings may contain chrysotile asbestos fibres (white asbestos) that can contaminate the air if the material is drilled or disturbed.

Is it safe?

Artex containing asbestos is safe when it’s in good condition and does not pose any health risk. The asbestos fibres are firmly bound into the material and will not become airborne under normal conditions.

The problem with asbestos containing Artex arises when you intend to drill, sand or disturb the material in some other way. Appropriate precautions must be taken, such as wearing the appropriate RPE (face mask) and PPE (disposable overalls) and further control measures to prevent contamination to other areas of the property.