Asbestos in houses

Last Updated on March 13, 2024 by Gemma Hardy

Asbestos in houses – what to look for

You will no doubt have heard of asbestos and know about the risk it poses to our health, but did you know asbestos can be found in many older style houses?

So how can you tell if you have asbestos in your house?

Well, It’s actually quite easy to detect the presence of asbestos in houses if you know what to look for.

asbestos in older houses
Asbestos is often present in older style houses and buildings built pre 1980

Below is a useful list of some of the most typical indications that asbestos is lurking:-

1. The Year it was built

Most houses built before 1999 will contain asbestos in some shape or form. This is because it was used as a common building material up until that point and was used in ceilings, flooring, roofing, insulation, ceilings, piping and walls.

2. Check the roof

The roof is probably the most common place where asbestos can be found in houses.  Corrugated flat roofing and bitumen roofs being the main types.  They tend to be contaminated with chrysotile white asbestos.

3. Check the Flooring

Again, flooring is another major culprit when it comes to asbestos contamination in houses, particularly tiled flooring. Vinyl tiles will most probably contain asbestos.

4. Look at the Plumbing

Asbestos was and still is used in some places in houses to insulate pipes. Are your pipes producing white or grey remnants of insulation that isn’t pipe insulation?  Then the likelihood is that your home contains asbestos.

5. Check the Ceiling

Another common area to find asbestos in houses is in old ceilings.  Left alone, it will be completely fine, but if you plan on anything like repainting the ceiling or installing a new light fitting for example, then it’s better to be safe then sorry and have it tested for asbestos.

6. Have an asbestos survey carried out on the house

If you are in any doubt at all and want to know for sure if you have asbestos in your house, then the best thing to do is to get a professional asbestos surveyor in to carry out an asbestos survey.

The costs for an asbestos survey vary and will depend on the size of the house and location, but a typical two bedroom property will cost around £300 or less.

Another much cheaper option is to have a sample of the asbestos tested by an asbestos testing laboratory, a service which asbestos surveying companies will offer.

But this alone may not be sufficient if you expect you may have asbestos throughout your home.

In this instance, a full asbestos survey would be required.

Whether you need an asbestos management survey, or a refurbishment/ demolition survey, contact us on 0161 763 3727 or by visiting

Finally, for all your asbestos training needs call 0161 761 4424 or visit book an asbestos awareness training course.

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Published Apr 16, 2018

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