Asbestos

Asbestos

Asbestos is a name given to a group of naturally occurring fibrous minerals.

Asbestos was mined across the world, and asbestos fibres were mixed into many different materials. These materials are called ‘Asbestos Containing Materials’. Many asbestos containing materials were used as building materials and remain in many buildings in the UK.

Asbestos was commonly used in building materials in the UK from the early 1900s until 1999. Any  building that was constructed or altered during this period may contain some asbestos. When asbestos materials degrade or become damaged, they can release the fibres out of the material and into the air.

 

Asbestos safety

When asbestos fibres become airborne and are a particular size (tiny and not visible to the human eye), are breathed in and get deep into the lungs, then they become harmful to health.

Asbestos containing materials which are in a good condition and undisturbed are considered safe.

The asbestos presents a risk if the material is in a bad condition (damaged) or is disturbed.

Asbestos containing materials can be found in domestic properties. Your Homes Newcastle is committed to ensuring that materials containing asbestos in our properties are safe.

Where can you find asbestos?

The following information highlights some of the typical places where asbestos containing materials have been found within properties. It is highly unlikely that would have asbestos in all of the locations listed below, but please be aware that the list is not exhaustive:

Boilers:

  • Cold water supply tank
  • Boiler flue pipes
  • Storage radiators

Interior surfaces:

  • Textured wall & ceiling coatings
  • Infill panels
  • Panels behind radiators/heaters
  • Suspended ceiling panels
  • Duct panels
  • Floor tiles
  • Underside of stairs

Exterior:

  • Roof sheets and tiles
  • Fascia boards
  • Exterior cladding
  • Guttering and drain pipes

Other items:

  • Underside sink pad
  • Water tank
  • Bath panels
  • Fireplace panels
  • Pipe lagging
  • Garage or shed roofs

Asbestos dos and don’ts

Do

  • Request permission from Your Homes Newcastle if you are planning any home alterations. Permission is needed from Your Homes Newcastle for tenants to carry out alterations for various reasons. Preventing the disturbance of asbestos containing materials is one of those reasons. To request permission, please complete our home alterations request form which is available here.
  • Contact us if you have any concerns or think that you have damaged or disturbed an asbestos containing material

Don't

  • Panic if you think you have asbestos in your home – it is not a problem if it is in a good condition and left undisturbed
  • Undertake any work on your home that disturbs the fabric of the building without gaining permission from Your Homes Newcastle first.
  • Try to remove textured coatings (often referred to as ‘Artex’) from ceilings and walls
  • Try to remove old floor tiles or linoleum.
  • Drill, sand, scrape or physically disturb anything you think may contain asbestos

If you are unsure about whether or not something in your home contains asbestos, then you should presume it does. Leave it alone and seek advice.

If you suspect that a material containing asbestos has been damaged please contact us on 0191 278 8600. We will inspect and, if appropriate, we will remove the material in accordance with our guidelines and Health and Safety regulations.

Advice to leaseholders

Under the terms of your lease you are responsible for all fixtures and fittings in your property, which includes textured coating (Artex) and floor tiles.

Your Homes Newcastle remains responsible for the building structure.

Items which you suspect contain asbestos, but are in good condition, are best left in place. For example, if you wish to lay carpet instead of floor tiles, lay it directly on top but use tape to hold it down instead of carpet grippers.

If you want to remove textured coating (Artex) then you are advised to seek advice from a specialist asbestos management company.

If you do remove or seal in asbestos, we ask that you inform future owners and our home ownership section so that this information can be passed on and recorded.

Need more information?

If you have any questions or concerns about the safety of your building or property, please let us know by emailing buildingsafety@yhn.org.uk or calling 0191 278 8600. In an emergency, such as a fire, you should call 999.

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