While there may be asbestos products in your home, they present no risk if they are maintained in good condition and are not damaged. We are committed to ensuring the safety of all our customers, staff and contractors who live and work in our homes. This page explains what you need to know about managing asbestos in your home.
What is asbestos?
Asbestos is a material which was used for its fire resistant and insulation qualities in the construction of buildings up until 1999.
Do I have asbestos in my home?
You might have. Asbestos was commonly used in buildings up until the mid-1980’s but may be found in buildings that were built or modified up to the late 1990s.
Why is it harmful?
If asbestos fibres are inhaled they can cause a number of harmful diseases, such as Asbestosis and Mesothelioma, the effects of which only become apparent after many years. Because of the delay in symptoms appearing, the potential scale of the health risk only became known after asbestos had been widely used and many people had already been exposed.
It is important to note that asbestos products are only a risk to health if they are damaged or disturbed, as this may release fibres into the air. Most asbestos products do not pose a risk to health, provided they remain in good condition and are undisturbed.
You might I find asbestos?
- 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 textured coatings (Artex) generally applied prior to 1984
- bath panels
- boarding and gaskets within electrical mains fuse
- cupboards and certain gas fires
- cement products, compressed flat or corrugated sheets,
- typically used as roofing and wall cladding on garages and sheds
- other cement products including gutters, rainwater pipes, water tanks and flues.
What precautions should I take?
If you have been told there is material containing asbestos in your home, you should avoid damaging it in any way. You should not carry out any work that involves drilling, sawing, sanding or cutting into it as this may release fibres into the air.
If you are concerned about any material in your home, you should always treat it as if it does contain asbestos until you hear otherwise from a Yorkshire Housing representative or an asbestos specialist.
We would not normally remove undamaged asbestos products. The safest way of dealing with undamaged asbestos both for you and for our workmen may be to seal it. Never handle any suspect material or try to dispose of it yourself. Licensed and experienced contractors should remove and dispose of it at an approved tip.
If in doubt, or if you want to arrange for the removal of any asbestos containing materials yourself, please seek advice from your neighbourhood officer or call 0345 366 4404.
Can I do DIY?
You should not carry out any alterations or improvements to your home, other than cleaning or basic decorating, without permission from your neighbourhood officer. We may not give you permission where there is a likelihood of you removing or damaging any materials that may contain asbestos.
What is Yorkshire Housing's commitment to managing asbestos?
We are in the process of carrying out surveys of our properties to identify and record the locations of asbestos in Yorkshire Housing’s homes. Where asbestos is located which may be of concern, we will arrange to remove this under strict controls. Where asbestos is found which is in good condition, it is likely that this will be left in place and regularly re-inspected.
What if I have bought my home under right to buy?
When you become a house owner, you are responsible for the asbestos containing materials in your home. If you don’t take the precautions stated on this page, you could be risking the health of yourself, your family and the person carrying out the work.
We take our responsibilities on gas safety seriously.
Get access to advice and support for Yorkshire Housing customers.