Asbestos is a natural material that is mined and processed. It’s used in many different construction materials. There are 3 commercially used asbestos: Chrysotile (White), Amosite (Brown) and Crocidolite (Blue).

Asbestos was commonly used until the late 90s. It’s very common to find asbestos within homes across the UK. If the asbestos-containing materials are in good condition, it can remain in place and pose no risk to human health

What to do if you have asbestos in your home

Generally, asbestos is usually safe in the home unless it is damaged or disturbed. Therefore, it’s always best to leave asbestos alone if possible.

Don’t try to repair or remove any asbestos materials yourself if you haven’t had any training.

If you are planning to bring in any builders, maintenance workers or contractors for DIY or maintenance, you should inform them of any asbestos materials in your home before they start work.

Remember: if in doubt, seek advice.

Asbestos dos and don'ts

Points to remember:

  • Don’t panic if you think you have asbestos in your home – it’s usually only a problem if it is disturbed or damaged
  • Do treat asbestos with respect
  • Don’t drill, saw or disturb materials that contain asbestos. This includes sanding or scraping for decoration.

Common locations of asbestos

These are some common locations for asbestos, but there may be others in your home. If in doubt, leave it well alone and seek expert help. Common locations of asbestos include:

  • Decorative textured artex coatings to ceilings and walls
  • Vinyl or thermoplastic products (such as floor tiles or underlays)
  • Wall panelling and boxings (such as lining in meter cupboards or service risers)
  • Bituminous products (such as adhesive, damp proof course, roof felts)
  • Gutters, rainwater pipes and soffit boards (asbestos cement products)
  • Cold water cisterns or water tanks
  • Corrugated sheets (such as garage or shed roofs)
  • Thermal insulation (such as pipes, calorifiers, boilers)
  • Sprayed coating (around steel frames)

This list is not exhaustive and only aims to provide an indication about the variety and extent of asbestos use.

Information for council residents

Due to the age of the Council’s housing stock, it’s likely that some asbestos will be present. The Council has carried out asbestos surveys in a large proportion of properties and the overall risk was found to be low.

If you are a council resident you should seek permission before making any alterations to your home. You must also make the Council aware immediately if you suspect asbestos to be damaged.

If you:

  • are planning any alterations to your home
  • want any advice regarding asbestos
  • are reporting any damage to suspected asbestos

Council residents can contact the repairs support team by: