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How do you know if there's asbestos in your home?

Looking after your property can feel like a bit of an overwhelming task at times. There can seem to be a constant stream of things to look after and emergencies to deal with, and it can be a real struggle juggling everything at once.

One serious concern that you’ll often find yourself faced with is the task of identifying and removing asbestos. It needn’t be as confusing as it seems at first - if you’re wondering if there is any present in your home, here are a few things to consider.

When was it built?

One important thing to keep in mind when assessing the probability that there might be asbestos in your home is working out when it was built. Asbestos was primarily used in buildings in the UK between around 1930 and 1980, with usage increasing from the 1960s onwards.

If your property was built after this time period, it’s very unlikely that it will contain asbestos. If, however, it was built before the 1930s, then there’s still a chance that renovation work was done after that date using materials that contain asbestos.

Does it have obvious signs of asbestos?

In addition to the date that the property was built, there are some obvious signs that you can watch out for. Common materials in houses that contain asbestos include floor tiles, insulation panels, and artex, a kind of textured paint that’s common in a lot of older houses. 

It’s worth taking a look at photos online of these common materials so that you know what visual clues to look out for. There are far too many different materials to learn all of them, but if you can learn about at least 4 or 5, you’ll be in a good position.

Get the materials tested

Once you think you’ve spotted a material that might contain asbestos, it’s important that you get that material tested. You can buy sampling kits where you take a tiny piece of the material, pop it in a bag, and send it off to a testing centre. You should get your results after not too long at all, and based on that information, you can work out what steps to take next.

Getting it removed

If you find that the tests come back positive for asbestos, you’ll likely need to get that material removed from your property. While some asbestos-containing materials are relatively stable, others can break down over time and start to release small pieces of asbestos into the air. You must get the items in question professionally removed before that starts to happen, to avoid contaminating your home further. 

Asbestos is a bit of a scary buzzword, and it’s natural to be concerned if you find that there is an asbestos-containing material in your home. That being said, if you use the right testing and removal techniques to get rid of it, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be a relatively simple and easy issue to deal with.


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