How to spot asbestos in the home?

The U.K. Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has said: “Asbestos can be found in any residential or industrial building built or refurbished before 2000”.

Asbestos was used in a wide verity of products due to its incredible strength and heat resistance properties. According to the National Cancer Institute, up to 5,000 consumer products contained asbestos.  Below are just some examples that can still be found in the home.

Asbestos was commonly used in:

Ceilings

Asbestos was commonly used in home ceilings as Artex and textured coatings as well as spray-on paint of ceiling tiles.

Insulation

Between the 1920’s and 1980’s asbestos was commonly used in attic insulation.  Pipe lagging in the home often contains asbestos and was applied to heating pipes and home plumbing areas.

Partition Walls

Asbestos insulation board (AIB). AIB was commonly used as firebreaks between rooms which means it could be found in home partition walls and ceilings.  This can also be found in areas around fireplaces, stoves and electric circuit boards.

Floor Tiles

Vinyl floor tiling and linoleum (lino) frequently used in homes may contain asbestos as well as within the bitumen adhesive used to fit these to the floor.

Asbestos Cement

Frequently used in external home areas such as sewage and fall pipes, under house roof tiles and as roof cladding and windowsills.  A common area of use was as roof panels and roof tiles to outbuildings such as sheds and garages.

Windows

The fire-resistant properties of asbestos meant it wasn’t uncommon for asbestos to be used in window putty and mastics.

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