We should all know by now about the dangers of asbestos and what it can do to our health. It is only dangerous, however, if it is damaged or disturbed, as that is when the asbestos fibres are released into the atmosphere. This article aims to help you determine what to do about asbestos in your home.
Most forms of asbestos were banned in the UK in the 1980’s, with chrysotile being banned in 1999, but before then it was very commonly used in the construction of buildings due to it’s availability and low cost.
If your home was built before the year 2000 then there’s a good chance it will contain asbestos. So if you are planning on doing any renovations then you need to be aware that the asbestos could be disturbed and pose a risk to you and your families health.
Steps to take if you suspect asbestos
Providing the asbestos containing material hasn’t been damaged or disturbed in any way, then it is fine to leave where it is, as it doesn’t pose a risk to health.
However, if the suspected asbestos containing material has been damaged or disturbed in any way as a result of DIY or renovation work, then it’s vital that you leave it well alone and seek the help of a professional asbestos surveying company, who will need to carry out a survey and possibly take samples to ascertain whether or not asbestos is present.
Minor DIY jobs like painting and decorating or drilling holes into walls on asbestos containing materials are fine as long as you are trained on working with asbestos (works with non licensed asbestos training), and you know how to identify the risks and work in a safe manner.
How to safely remove asbestos
Firstly, never ever attempt to remove asbestos yourself. It needs to be removed by a licensed asbestos removal contractor. So if you suspect asbestos is in your home, then you 1st need to contact an asbestos surveying company, such as Armco Asbestos Consultants, who will test the area/suspect material. Then, if asbestos is found, the surveyors will normally recommend an asbestos removal company for you.
Duty holders and employers have a legal responsibility to manage asbestos in their building so as not to put employees at risk. Contact our Armco office for asbestos management and refurbishment/ demolition surveys on 0161 763 3727 or by visiting http://www.armco.org.uk/. Alternatively, to book onto one of our asbestos training courses, please call 0161 761 4424 or visit http://www.armcoasbestostraining.co.uk/