Asbestos in your home - Five places it could be hiding
Never handle asbestos yourself
First of all, it is important to say that asbestos is a highly dangerous substance and if you suspect it’s present in your home, you should contact a professional straight away.
By explaining five places where asbestos is most commonly found, hopefully, we can give you have a better understanding of which areas might pose a potential risk in your home.
Asbestos behind plasterboard
Asbestos was a key material in the construction of many homes and can lie undetected for extended periods of time.
Asbestos was commonly used as a spray which was applied to plasterboard (sometimes known as drywall). Asbestos was also used to coat sheets of cement found layered behind walls.
When it becomes damaged or disturbed, asbestos fibres become airborne and can then be inhaled. So you might be drilling through plasterboard while self-renovating your home and inadvertently release asbestos into the atmosphere.
It’s important to treat plasterboard with caution in homes built before 1999 and to make sure you take the necessary precautions to keep yourself safe.
Asbestos in your garage
Asbestos was used very commonly in the construction of garages because of the qualities it possesses. It was resistant to erosion, decay, heat and weathering, which made it perfect for use in the corrugated sheets of metal on a garage roof.
Garage roofs will undoubtedly deteriorate due to time, weather conditions, or any scrapes, dents and cracks. A garage refurbishment may also result in a garage roof being dislodged. Both of these scenarios could result in the highly dangerous asbestos particles becoming airborne.
For this reason, old garages with weathered corrugated metal sheets should be treated with extreme care. Asbestos was also used in the concrete found on garage floors and walls, so it might be present there too. Not only do we specialise in removing garage roofs, but we can also provide complete asbestos removal and disposal from garages across Colchester, Essex and London.
Asbestos in insulation
Asbestos wrapped around insulation pipes in homes and buildings was a very frequent practice before the substance was banned.
Over time, this insulation will break down and many home-owners, in the interest of saving energy, will look to replace their insulation.
Stripping away the insulation of old pipes is extremely dangerous as it will almost definitely result in asbestos particles being released into the atmosphere.
Inhaling these particles could eventually result in many life-threatening diseases. If you live in an older home and have any doubts about whether your pipe insulation contains asbestos, you should contact a professional to come for a survey.
Asbestos in your attic
The attic is high on the list for places where asbestos will most likely have been used. Insulating an attic is a must for homes, as it’s the place where the most heat naturally escapes from houses.
By padding an attic with plenty of insulation, you can minimise the heat waste and save money. In homes built before 1999, this insulation would have been likely to contain asbestos.
Furthermore, asbestos used to insulate attics could fall through cracks in the ceiling, meaning it may not actually have to be disturbed to become airborne.
Having an old home with lots of cracks and dents in the walls and ceiling might be put you at risk of being exposed to airborne asbestos.
Asbestos in Artex
Artex is a surface coating substance used for interior decorating. Many older homes would have had their ceilings decorated with Artex, usually to achieve a swirling or popcorn pattern.
However, Artex was sometimes used to decorate walls as well. The ability to add texture using this substance (it was very on-trend!) made it popular at the time.
Despite the quantity of asbestos in Artex being relatively low, it still could be enough to cause serious health risks if it becomes sufficiently disturbed. With home renovations becoming more popular than ever, there is a chance that people are unknowingly redecorating their walls and ceilings and releasing asbestos fibres into the air.
If you have an older home with Artex decorations, be sure to contact a professional asbestos removal contractor before removing it.
Expect the unexpected
To conclude, there are a number of places where asbestos may be hiding in your home. If you have an older home then some of the descriptions in this post may have raised concerns about a particular area of your house. However, we’ve dealt with asbestos found in a variety of locations, including buried in a back garden!
The recommended advice is to steer clear of anywhere you suspect asbestos may be present and to consult a qualified professional as soon as possible. If you are based in Suffolk, Essex or London, contact us to speak to a member of our experienced team.
Get in touch
Give us a call today to help deal with your asbestos. Whether you know where it is or you simply suspect you have it, we can get it dealt with. We work across the South East of England, including Kent, London, Essex and Suffolk. If you want our help, give us a call or send us a message today.