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Asbestos

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral, found in rock, which can break into very tiny pieces, small enough to be inhaled. If these fibres are inhaled in very large quantities, they can get stuck in the lungs and in some cases cause disease and cancer. Before it was discovered that asbestos was harmful to humans it was widely used in the building industry for many years.

If there is asbestos in your home, this does not automatically mean that it is a problem - asbestos can only affect your health if it becomes damaged, as it could then release harmful fibres into the air around you.

It is therefore very important that our customers work with us to make sure that asbestos is not unknowingly disturbed.

What do I need to tell you about?

Customers should tell us:

  • Getting our OK prior to undertaking any improvement works, DIY or any other works that may disturb the internal or external fabric of the building, including outbuildings
  • Providing access for the purposes of asbestos surveys as well as allowing access for any asbestos removal works deemed necessary
  • Notifying us of any damage to the fabric of the building as soon as possible

One of the most common uses of asbestos was in textured coating on ceilings and walls, and it was also widely used in cement products and insulation boarding. This diagram shows where asbestos products are most commonly found in houses built before 2000:

Asbestos

Undisturbed and in good condition, these products pose no risk to people’s health and are best left where they are. If you are concerned that asbestos in your home may have become damaged, or are planning to carry out or commission any work, then please contact us.

Asbestos Surveys

There are two types of asbestos surveys that we may carry out to your home: Management Surveys and Refurbishment Surveys. Most properties are given a Management survey, which will identify most suspected asbestos, and provides enough information for planned maintenance works or repairs that will be carried out.

However, sometimes the proposed works will need information about an area that was not accessed during the initial survey, such as behind the bath panel or within boxing, and this is when a second survey may be requested. We do not carry out full Refurbishment Surveys at all properties as they can leave unsightly damage to areas of your home. We therefore aim to carry out these surveys on an as required basis to minimise possible inconvenience to our customers.

What should you do if you believe asbestos has been disturbed?

Remain calm, vacate the immediate area of the damaged material and contact us straight away. Do not try to repair or clear up the damage. Do not try to brush or vacuum up the material because further disturbance to the fibres could increase health risks.