What should I do if I suspect there is Asbestos in my home?

What should I do if I suspect there is Asbestos in my home?

What to do if you find, or are notified that there is asbestos in your home.

What is asbestos?

It is a natural fibre and was used in a wide range of building materials and products up to the 1990’s because it is a good insulator and resistant to fire. Homes built since the mid-1990s are unlikely to contain asbestos because of changes in health and safety laws.

Why is it harmful?

When products containing asbestos get old or damaged, they can release fibres into the air. When people breathe in high levels of these fibres they risk getting serious lung disease.

There may be asbestos in your home. However there is little risk unless the product containing it is damaged. If there is damaged asbestos in your home please contact us for advice.

Where might I find it in my home?

You might find it in these common building materials:

  • Sprayed asbestos – generally used as fire breaks in ceiling spaces, fire protection of ducts and structural steelwork
  • Lagging around pipes and boilers
  • Walls, ceilings and door linings
  • Roofing tiles and felt
  • Some ceiling tiles
  • Some flooring
  • Decorative textured coatings generally applied before 1990
  • Bath panels
  • Boarding and gaskets in electrical mains fuse cupboards and some gas fires
  • Asbestos cement products, like flat or corrugated roofing sheets and wall cladding on garages, sheds etc.
  • Gutters, rainwater pipes, water tanks and flues

How to tell if a product contains asbestos

Since 1976, British manufacturers put labels on their products to show they contain asbestos. Since 1986 all products with asbestos carry the European label. The supplier or manufacturer may be able to tell you if it contains asbestos.

Remember: products that contain asbestos can look very similar to those that don’t.

If in doubt call us on 01452 424344 about building materials.
Contact Gloucester City Council’s Environmental Health service on 01452 396396 about other goods.

How are we reducing the risk?

We have surveyed a sample of our homes to get a picture of where it is. This helps us to manage it and reduce any risk to you.

If it is damaged we will remove it. If it is not damaged we may leave it alone to do its fire-resistant job. In that case we will make sure that everyone knows the asbestos is there and that nobody damages it.

When we repair or improve your home, we will treat it with the caution it deserves. This ensures that your health and safety and that of our staff are not put at risk.

What should I do if I think there is asbestos in my home?

It is often best to leave it where it is, if in good condition and not easily damaged. Removing it can lead to higher levels of fibre in the air for some time. We will check the condition of the asbestos from time to time to make sure it isn’t damaged or deteriorating.

Do:

  • Contact us straight away if you think there is damaged or deteriorating asbestos in your home
  • Contact us if you think your warm-air heating system, electrical storage heating system or flameless catalytic gas heater may contain asbestos

Don’t:

  • Disturb or damage asbestos that is in good condition.

Contact GCH or the Health and Safety Executive www.hse.gov.uk Telephone: 0300 003 1747