Asbestos

Asbestos is not a health hazard if it is in good condition. When products that contain asbestos are damaged or deteriorate, then you and others may be at risk.

What is asbestos?

Asbestos is a strong fibrous mineral, which can resist heat and chemicals. It is mined from rock and milled into fibres from which a wide range of materials were produced. It was most commonly used in building materials between the 1950s and 1980s. Products containing asbestos can look the same as those that do not.

Where could I come across asbestos in my home?

On the outside of the building

  • Roof sheets and tiles
  • Fascia boards
  • Cladding
  • Guttering and drain pipes

Interior surfaces

  • Textured wall and ceiling coatings (eg Artex)
  • Duct panels (access to pipe work)
  • Infill panels (above, below or next to doorways and windows)
  • Panels behind radiators and heaters
  • Floor tiles
  • Suspended ceiling panels
  • Underside of stairs

Other places

  • Insulation to boilers and water heaters
  • Boiler flue pipes
  • Storage radiators
  • Bath panels
  • Fireplace panels
  • Panels to underside of sink
  • Water tank
  • Pipe lagging
  • Garage and shed roofs

Am I at risk?

No, not if products that contain asbestos are undisturbed and undamaged. If they do become damaged or deteriorate, then you and others may be at risk. DIY activities such as sanding or drilling may disturb and possibly damage products containing asbestos. So please seek advice from our maintenance department before doing this kind of work on any material you think may contain asbestos.

What are we doing about the problem?

We will minimise the risk from asbestos for our tenants, their visitors and our contractors by:

  • carrying out surveys to identify asbestos-containing material in all areas of our properties, if we think this is needed
  • compiling and maintaining a register of where there is asbestos
  • assessing the risk from all known asbestos-containing materials in all of our properties
  • managing the risk from asbestos-containing materials
  • giving information about where asbestos-containing materials are and their condition, to anyone who may be exposed to asbestos
  • giving tenants information on request about where there are asbestos-containing materials and their condition
  • ensuring that anyone who might disturb asbestos-containing materials follows appropriate and safe procedures.

What do I need to know?

  • Remember, asbestos-containing materials are safe when in good condition and undisturbed
  • Try to ensure that anything you think may contain asbestos remains in good condition
  • Before doing any structural DIY work, always get our advice – you may need permission to do the work under the terms of your tenancy

When decorating:

  • Always soak wallpaper before removing it from the walls – if possible use a steam stripper and then gently peel away the paper before redecorating
  • Don’t try to remove old floor tiles or lino. Leave them in place and lay new floor coverings over them
  • Don’t try to remove textured coatings from ceilings. Wash any areas of flaking paint before re-painting

Contact us

Please call us before doing any DIY, or if you have any concerns about asbestos in your home.

For more information download our leaflet:

Asbestos in your home leaflet (568kb)