Asbestos

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that was used in many forms as a building material in the UK until the late 1990s. Asbestos is a fibrous material added to products to strengthen them and provide fire proofing and noise reduction. If your home was built before the year 2000, there is a possibility that it contains asbestos.

Undisturbed, undamaged or sealed asbestos is safe. We want to make sure you understand our responsibilities as a landlord or managing agent and your responsibilities if asbestos is present in your home.

What is wrong with asbestos?

When asbestos materials age or become damaged, they may release fibres into the air. If breathed in, the fibres could lead to asbestos related diseases, but they are rare – lengthy exposure to high levels of asbestos is needed.

Where is asbestos most likely to be found in the home?

Asbestos is most likely to be found in the following locations in and around the home:

  • behind old fires and boilers and lagging on old pipes and water tanks
  • behind old fuse boards and at the back of airing cupboards
  • in old vinyl floor tiles and textured wall and ceiling coating (Artex)
  • garage\shed roofs, gutters and downpipes.

Most occurrences of asbestos in housing are of low risk and very unlikely to harm your health

Orbit’s responsibilities

The only way to establish the presence of asbestos is for a specialist to carry out a survey and (possibly) take samples of the materials for testing. Our aim is to gather as much information as possible about asbestos in our properties so we can inform customers and contractors ahead of any work being carried out. This information is known as the Asbestos Register. We undertake asbestos surveys of your home during improvement works and when we upgrade empty homes. This information is recorded on our register. Where necessary, we will remove any damaged or fragile material. It is not necessary to remove asbestos that is in good condition. Most occurrences of asbestos in housing are of low risk and very unlikely to harm your health

We will not normally remove asbestos present in your home unless it is likely to be disturbed, if there is a need to remove any asbestos containing material from your home, we will agree a plan with you to do so.

What are your responsibilities?

Asbestos containing materials in good condition will not release asbestos fibres. There is no danger unless the fibres are released. Usually no action is required on your part and you do not need to tell us if you think you have asbestos in your home.

If you think you have damaged or disturbed asbestos in your home you should contact us by phone immediately.

What should you do?

  • If you wish to undertake DIY work to your property you will need to obtain our permission, even if you believe there is no asbestos containing material in your home.
  • Take every precaution to avoid damaging identified asbestos containing material in your home. Asbestos products should not be drilled, cut or disturbed, scraped or sanded.
  • Don’t panic if you think you have asbestos containing material in your home – it is only an issue if it gets disturbed.
  • Don’t attempt to remove anything you may think contains asbestos. Contact us for advice if you are worried or believe you have disturbed asbestos.

Only a trained contractor can remove asbestos products.

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