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Common locations asbestos can be found

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Asbestos can often be found in properties which were built or refurbished before the year 2000. In the past asbestos was commonly used in materials designed for the building trade making it highly likely that many older buildings will contain asbestos in some form.

The HSE have highlighted some of the most common places asbestos, or asbestos containing materials can be found.

Asbestos can often be found in the following locations:

Sprayed Coatings:

Common location: Underside of roofs, Sprayed onto steel work as fire protection.
Appearance: Often grey or white with a rough surface, however often painted over.

Asbestos Cement:

Common location: Used for wide range of products including roof panels, wall cladding, gutters, pipework and flues.
Appearance: Often grey in colour, hard and compressed and formed into products.

Loose Fill Insulations:

Common location: Cavity walls, under flooring and in roof spaces.
Appearance: Loose, fluffy and often blue-grey or white in colour.


Common location: Often found in or on heating systems e.g. boilers or calorifiers and around pipework.
Appearance: many different appearances often a fibrous material which flakes and powders easily. Commonly painted over.

Asbestos Insulating Board (AIB):

Common locations: Partition walls, panels in fire doors, lift shafts, ceiling tiles soffits, panels below windows.
Appearance: Normal building items often very difficult to differentiate from non-asbestos materials.

Textiles and Composites:

Common locations: Asbestos textiles can be found in fuse boxes, old fire blankets and heat resistant gloves Asbestos composites can be toilet cisterns and seats, window sills, and bath panels. Asbestos paper used for lining under tiles and inside metal cladding.
Appearance: These are not distinctive and often similar to modern equivalents, often require specialist identification.

Floor Tiles:

Common locations: A popular choice for flooring, now often found hidden under carpets.
Appearance: Very similar to modern vinyl floor tiles, often requiring testing.

Textured Coatings:

Common locations: Often used to produce decorative finishes on ceilings and walls.
Appearance: dependent on the particular decorative finish hard and were originally white in colour but have often been painted over.


Does your building contain asbestos?

If you suspect your building may contain asbestos you should always consult a qualified specialist who can identify any asbestos containing materials and can recommend actions to help manage the risks.

If you would like to find out more about asbestos risks, feel free to contact one of our qualified specialists who would be happy to help, or give us a call on 0845 058 9999.

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