Asbestos first came into popular use around the end of the nineteenth century. It’s able to absorb sound efficiently and is resistant to heat, fire, chemical and electrical damage. This led to it being used for many different purposes in building work; electrical insulation and building insulation were two of the most common.
In order to make the natural material, mined from the ground, easier to use, it was often mixed into concrete, or in some instances woven into mats or fabric. For much of the 20th century asbestos remained an affordable and easy solution to many building conundrums, but scientists eventually discovered that it could cause cancer.
With the discovery of a direct link between the material and lung cancer, mesothelioma and asbestosis – all serious illnesses which affect those who have worked with asbestos – it fell out of favour and ceased almost entirely to be used.
As a result of its widespread use and availability last century, many buildings which were built or improved upon in that time can still be found to harbour asbestos – it’s important to make sure that asbestos surveys have been conducted on any home you’re buying or selling to avoid costly surprises!
The buildings you’re likely to find asbestos in are those that were constructed prior to the late ’90s in the UK – white asbestos was banned as a building material in 1999.
Some spray coatings can contain asbestos, and are considered to be one of the most dangerous forms of construction material which uses asbestos. Asbestos Insulating Board and pipe insulation should also set off some major alarm bells. They’re considered more dangerous because of the type and amount of asbestos used in them.
Old bath panels and concrete water tanks are common places for asbestos to be found, and knowing the location of any asbestos in a property can reduce the risk of disturbing it and reduce the chances of any asbestos-related illness arising from contact with the substance.
If you’re buying or selling a property and need an asbestos survey completing, come to us for professional, reliable services and advice you can trust.