Large amounts of materials containing asbestos (ACMs) were used for a range of construction purposes in new and refurbished buildings until 1999. After this, all use of asbestos was banned. This extensive use means that there are still many buildings in Great Britain which contain asbestos.
Where materials are in good condition and unlikely to be disturbed they do not present a risk. However, where the materials are in poor condition or are disturbed or damaged, asbestos fibres are released into the air. If breathed in, they can cause serious lung diseases, including cancers over prolonged exposure.
The purpose of managing asbestos in buildings is to prevent or minimise exposure for these groups of workers and other people in the premises. To prevent this exposure, information is needed on whether asbestos is, or is likely to be, present in the buildings. An assessment can then be made about the risk it presents and appropriate measures put in place to manage those risks.
Remember, ACM’s are only a hazard if disturbed.
But not to worry. Our experienced loss assessors have project managed reinstatement works of a wide variety of homes. You can rest assured that any trace of asbestos in your home is dealt with safely and responsibly.
Where can asbestos be found at my property?
Asbestos can be found throughout a home in various elements of construction. Whenever an Aspray loss assessor is planning reinstatement work, they will likely to be extra cautious of the following:
- Any cementitious materials in the construction of the property
- Corrugated roofing panels normally found on garage and out building roof areas
- Any insulation surrounding pipes, old commercial heating systems or heat shielding materials
- Old style fire blankets
- Vinyl tiles ( Marley Tiles) and their bitumen coating beneath
- Textured paint
- Other types of insulation, particularly those used in loft or attic spaces
- Artex, textured and ‘popcorn’ ceilings
How can an Aspray loss assessor detect asbestos?
It is very difficult to tell if a material contains asbestos just by looking at it. An Aspray loss assessor who is trained in the construction of property will understand the likelihood of certain materials containing asbestos. Their assessment is based on location, age and construction of the building. In almost all cases, it is certainly better to be safe than sorry!
Commercial properties should have an asbestos management plan, this has been mandatory since 2004.
The Aspray loss assessor will instruct trained professionals in asbestos detection. They will attend to your property, take a sample and test this at a laboratory. If the material is found to contain asbestos fibres, then a specialist team will be deployed to safely remove the material.
Please note: never attempt to disturb or remove any material that you suspect may contain traces of asbestos. Even the slightest disturbance can cause the invisible fibres to be released into the atmosphere.
A similair training course to what our assessors take can be found here
What are the health risks of asbestos?
It would take consistent exposure to asbestos for any possible related condition to develop. Construction workers pre-1980’s will have been exposed to these fibres on a regular basis. Their conditions would have built up over many years. Still, there are many short term illnesses directly linked to asbestos and even small exposure is not worth the risk.
Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that comes about from inhaling asbestos fibres. This cancer may develop in the lining of the lungs, abdomen or heart.
Aspray loss assessors are well trained when it comes to asbestos
At Aspray, all of our appointed representatives are given comprehensive training in the safe handling and removing of asbestos. This topic comes as part of their mandatory and continuous training in line with BDMA (British Damage Management Association) standards.
In the video below, Kylie Crane, our representative in Northampton, talks us through a large escape of water claim. While developing a damage and repair report to send to the insurance company, Kylie and her team of professionals had some concerns regarding asbestos. Before any of the works could begin, Kylie got these materials tested.
Kylie quickly runs through the contents of the repair work with confidence in her knowledge of construction and her team of vetted contractors. For Aspray loss assessors, identifying and having tests for ACM’s is a daily part of the job!
Have you suffered property damage?
We can manage your insurance claim
For help with property damage caused by escape of water, fire, storm, impact, flood or subsidence, just get in touch:
See examples of the Aspray service in action, with case studies based on different perils. There may be a case study that is similar to your situation. If you want to find out more about a particular case study, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.