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4. Asbestos in the home

Asbestos can be found in industrial and residential buildings that were built before 2000. 

We have carried out asbestos surveys on 68% of our council housing and we informed tenants of the survey results when complete. The survey identifies the location of any asbestos-containing materials in the building, the type of asbestos they contain and the condition of these materials.

We do not need to remove asbestos materials from every building we own. If the asbestos material is in good condition and cannot easily be damaged it is best left alone. The presence of asbestos alone should not be a cause for concern.

Location of asbestos

Asbestos in the home lagging - mostly found in or on heating systems such as around boilers and pipe work. Asbestos lagging is higher risk, however, it is unusual to find it in domestic premises.

Loose fill or sprayed asbestos - this was used to insulate industrial and domestic premises so can be found in between cavity walls, under floorboards and in loft spaces. Loose fill or sprayed asbestos is higher risk, however, it is unusual to find it in domestic premises.

Insulation boards - used for fire protection and insulation, it is sometimes found in ceiling tiles, on the back of cupboard doors, as wall lining, panels and partitions, particularly in houses built in the 1960s and 1970s.

Asbestos cement products - used in roofing and wall cladding, ceiling lining, partition board, bath panels, fire surrounds, pipes, cold water tanks, guttering and drain pipes. Asbestos cement products are stable and are unlikely to release fibres unless subject to damage, decay or weathering.

Miscellaneous items - examples include textured wall and ceiling finishes (artex), floor tiles, toilet cisterns, roofing felt, ropes and blankets, some warm air heating systems, early storage heaters and coal-effect fires.

If you think you have asbestos materials in your home take extra care if you intend to carry out any DIY; do not drill, cut, scrape or disturb asbestos materials. If you are employing contractors, you should tell them about asbestos you may have in your home.  

If you have any queries please contact the repairs team at housing.repairs@exeter.gov.uk or call 01392 277888 and ask for housing repairs.