Asbestos in a council home

For many years asbestos was commonly used in the construction of buildings because of its excellent insulation and fire protection properties.

However it is no longer used as it can cause damage to health.

Often asbestos fibres would be mixed with other materials to make asbestos containing materials (ACMs) such as cement roofing panels that can be seen on many farm buildings or garage roofs. It was also commonly used to encase pipes, form ducts within buildings and for boiler flue pipes etc.

Care must be taken with ACMs because if damaged the material can release fibres which can lead to lung related illnesses.

Do’s and don’ts

  • Do treat asbestos containing products with respect
  • Do check the condition of anything you think may contain asbestos from time to time and try to keep it in good condition
  • Don’t drill, cut, sand or scrape anything you think may contain asbestos, ask us for advice
  • Don’t try to remove textured coatings from ceilings
  • Don’t try to remove old floor tiles or linoleum

Precaution should be taken when stripping wallpaper. Always soak wallpaper before removing, if possible use a steam stripper and then gently peel away the paper before re-decorating. This reduces the risk of damaging any asbestos materials. This is important when stripping wall paper around fire places where a pipe ducting may be present.

If you suspect that asbestos containing materials have been damaged please contact us.

Where do you find asbestos?

You may find asbestos or asbestos cement in:

  • Garage/shed roofs and wall panels
  • Drain pipes
  • Insulation board soffit, infill panels and partitions
  • On the side of bath panels
  • Roof felt or lining panels
  • Roof sheets or tiles
  • Cold water tanks
  • Old ventilation pipes
  • Textured coatings (Artex) and ceiling panels
  • Hot water pipe insulation
  • Panels behind fires or heaters
  • Fire door panels
  • Floor tiles and linoleum products in kitchens and bathrooms
  • Some old toilet seats and cisterns, (usually black)

Asbestos is usually only a problem if it’s disturbed and fibres are released into the air.

If you need advice about asbestos please contact us.

Your safety

Don’t panic if you think you have asbestos in your home. Most asbestos in good condition and not disturbed are not a risk to your health. The general rule is to always leave asbestos alone, it’s usually safe unless it’s damaged or disturbed.

If you don't know if your home contain asbestos, or think you may have damaged asbestos material, do not try to remove it yourself - contact the repairs team. We will arrange for someone to visit you and discuss the options.

Sometimes only slightly damaged asbestos materials can be repaired by sealing or enclosing the material. This will depend on the location and the likelihood of the material being damaged or disturbed in the future.

If it is necessary to remove asbestos it will always be done by an accredited company.

© Wigan Council