Asbestos in the Home

Where might asbestos be encountered in homes?

The following products, fittings and installations used in homes may contain some asbestos:

Domestic equipment

Asbestos has been used in the manufacture of simmering pads, oven gloves and fire blankets. Ovens, ironing boards and heaters may have asbestos components as may some friction materials e.g. clutch pads and brake pads.

Asbestos lagging

Asbestos lagging has been used for insulating pipes and boilers. It is unlikely to be found in modern houses, but may be encountered in older flats or houses. A preliminary inspection for asbestos should be made before repair or removal of older central heating systems.

Warm air heating systems

Asbestos insulation was used in some systems and for lining cupboards housing the heater unit.

Insulating boards

Asbestos insulating board has been used for fire protection, heat insulation, ceiling tiles and as a building board.

Sprayed asbestos

Sprayed asbestos has been used for protecting structural steelwork and for insulation. It may be found, for example, in steel framed houses built before the mid-1970s.

Asbestos cement

Flat or corrugated sheeting has been used for garage and shed roofs and wall coverings. Moulded asbestos cement has been used for cold water tanks, external rainwater pipes, asbestos cement slates, guttering, decking, lining under eaves and flue pipes. Asbestos cement is used in roofing materials, pressure sewerage and drainage pipes and wall and roof covering materials. Asbestos cement products normally contain between 10% and 15% asbestos.

Textured plasters, materials for stippling ceilings, walls, etc.

Some of these products may contain asbestos (typically between 2% and 5%). Once installed, such surfaces should not be removed but painted to keep sealed.

Other building materials

Some plastic floor tiles, cushion flooring, roofing felts, paints, jointings and packings - e.g. boiler and flue sealing, ropes and yarns used for lagging - may contain asbestos.

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