Safety & support

Many people think it is dangerous if you find asbestos in your home. However it only becomes a risk to your health if it is damaged or disturbed. Do you think you have asbestos in you home? See what the next step is here.


Asbestos safety

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What is asbestos?

Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous material that was used in building materials in the UK between the 1950s-1990s. Any building built before the year 2000 may contain asbestos.

There are laws in place to regulate how it should be managed due to the potential health risks associated with asbestos.

Is it dangerous?

Although asbestos is a hazardous material it can only pose a risk to health if it is damaged or disturbed and the asbestos fibres are released into the air and then inhaled.

Asbestos material can become damaged through decorating and DIY work in our home such as drilling, sanding and sawing.

If asbestos containing materials are in good condition and in a position where they are unlikely to be disturbed or damaged then it is safer to leave them where they are and ensure that risks are managed.

What should I do if I suspect something contains asbestos?

You cannot see asbestos fibres with the naked eye. We work with specialist contractors who can test and identify if asbestos containing materials (ACM) are present.

ACM’s may be present in various locations within a property:

  • Insulation boards between wall partitions, in external stores and garages.
  • Flooring (PVC tiles).
  • Textured coated ceilings and walls (Artex).
  • Cement products like corrugated roofing panels, gutters, water tanks and rainwater pipes.
  • Roof tiles, panelling and exterior walls.

If you are planning any DIY work you must contact us for permission first. This is part of your tenancy agreement and it helps us check if there may be asbestos in any of the areas you are planning to work on, and to provide the appropriate advice.

If you suspect asbestos contacting materials within your home have been damaged:

—    leave it in place and untouched

—   vacate the location in question and close the door

—    contact us for help and advice

If you have any concerns, or suspect something may contain asbestos, please contact us immediately.

What about work being done by Irvine Housing Association contractors?

We have a long-term commitment to manage known ACM in our properties. Asbestos surveys and assessments are carried out and the results recorded. Where necessary we carry out work to remove or manage any asbestos and keep an up to date asbestos register with this information which is shared with our contractors.

—    All of the Association’s contractors are trained to recognise asbestos and where it could be found.

—    Any unidentified materials found by our contractors are presumed to be asbestos until proven otherwise.

—    Contractors are instructed to avoid disturbing anything they suspect may contain asbestos.

More information

We keep an asbestos register for all our properties and schemes. If you would like to find out more information about your home, please contact your local office or housing officer.

If you would like to find out more information about asbestos, please visit the Health & Safety Executive website.

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