Asbestos has a reputation for being a hugely dangerous substance, but you may not realise that it can be in seemingly innocuous places around the home or in the workplace. These are five of the most common places that you will find asbestos – but please remember that this is not an exhaustive list and that if you believe you may have asbestos anywhere on your property, you should have it assessed by professionals.
In both residential and commercial properties, loose fill asbestos was commonly used as an insulation material. That means it is often found under floorboards, in cavity walls or in lofts. Loose asbestos is arguably one of the most dangerous forms of the substance as it can easily release fibres into the air if it is just lightly disturbed.
Some people don’t realise that asbestos can be commonly found in cement. For many years a large proportion of builders and fabricators used asbestos as a part of their cement mixture as it produced a far stronger finished product. The danger of asbestos cement is that it looks exactly like ordinary cement which means that sometimes people don’t know that their property has asbestos contained within it.
Another common place that you’ll find asbestos is in something called asbestos insulation board (AIB). This was used a fireproofing material but is also commonly found as ceiling tiles and in many other places. It can be very difficult to tell the difference between ceiling tiles that contain asbestos and those that don’t, which raises the risk that this form of asbestos poses.
Enormously common in industrial and commercial premises, asbestos is present in many sprayed insulation coatings applied to the underside of roofs and walls. Because these sprayed coatings contain a very high percentage of asbestos, just a small amount of damage or disturbance to them can release a very large quantity of fibres into the air.
One place that many people don’t realise that asbestos can be lurking is in textured coatings. Many houses and properties have ceilings and walls decorative with textured coatings – like the famous Artex brand. Hugely popular through the 70s and 80s, many of these coatings contained asbestos. If your home has ceilings that have been decorated with Artex or another form of textured coating, it may be that it has asbestos within.