How Do You Recognise Asbestos?

 In Asbestos

How Do You Recognise Asbestos?

How Do You Spot Asbestos?

Most people know about the dangers associated with asbestos, however it’s also important to know how to identify it, to ensure it’s not in your home. It’s almost impossible for asbestos fibres to be identified by the human eye alone, so you need to know about the type of products and materials that can contain asbestos. You’d be quite surprised at the number of items in the home that could contain asbestos.

So, to help you identify asbestos in your home, we have put together a number of tips to help you spot asbestos in the home. However, one of the most important things to remember is before you start trying to check for asbestos, then you should wear suitable PPE and RPE to help protect you from exposure to any loose, broken or exposed asbestos. Small amounts of asbestos can lead to a range of illnesses.

Check The Dates For Asbestos

If your property was built before 1999, then there’s a chance that asbestos materials could have been used during its construction. If you know the manufacturer of suspected asbestos materials in your home, then can check the dates to see if at that time they were using asbestos or not. However, if you don’t know the manufacturer of the product or the age of it, then you’ll need to have it tested regardless. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, especially with things such as insulation, tiles and many other home items.

Asbestos in Outbuildings

One of the places that asbestos is regularly found is in the joints of buildings, and this includes things like outbuildings, sheds and garages. Asbestos sheets where regularly used as parts of roofing structures joined on metal runners and held on by small nails. If you have a building constructed in this way, then there’s a good chance that it could contain asbestos. But it’s not just the materials themselves, many of the adhesives themselves also contain asbestos. Cement roofing and walls are also widely used in creating building, most of which likely contains asbestos within it. Asbestos was such a popular material during its time, it wasn’t just used in the primary construction of outbuildings, it was also used in things such as insulation.

Patterned Plaster

One of the biggest indications of potential asbestos in homes is patterned plaster, also known as artex. During it’s popularity asbestos was regularly used in artex ceilings and walls, meaning if you have patterned plaster then there’s a good chance it could contain asbestos. Luckily the artex trend died out in the 90s, the same time that asbestos became banned, meaning if it was applied after this date then it’s unlikely to contain it. Asbestos in plaster should be left undisrupted until it can be tested, even the smallest chip in the plaster could lead to exposure to asbestos.

Where Else Can Asbestos Be Found In The Home?

Asbestos can be found in many areas in the home, it’s actually quite scary when you think about the number of places it can be found. In addition to primary construction materials it can also be found in places such as:

Floor Tiles
Duct Work
Fireproof Materials
Window Putty
Caulking and Sealants
Carpet Underlay
Ceiling Tiles

How Do I Test For Asbestos?

If you’re concerned your building might have asbestos in one or multiple places, then it’s best to have an asbestos survey and testing carried out, this will allow you to understand where asbestos is in the building and then a plan can be formulated going forward on how best to manage it. Asbestos can typically either be left in place undisturbed and monitored regularly, or you can arrange to have it removed. Asbestos should always be removed by a trained and qualified individual or company to ensure it is both removed and disposed of correctly. For more information or to book an asbestos survey, be sure to get in touch with us.

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