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Asbestos safety in your home

If you've got asbestos in your home, then the safest thing you can do is not to touch it. Asbestos is only dangerous if it’s damaged or disturbed in your home.

At Yorkshire Housing, we want to make sure our customers, colleagues and contractors, who live and work in our homes, are safe. If you’ve got concerns or questions about asbestos in your home, then this page will give you all the info you need on asbestos safety measures you can take and how we can help you stay safe in your home.


Close up picture of an asbestos roof

What is asbestos?

Asbestos is a material that was used in buildings from the 1950s until the use of it was banned in 1999. The construction industry often used asbestos between the 1950s and 1980s to keep homes warm and to fire-proof buildings.

Why is asbestos dangerous?

When asbestos fibres are damaged or disturbed and dust is released into the air, they can cause serious effects and health risks.

If asbestos fibres are inhaled, they can cause a number of harmful diseases, like Asbestostis and Mesothelioma. It’s not until many years after breathing in asbestos that people will start to feel the effects and experience symptoms. That’s why it’s important to be aware of asbestos now.

Where is asbestos found?

Asbestos can be found in:

  • Thermal insulation lagging around pipes and boilers
  • Linings for walls, ceilings and doors
  • Some types of roofing tiles, felt or ceiling tiles
  • Some types of flooring materials
  • Decorative texture coatings (Artex) that’s been applied before 1990
  • Bath panels
  • Boarding and gaskets inside electrical mains fuse
  • Cupboards and certain gas fires
  • Cement products, compressed flat or corrugated sheets
  • Roofing materials and wall cladding on garages and sheds
  • Gutters, rainwater pipes, water tanks and flues

Asbestos fibres were mixed into cement, plaster and other materials to make them fire-proof and to help keep homes warm. If your home was built before 1990, then you might have asbestos inside it. But don’t worry too much about it, it’s not dangerous unless it’s disturbed.

What do I do if I’ve found asbestos in my home?

If you’ve been told that there’s material with asbestos in your home, then make sure that you leave it alone and don’t disturb it in any way. You shouldn’t handle anything that you think has asbestos in it or try to get rid of it yourself. A licenced and experienced contractor can remove it for you.

You shouldn’t do any DIY that involves drilling, sawing, sanding or cutting into it. If you do want to do some work on your home you’ll need to give us a call so we can help with next steps.

You can also give us a call if you’re worried about potential asbestos material in your home. We don’t normally remove undamaged asbestos materials, but our repairs team can safely seal it.

So, if you’re in doubt or worried about asbestos in your home, then please call us on 0345 366 4404.

How does Yorkshire Housing manage asbestos in your home?

You should feel safe and comfortable in your home. At the moment we’re carrying out surveys of all Yorkshire Housing homes to check for asbestos. If we find asbestos and we’re worried about it, then we’ll arrange for a licenced professional to remove it. If we find asbestos and it’s in good condition, then we’ll probably leave it in its place but make sure that we regularly come back to check on it.

What if I’m buying a house with asbestos?

If you’re a home owner and are part of our right to buy scheme, you’ll be responsible for the asbestos materials in your home. However, we want to make sure you’re safe, so we strongly recommend that you follow the advice on this page to make sure that your health isn’t at risk, or the person or family who are carrying out the work in your home isn’t either.

Can I do any DIY?

You shouldn’t carry out any home improvements or DIY in your home without our permission (unless it’s basic decorating like painting a wall). If we believe that there’s asbestos where you plan on doing DIY, then we may tell you not to do it if it means removing or damaging the materials that include asbestos.