There are currently laws in place to deal with asbestos in non domestic properties (public buildings such as offices and shops). Although these do not yet apply to domestic properties, as a responsible landlord, we believe we should do all we can to ensure the health and safety of all our customers. This explains what we are doing about possible asbestos in your home. Please do not worry- the risks are extremely low and we take any necessary actions quickly and safely.
What is asbestos?
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral, made up of many fibres. It was widely used in building materials between 1930 and 1999 because of its strength and resistance to heat and sound.
Is it dangerous?
Asbestos is only a risk to health if fibres are released into the air and these are breathed in. It is now illegal to put asbestos into new buildings or renovations, but much of it is still in place in older buildings. As long as the property is in good condition and the asbestos is left undisturbed and undamaged, there is little risk. Exposure to high levels can cause lung diseases.
Does this affect my home?
Some of our houses and flats will have some asbestos containing materials. These were probably used as fire protection. Usually they will be in areas you wouldn’t normally go into such as roof spaces. These should not present a health risk if they have not been damaged or disturbed. Typical items that contain asbestos are:
- Cement sheet roofs and roof tiles
- Fascias, soffits and drainpipes
- Insulation board panels – e.g. to boiler cupboards
- Textured coatings such as Artex
- Vinyl floor tiles
- Cement water tanks in lofts
- Insulation around pipes and boiler flues.
You should not saw, break, scrape, brush or screw into asbestos. If you think you have damaged asbestos in your home, contact our repairs team immediately.
What are we going to do?
The Health and Safety Executive says that it is often safer to leave asbestos in place rather than remove it. Instead, depending on the level of risk, asbestos maybe left in place or sealed. We carry out asbestos surveys when work is arranged in homes as part of the Major Improvement Programme. If removal is recommended we arrange for this to be done. Contractors are also advised if there is asbestos in a property in case this ever needs to be repaired.
If you are concerned about asbestos and would like further information, please call us on 01327 707500 or download our leaflet ‘Guide to Asbestos’.