Asbestos – a quick history

Asbestos has been used for thousands of years in some form or another though it’s only fairly recently it started to get used more often thanks to the industrial revolution. Initial health concerns came at the turn of the 19th century and by the 1980s countries had started to outright ban its use.

In total there are six types of asbestos – chrysotile (white), amosite (brown), crocidolite (blue), anthophyllite, tremolite (varied colours) and actinolite.

The most commonly found types are chrysotile and amosite, they make up around 95% of asbestos used, you can find more info and details about each type here

It has been widely used in many industries, especially in the construction industry.

Is asbestos dangerous?

It is only considered harmful when damaged. . The moment it becomes damaged the invisible asbestos fibres are released into the air and can be inhaled. Although being exposed to asbestos doesn’t always mean you can get cancer. It very slowly damages the lungs and the lining of the lungs.

Likely places to find asbestos in residential properties:

  • ceiling tiles
  • floor tiles
  • AIB -asbestos insulation boards
  • insulation around pipes
  • near the boiler
  • corrugated roofing sheets
  • mixed with other roofing materials
  • mixed with cement for extra fire resistance

Asbestos was completely banned in 1999, so any properties that were built before may contain materials that have asbestos mixed in. Whether it’s in construction or insulation or AIBs. It can pose a health risk.

Possible health risk to homeowners

A single exposure to hazardous material most likely won’t be harmful. It takes years, sometimes up to 20 years of constant asbestos exposure to recognise that you’ve been affected. There are many factors that determine how dangerous the exposure was.

That includes:

  • the number of asbestos fibres inhaled
  • the duration of the inhalation process
  • what kind of asbestos was it (white asbestos, blue asbestos, brown asbestos etc)
  • overall health
  • genetic conditions

Asbestos can cause many diseases from destroying lung lining and respiratory system issues to lung cancer.

Are there any benefits?

At its prime time, asbestos was an extremely popular material due to its great properties. It’s a natural material that is fire resistant, does not conduct electricity and helps with sound absorption. Only years later when it’s been discovered that the presence of asbestos cause health issues to homeowners was completely banned.

Removing asbestos

Can I do it myself?

In short – NO. If you suspect you have got asbestos in the home order your own survey to make sure that the asbestos found in your house needs to be removed. Sometimes the best course of action is to leave it undisturbed. If the asbestos is in good condition removal won’t be necessary. In that case, it is best to stay vigilant and maintain the area. If the chartered surveyor makes a decision that the asbestos needs removal, do not delay that process. You will require a team of qualified specialists to remove the asbestos and leave the area safe for human health.

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Selling a house with asbestos

The presence of asbestos in residential properties can cause dome problems. Let’s look at a scenario: you find asbestos in the home (fire resistant garage door ) just moments before you wanted to sell a house. You have a few options – you are legally required to disclose the presence of the dangerous material under the Property Misdescriptions Act of 2013 so potential buyers are aware of it before the selling process commences. That usually means that you will not get the full market price. Another option would be to get a professional company to remove asbestos. Removing asbestos might be a good option if you’re not in a rush. You will still need to disclose that asbestos was found but it’s more likely that potential buyers will be willing to pay a full asking price.

The second option is to sell a house to a professional property buyer like House Buy Fast. We specialise in buying so-called problematic properties. If you want to sell your house fast and by fast I mean max few weeks contact us today on 01903331588 or via online chat. Our friendly team of experts will talk you through the whole process and answer any questions. The service is completely free. You can get a cash offer today! We cover all the legal costs as well, so it’s as stress-free as it can be! Feel free to read all our great independent reviews on Feefo.

Got more questions?

Contact us and ask us directly either by email or phone. We will be more than happy to help.