Asbestos in the home
Some areas of your home may contain asbestos, but undisturbed asbestos usually causes no problems. However, care should be taken to prevent the release of fibres as they can cause serious damage to your health.
Safe asbestos cement removal
Please refer to the guidance for Asbestos cement garages and sheds below.
Asbestos do’s and don’ts
- Don’t panic if you think you have asbestos in your home (its usually only a problem if its disturbed).
- Do treat asbestos with respect.
- Don’t drill, saw or disturb materials that contain asbestos.
- Do seek advice if you think you have got asbestos in your home.
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that has been used in a range of building materials prior to the year 2000 to make them more rigid and fire resistant.
Some areas in your home where you may find asbestos include:
- eaves, gutters and rainwater fall pipes
- fire blankets
- garage and shed roofs
- linings for walls, ceilings and doors
- insulation panels in some storage heaters
- bath panels
- central heating flues
- loose asbestos packing between floors and in partition walls
- floor tiles
There are other locations where asbestos can be found – if in doubt leave it alone and get expert help.
Visit this image gallery to see some pictures of asbestos that can be found in the home.
- The general rule is always leave asbestos alone. It’s usually safe unless it is damaged or disturbed.
- Paint indoor materials with an alkali-resistant paint such as PVA emulsion, and never sand, drill or saw asbestos materials.
- Always seek advice before thinking of removing asbestos and follow the basic guidelines if carrying out asbestos cement removal work.
- Do not attempt to remove asbestos lagging, spray coatings or large areas of insulation board by yourself, as these materials can only be safely removed by a licensed contractor.
- Sometimes it will be necessary to take a sample of the material to identify the type of asbestos it is. This must be done by a company competent to carry out such work.