Asbestos was used extensively within construction and refurbishment of property in the UK for many decades. It was banned completely within the industry in 1999, but that means that there is a large percentage of properties in the country that still have asbestos present. If it is left undisturbed, asbestos causes minimal danger, but in many cases, where refurbishment work is due to take place, or anywhere that asbestos materials may be disturbed or moved, it is important to be fully aware of the dangers, and the options available to you.
If asbestos has been discovered at your property, you do have a few options open to you. What we would say is that we would always advise that you immediately contact a professional asbestos survey company and removal service. They have the expertise and professional means to not only survey your property thoroughly to discover and detail all evidence of asbestos and asbestos related materials present, but they also have the license and knowledge on how to safely remove asbestos if that is the route that is best decided.
Asbestos fibres can cause long-term illness and cause death to those who have come into contact with disturbed asbestos. The fibres can get into the air and when inhaled can start the long process of asbestos related illnesses, such as mesothelioma. As asbestos was used in construction and other heavy industry for many decades, and because the symptoms only begin to show after many years, we are still only beginning to see the large numbers of people affected by asbestos-related illnesses, nearly 20-years after it was banned within construction in the UK.
Overall, what are your options when asbestos is found at your property?
In some cases the best option for asbestos found on a property is to just leave it alone. In many homes asbestos is found in the attic and the roof, or in a side extension, such as a garage. After a thorough asbestos survey, if the materials are found to be in good condition still, and if the property owner has no immediate plans to conduct any form of refurbishment work in those areas of the home, it could be perfectly safe to leave the asbestos undisturbed.
In other cases there could be cause to repair the asbestos, though in recent years this has become a less popular option within the asbestos removal industry, as it is much safer for all the asbestos present to be completely removed from the property. There are, however, some examples where a tiny section of asbestos can be encapsulated, keeping the occupants of a property safe from harm. This is often a last resort after an asbestos survey.
In the vast majority of cases where asbestos has been found, and where it is likely to be disturbed, a licensed asbestos removal service is required to enter the property and remove the disturbed asbestos fibres in a way that doesn’t put at risk, any person working on the site, or the current occupants. The safe and secure removal of asbestos from a property ensures the safety of everyone, so if you have found asbestos, your first action should be to call a professional asbestos removal service in your area.