Asbestos is an incredibly dangerous material that most domestic and commercial properties are made up of if it was built from 1950 onwards. Thanks to its robustness, durability and longevity, it’s no wonder that builders right up to the year 1999 were using it to create hardy homes. Since then, it’s been deemed to be an extremely dangerous material. Where can you find it in your house and what can be done about it?
What is asbestos?
Asbestos is a building material that was commonly used to build properties both domestic and commercial, throughout the 1950’s onwards. Where its use in the UK was banned in 1999, according to Gov.uk, asbestos is still found by homeowners throughout the country. When disturbed, fibres can be released into the air and breathed in by someone nearby. This can be extremely dangerous, resulting in death in severe cases. It’s considered to be carcinogenic. As a result, it has a high resistance to heat, corrosion and electricity. So it might well be found anywhere in your home, but where, exactly?
Where can asbestos be found in & around the home?
You might think that asbestos is a thing of the past, especially if you’ve done a lot of work on your home recently. Depending on the age of your property, it’s highly-likely that there’s still asbestos present somewhere within your home. It’s often in the places you would never have thought would be affected. From ceilings to floor tiles, here are just a few places where asbestos is found in the home:
In the loft: insulation
Insulation contains asbestos fibres, depending on its age and when the house was built. It can be found in both domestic and commercial properties. So business owners need to be careful when it comes to identification. Asbestos within insulation is often considered to be the most dangerous form of asbestos because of how fine and fibrous it is. The material can be easily released into the air and breathed in, which is extremely dangerous. Make sure you have a mask and gloves on if you’re inspecting your loft insulation and hire a professional to identify and dispose of it for you to ensure absolute safety.
In the garden: gutters, downpipes, soffits & roofing felt
The garden, and any outbuildings, is likely to have asbestos somewhere within it. It might even be that previous owners have buried it underground as a way of disposing of it. With that in mind, take care when digging up your garden. Having said that, asbestos is more likely to be found in old soffits, eaves, guttering and even roofing felt. These might be present on your house or on garages and other outbuildings. You will need to have those things tested if you’re looking to have them replaced. You should then hire an asbestos removal and disposal company to take it all away for you, something we can do here at Willshee’s.
In the kitchen: vinyl floor tiles
It’s not widely known, but floor tiles could contain asbestos, albeit very small amounts. While a popular choice in the home for many decades, an increasing number of homeowners are looking to rid their properties of these vinyl floor tiles. This is because they’re no longer considered to be on-trend. But you should take great care when taking up these floor tiles. You could ask a specialist to test the material for asbestos traces, for added peace of mind.
In the living room: artex ceilings
It might be that the artex ceilings around your home contain asbestos. Where this does depend on the age of the property, textured finishes are likely to have asbestos within them. This makes it dangerous for homeowners to alter their ceilings themselves. Even decorative coving could contain asbestos, which is something worth noting if you’re looking to make some home improvements yourself. If you suspect that any of the aforementioned things contains asbestos, you could ask a specialist to test it for you, just to be sure. If it does contain asbestos, make sure it’s taken away by a reputable waste management company, such as us here at Willshee’s.
In the airing cupboard: pipe & tank insulation
Depending on the age of your boiler and central heating system, it could be that you have a copper tank which is wrapped in insulation. You might also find that the pipework surrounding the tank is also covered in insulation. It’s imperative that you take great care when touching or handling the insulation that sits around the system. This is because some fibres and materials used in the insulation might contain asbestos fibres, in much the same way as your loft insulation. If you must touch it, make sure you’re wearing gloves and are wearing a mask.
What can I do if I find asbestos in my home?
If you find, or suspect that you have, asbestos in and around your home, it’s important that you ask a contractor to come and remove the asbestos for you. They will place it in designated bags ready for responsible disposal. Willshee’s are able to dispose of your waste asbestos in a safe and environmentally-friendly way.
For your absolute peace of mind, we’ll always provide you with a waste transfer note to prove that we have taken your asbestos waste away. It will also prove that it’s been disposed of in a responsible manner. This way, you’ll never have to worry about hazardous waste being fly-tipped or left somewhere that could harm wildlife, plants or, most importantly, other people.
Willshee’s are pleased to provide hazardous waste management services to customers throughout Burton-upon-Trent and the surrounding areas. If you would like further information about how we can help with asbestos disposal today, get in touch with a member of our friendly, professional team – we’re always on hand to help with your domestic or commercial project with skip hire and hazardous waste disposal services you can trust.