If you've bought an older house with a view to fixing it up, then you already know that there might be some asbestos in the property. You may have fibro outbuildings or fences in the garden, and you may think that asbestos products lurk in the walls and roof.
However, there may be other unusual places in the house that also contain asbestos. Where should you look and what should you do?
1. Ceiling Tiles
Some older ceiling coverings, like Artex, sometimes contained asbestos. This textured material was a popular way of covering over uneven ceilings or creating unusual surface effects in its time. You can't easily tell if old Artex contains asbestos or not. This isn't something you can see.
This makes things more dangerous if you want to work on the ceiling or take the Artex off. You might release asbestos yourself if you try to remove the material without due care or drill into it during your renovations.
2. Floor Coverings
Some older floor coverings and underlays contained asbestos. You're more likely to find this material in old vinyl tiles. It was also commonly added to some underlays. Again, you won't be able to tell if you have asbestos in your floors by just looking at them. You also need to take special care in these areas.
Old vinyl tiles often degrade and crumble over the years. Underlays may have turned to dust. If this happens, then any asbestos in the materials might be loose. So, if you pull up an old vinyl floor and its underlay did have some asbestos in it, then you might release strands into the air. The asbestos won't be contained any longer at which point it becomes dangerous.
3. Electrical Boxes
If your house hasn't had any work done to it for years, then you may already plan on upgrading its electrical system. However, you also need to take a look at any electrical boxes you have in the property. Some older meter boxes, backing boards and panels contained asbestos. Its fire resistance was seen as a good protective measure. You need to take care not to break up or remove older electrical infrastructure to avoid exposing yourself to any asbestos that might be in there.
If you are working with an older property that has been neglected for years, then it pays to have a full asbestos check before you start work. A specialist won't just find common areas where you might have this material; they also know where else to look.
From a speed and safety perspective, it's then worth using an asbestos removal service to clean the house up for you. You can then get on with turning it into your dream home.Share