If you have recently moved into a property that was built or refurbished before 1980, then you may be running the risk of living in a home that has asbestos present. Whenever, you are thinking about purchasing a new home, you should always be fully aware of the potential risks and how to safeguard against them.
That’s why the team here at White Horse Surveyors have put together this blog post all about Asbestos, how to identify it and its potential impact on your health.
What is it?
Asbestos refers to a fibrous material that was originally used for a wide range of different reasons. Due to its natural resistance to heat, fire and electrical damage its was frequently used in the late 1900s and first half of the 20th century to insulate and strengthen other materials. These included:
- Electrical wiring
- Gas pipes
- Floor and ceiling tiles
- Behind Fuse Boxes, Fires or Boilers
What Dangers does it pose?
Asbestos is easily ingested when tiny fibers are released into the surrounding air. These particles are invisible but highly dangerous, because they can lodge into the skin and/or lungs and cause a variety of respiratory related dieses.
From the initial exposure, there can a period of between 15 and 60 years before developing into a disease and the symptoms start to appear. These can be indicators for several asbestos- related diseases, including:
- Pleural thickening
- Asbestos-related cancer
How and where does it appear?
Generally, Asbestos will appear as a white or grey material. It often forms clumps and looks like a soft but dense substance. You are most likely to find these in areas where it has been mixed with the previously mentioned materials. For instance:
- Attics & roofing
- Wall Coatings
- Airing cupboards
What can be done?
If you notice any clumps or wavy white strands in these areas, especially those that resemble the Asbestos consistency, you should treat it with extreme caution. Consult an expert and arrange to have to safely removed.
If you are purchasing a house and want to ensure that it is free of Asbestos containing materials, it is strongly advised that you request an independent property surveyor to inspect the property prior to the sale. These dedicated property experts offer a bespoke service and will pay special attention to any aspects of the residence that you are particularly interested in or concerned about (i.e. Asbestos).
If the surveyor does suspect the presence of Asbestos, they will offer their advice on how this could potentially impact the purchase or refer you to the suitable governing bodies and institutions (they will be able to provide confirmation on the surveyors findings). It should be noted, however, that they will not be able to give you specific recommendations or dispose of the asbestos themselves.
If you are in the process of purchasing property or thinking about moving in the coming months, you will also require an independent property survey – for peace of mind. To speak with one of our helpful and friendly sales team, simply contact us by phone on 01249 44465 or via email with firstname.lastname@example.org.
They will discuss your individual circumstances and offer expert and impartial advice on your property needs.
If you enjoyed reading this article about the dangers of Asbestos, and would like to learn more about the home buying process, simply check out our list of related articles below: