Just because the property you’re thinking of buying is only a decade or so old, unfortunately this doesn’t necessarily guarantee that it’s asbestos free. Many people assume that because the use of asbestos in new building materials has been banned since the 1990s, a modern home will be free of this potentially lethal substance. Sadly this is frequently not the case, as the following examples demonstrate:

Second hand materials may still contain asbestos

Unless you have owned the property from the time it was built, verifying what products previous owners have used to carry out home improvements is virtually impossible. Without professional testing, there is no way of knowing whether your textured ceiling has been created using modern materials or made from older products that included a percentage of white asbestos fibres.

Period fittings can contain asbestos

Those retro Marley floor tiles you admire or that intriguing 1950s gas fire you covet could also contain dangerous asbestos. Although people may be aware that asbestos was widely used as an insulator and in roofing, the versatile nature of the product means that it was a key part of everything from mattresses to artificial snow. Many people buy older items for their aesthetic appeal, inadvertently bringing asbestos into their modern property.

Don’t forget the shed!

Particularly if you’ve purchased a new build with period out buildings, it’s easy to overlook the asbestos that is a common feature of many older sheds and farm buildings. Commonly used for roofing, pipe lagging, insulation and tiles, thoughtless refurbishment or demolition can release millions of dangerous asbestos fibres, presenting a significant risk to workers and bystanders.

Because asbestos is no longer used in new construction work, it’s easy to forget that there is still an enormous amount of it in circulation. Old DIY materials, retro fittings, poorly refurbished older properties and outside storage areas can all contain high levels of asbestos. An asbestos survey ensures all potentially dangerous asbestos is identified, enabling you to put in place a sensible management plan to minimise exposure and facilitate the safe containment or removal of this hazardous substance.

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