Firstly, What Is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a carcinogenic mineral that consists of microscopic fibres that are flexible and resistant to electricity, corrosion and heat. Unfortunately, it’s naturally occurring and was originally used in construction for insulation, flooring, roofing and many other necessary aspects of a building. Asbestos has been banned in the United Kingdom since 1999. However, some buildings built before 2000 are likely to have asbestos used in them. There are six main types of asbestos, but any type of the material will need to be professionally dealt with. If you think you may have asbestos, the best thing you can do is to book an asbestos survey. You will be able to find plenty of reputable businesses in your area by searching, for example, ‘Asbestos Survey London’
How Can You Spot Asbestos?
As asbestos is made of tiny fibres, it can be challenging to spot with the naked eye alone. However, there are a few tips we can give you to try and identify it, although you should hire a professional for an asbestos survey. The first tip is to check the date of when the material was manufactured. If it is before 1999, then it is much more likely that it is asbestos you’re seeing. Another way to identify asbestos is to look at the surface pattern of the material as most asbestos will have a dimpled pattern on it.
What Are The Risks From Asbestos Exposure?
When the fibres of asbestos are disturbed, and they’re released into the air, it can have serious health implications. If you inhale these fibres, you can develop conditions long after the first exposure. Asbestos has been confirmed to cause lung cancer, specifically Mesothelioma, which is almost always fatal by the time it has been diagnosed. You can also be at risk of lung scarring called Asbestosis, which occurs after many years of inhaling asbestos.
What To Do When Buying Or Renovating A House With Asbestos?
When looking to purchase a property, it’s customary for the buyers to organise a home buyers report over the house, during which surveyors will flag potential asbestos. Should the material be found, some potential buyers may pull out. However, if your heart is truly set on the property you’ve found, you can get a full asbestos survey to show you the extent of this. Once the amount of asbestos is clear, you will need to get a quote for how much it will cost to remove it.
Once you have the quote, you can return to the property seller and propose a reduced price or ask for them to cover the costs. It is customary for the seller to cover these costs as it is in their interest to get rid of the asbestos or the property won’t sell. If you’re willing to spend time on this and negotiate with the seller, your future renovations will be easier as it will be certain there is no asbestos.
If you’re simply renovating a house and you find asbestos, you will need to contact a removal company before any other work can take place. If you try to carry on, you’ll find contractors will refuse to service you, or the asbestos may get disturbed, and you could experience health implications.
Overall, finding asbestos in your home is inconvenient and unsettling. However, you’ll have peace of mind once your house has undergone an asbestos survey and removal. The health of you and your family is important, and there is clear scientific evidence of the health issues that asbestos can present. Be sure to stay safe and check for asbestos if you think you’re at risk of having it.