Frequently Asked Questions about Asbestos
We have asbestos survey information on all our homes and know whereabouts asbestos can be found in our properties. In this way, we aim to keep tenants safe and make sure there is no accidental release of asbestos fibres during refurbishment work or repairs.
We will not normally remove undamaged asbestos products, as they are not a threat to health and safety.
- What is asbestos?
Asbestos is a material that was widely used in buildings up to the 1980s because it's fire resistant and provides good insulation. It was banned from use in 1999.
- How is it harmful?
Asbestos products are only a risk to health when they are damaged, releasing asbestos fibres into the air.
If asbestos fibres are inhaled they can cause a number of harmful diseases, the effects of which only become apparent after many years.
Because of the delay in symptoms appearing, the scale of the health risk only became known after asbestos had been widely used and many people had already been exposed.
Most asbestos products pose no risk to health, whilst they remain in good condition and undisturbed.
- Where might I find asbestos in my home?
While there may be asbestos products in your home, they are unlikely to pose a risk as long as they are not disturbed, as there’s little chance of accidental damage.
You might find asbestos in these common building materials:
- sprayed asbestos – generally used as fire breaks in ceiling voids, fire protection of ducts and structural steelwork
- thermal insulation lagging around pipes and boilers
- linings for walls, ceilings and doors
- roofing tiles and felt
- some ceiling tiles
- some flooring materials
- decorative textured coatings to walls and ceilings, generally applied prior to 1990
- bath panels
- boarding and gaskets within electrical mains fuse cupboards and certain gas fires
- asbestos cement products, compressed into flat or corrugated sheets, typically used as roofing and wall cladding on garages, sheds etc.
- other asbestos cement products including gutters, rainwater pipes, water tanks and flues.
- What precautions should I take?
You should not make any alterations or improvements to your home, other than cleaning and basic decorating, without our permission.
If your property does contain asbestos, you should avoid damaging it in any way. You should not carry out any work that involves drilling, sawing, sanding or cutting into it that may release fibres into the air.
If you're not sure if you have asbestos in your home, always treat it as if it does until we confirm that it hasn't.
If you have any concerns, contact us.
If you would like to ask our permission to make an improvement to your home, please download and complete the application form below before returning it to your local office.