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Asbestos - is it all bad news?

Posted 13/1/2014

When buying a property a good building survey will highlight any problems within the building. Asbestos is one of the issues we often come across during our surveys and often the mere mention of it strikes dread in our clients and they will often walk away from the property.

Unfortunately, because of a lack of materials post war, asbestos was used in everything from roof tiles and flues to floor tiles and Artex paint, meaning Asbestos can be found in many areas of a property both internally and externally and you may not even know it is there.  

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Asbestos fibres can pose a health risk if you breathe them in but most items containing Asbestos are not dangerous as long as the fibres are encapsulated, for instance Asbestos in Artex can be sealed by paint and does not pose a threat unless it is scraped off with the asbestos fibres being released. The same can be said of the vinyl floor tiles that are often found in thousands and thousands of homes across the country, especially in houses pre 1970’s/1980’s, again the Asbestos is contained within the matrix of the tile and is not dangerous.

Asbestos exposure can become a hazard if the products containing it are damaged or if they are not removed correctly. We would always recommend that you have an Asbestos Survey carried out if you feel there may be Asbestos within a property you are buying and follow the recommendations of the Asbestos Surveyor.

Often the presence of Asbestos can be used as a good negotiating tool to reduce the price of a property beyond what it would cost for the safe removal of the Asbestos as it can often put some buyers off of buying the property.






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