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Where is Asbestos Found in Homes and Businesses? – Guide

As well as being local experts in water leak detection, all of our front-line technicians are fully trained in asbestos awareness and asbestos testing and regularly consider where is asbestos found in properties. This is, in part, because when we are looking in locations for water leaks or water damage, we come across places which potentially contain asbestos in homes and businesses locally.

This knowledge and experience helps greatly when doing such investigations in properties and helps to keep everyone safe. When we suspect an area affected by a water leak might contain asbestos, we treat it as though it is until proven otherwise through asbestos testing or sampling, which we are able to to.

Asbestos Found Most
Where is Asbestos Found Most?

We offer an asbestos testing service to residential and commercial customers either as an addition to our water leak trace and access services or as a stand-alone service, if people want to get items tested that they think may contain asbestos, test results are normally available within 2 business days and we will share results ASAP.

If you suspect you might have asbestos in your property, get help from a professional such as ourselves. Do not touch, move or disturb the materials and avoid the area.

You can understand why ‘where is asbestos found’ is an important thing to understand so we will try to help with this guide and point you in the direction of other useful resources, included some from the HSE.

Where is Asbestos Found - Common Places, York.
Where is Asbestos Found – Common Places

Where is Asbestos Found in Homes?

We recommend taking a look at this excellent asbestos guide “Introduction to Asbestos essentials” from the UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE), it gives lots of useful information including some useful information on where asbestos is found in UK homes and businesses. We recommend reading it, especially for anyone involved in property maintenance, construction etc.

Amongst other things, it includes these really useful diagram for homes:

Where is Asbestos Found - Homes, York.
Where is Asbestos Found in Residential Homes.

Contains public sector information published by the Health and Safety Executive and licensed under the Open Government Licence’.

As you can see, the list includes:

  1. Asbestos Pipe Lagging – used to insulate and protect pipework
  2. Loose Fill Asbestos Insulation – such as seen in lofts etc
  3. Asbestos Insulating Boards (AIB) – in airing cupboards or sprayed on the tank
  4. AIB Soffits – around the roof space
  5. Asbestos Cement Water Tanks – in lofts for example
  6. Toilet Seat and Cistern – sometimes embedded in thermoplastic
  7. Vinyl Floor Tiles – Marley Tiles or Thermoplastic Tiles
  8. Textured Coating on Walls and Ceilings – sometimes ‘Artex’
  9. Roofing Felt – in various locations
  10. Asbestos Cement Panels – sometimes garages or sheds
  11. Asbestos Cement Soffits – similar to 4 above
  12. Asbestos Cement Roof – also seen on sheds and garages
  13. Asbestos Cement Gutters and Downpipes – often externally
  14. AIB in various locations in the property and other possible locations

As you can see that is a lot of possible places and it is by no means an exhaustive list of places where asbestos is found in homes! Asbestos was a common building material and used for its insulation and strength properties. It was fairly cheap to use and abundant, having been mined from the ground.

Where is Asbestos Found York
Examples of Where is Asbestos Found

Some of the common types of asbestos, which are commonly in the groups known as ‘Aphibole’ or ‘Serpentine’ asbestos can include:

  • Chrysotile Asbestos – commonly known as white asbestos
  • Crocidolite Asbestos – commonly known as blue asbestos
  • Amosite Asbestos – commonly known as brown asbestos
  • Other Types of Asbestos include – Tremolite, Actinolite and Anthophyllite

Where is Asbestos Found in Commercial Property?

We carry out commercial leak detection too and so we work in commercial / industrial properties which can also have asbestos containing materials (ACMs) in them. Again, the HSE guide shows another useful diagram, which includes some of the things in the previous list as well as some other places showing where is asbestos found:

Where is Asbestos Found - Commercial and Industrial Buildings, York.
Where is Asbestos Found – Commercial and Industrial Buildings

Contains public sector information published by the Health and Safety Executive and licensed under the Open Government Licence’.

The list includes:

  1. Sprayed Asbestos Coatings – on ceilings, walls, beams and columns
  2. Loose fill Asbestos Insulation – in void spaces
  3. Lagging on Boilers and Pipes – for insulation and protection
  4. AIB Soffits – around the roof
  5. Asbestos Cement Water Tank – similar to 3
  6. Asbestos Toilet Seat and Cistern – perhaps surprisingly
  7. Asbestos Rope Seals, Gaskets and Paper – in various locations
  8. Vinyl Floor Tiles – such as Marley or Thermoplastic Tiles
  9. Textiles – e.g. Fire Blankets (see our article on fire classifications UK)
  10. Textured decorative coating – on walls and ceilings e.g. Artex
  11. Asbestos Cement Roof – Externally (including agricultural)
  12. Asbestos Cement Panels – in various locations
  13. Asbestos Cement Gutters and Downpipes – externally
  14. Asbestos Cement Soffits – similar to 4
  15. Asbestos Cement Flue – venting outside
  16. Other Locations using AIB – various

Asbestos – Risk Assessments and Safety

When doing any work in domestic or commercial properties, we always carry out a risk assessment carefully and thoroughly to help protect all parties involved. This is especially the case with thinking about where asbestos is found due to the potential risks from such a hazardous material.

As we said previously, if we suspect something contains asbestos, we treat it as though it does until tested and proven otherwise, with appropriate safety measures taken accordingly and following guidelines and regulations.

On the topic of risks, you may be interested in our article about hazard symbols and our guide to monitoring air quality as part of our service.

Where is Asbestos Found – Top Tip
Asbestos is much more likely to be found in properties from pre the year 2000 as it was banned at the end of 1999. However, that does not mean it cannot be in buildings after that period as some materials may have persisted in use. If in doubt, get it checked and tested by an expert such as ourselves“.

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Asbestos and Water Leaks

Now that we have looked at where is asbestos found in homes and commercial / industrial properties, you can hopefully understand that they can be in many places. In many of the places we showed above, it would not be unusual to have water leaks close by. Because York and the Yorkshire Coast area contain many older buildings, we frequently come across asbestos.

Plus water leaks can spread to other areas affecting and disturbing possible asbestos containing materials, thus increasing risks. For example, a ceiling leak may leak water through a texture coated / artex ceiling.

Or, in order to access a water leak, you may have to ‘go through’ or remove asbestos materials. For examples – accessing a water leak under thermoplastic tiles with an underground water leak. You can see why knowing where is asbestos found is important, so we are vigilant for it when carrying out our work, including water damage management services.

If you think you might have a asbestos in your property or suspect you have a water leak and want help and advice, get in touch with our team and and we will help and advise you.

We are experts in dealing with many types of hazardous situations, including biohazard and crime scene cleaning for people in the York and Yorkshire Coast area. So if you need help with any of these, contact our friendly team to arrange for help and guidance. We also deal with water leaks in Yorkshire homes and businesses, including water leak detection in York. Here are the services we offer locally.

At Rainbow Restoration – York & Yorkshire Coast we are experts in Leak Detection and Water Damage Restoration, so if you need help finding a water leak or getting your property back to normal after a leak or flood, get in touch with our friendly local team.

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos comes in various forms but it is a naturally occurring material which was widely used in the construction industry and in manufacturing up until the end of the 20th century when it was banned. It was mined from the ground and often mixed with other materials, in particular for its strength and insulation properties. It is a hazardous material which can cause cancer (Mesothelioma) and Asbestosis, often associated with inhalation of asbestos fibres.

What does Asbestos look like?

This is a complex thing to answer simply because not only are there many types of asbestos but also they are frequently mixed with other materials (such as cement, bitumen or plastics) and so they can be ‘masked’ which is why suspected materials need to be tested professionally. They are also found in many places too. You cannot simply rely on the naked human eye to tell you. Understanding the places where is asbestos found is very important.

When was Asbestos banned in the UK?

Asbestos was banned in the UK in different stages. It was fully banned in late 1999 but in 1985 other regulations and prohibitions / restrictions were put in place on brown asbestos (amosite) and blue asbestos (crocidolite). White asbestos (chrysotile) was banned in 1999. However, asbestos may have persisted in existing materials people stocked beyond that, so knowing where is asbestos found is important. Hence this article on Where is Asbestos Found in Homes and Businesses in the UK.

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Leak Detection Logo