asbestos textured coating - what does it look like?
asbestos textured coating

Artex Ceiling Asbestos – Do you know how to Identify?

The identification of asbestos in Artex ceilings is a crucial aspect of home safety and renovation planning, particularly in buildings constructed before the late 1990s when the use of asbestos in textured coatings was common. Here are some key points to consider:

  1. Historical Use of Asbestos in Artex: Artex, a popular decorative coating used for ceilings and walls, often contained asbestos fibers up until the 1980s. Asbestos was added to Artex for its fire resistance and durability. However, its health risks were not fully understood at the time.
  2. Health Risks of Asbestos: Asbestos fibers, when inhaled, can cause serious health issues, including lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis. These diseases typically develop many years after exposure. It’s crucial, therefore, to know whether Artex in a building contains asbestos, especially before undertaking any renovation work that could disturb it.
  3. Visual Identification Limitations: Identifying asbestos in Artex by sight alone is nearly impossible, as asbestos fibers are microscopic and cannot be seen with the naked eye. The appearance of Artex does not change noticeably when it contains asbestos.
  4. Professional Testing for Asbestos: The most reliable way to determine if Artex contains asbestos is through professional testing. This involves taking a small sample of the material in a controlled manner to prevent fiber release and having it analyzed in a laboratory. This process should always be carried out by a qualified professional due to the risks involved in disturbing asbestos-containing materials.
  5. The Role of Asbestos Surveyors: Certified asbestos surveyors are trained to safely take samples of suspected materials like Artex. They have the necessary protective equipment and expertise to minimize the risk of asbestos exposure during the sampling process. Additionally, they understand the legal requirements for handling and disposing of asbestos.
  6. Interpreting Test Results: Once the sample is analysed, the lab report will confirm whether asbestos is present and, if so, what type. This information is critical for planning any work involving the Artex-coated surfaces, as different types of asbestos may require different handling and removal techniques.
  7. Asbestos Management in Situ: If asbestos is found in Artex, it does not necessarily mean it needs to be removed. If the material is in good condition and not likely to be disturbed, it can often be left in place and managed to prevent disturbance. This can include sealing the material or covering it with another material.
  8. Importance of Professional Removal: If removal of asbestos-containing Artex is necessary, it must be done by licensed professionals. They will use specialized techniques to safely remove, contain, and dispose of the material, ensuring no fibers are released into the environment.
  9. Legal and Safety Considerations: There are strict regulations governing the handling and disposal of asbestos. Professional asbestos removal companies are familiar with these regulations and will ensure that all legal requirements are met during the removal process.
  10. Documenting Asbestos Presence: Having a professional record of asbestos presence in Artex is important for future reference, especially if you plan to sell the property. Disclosure of asbestos to potential buyers is typically required by law.

In the United Kingdom, the laws surrounding asbestos, including its presence in Artex, are governed primarily by the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. These regulations mandate that homeowners and property managers have a duty to manage the risk of asbestos in their properties. If Artex or other materials in a building are suspected to contain asbestos, a thorough risk assessment must be conducted. This often involves professional asbestos surveying to determine the presence and condition of asbestos. If asbestos is found, the law requires that it be managed or removed in a safe manner. This includes employing licensed professionals for the removal of asbestos-containing materials, ensuring that all safety protocols are followed to prevent asbestos exposure. Moreover, if construction or renovation work is likely to disturb the Artex, additional specific assessments and safety measures must be taken, in line with the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. These laws underscore the importance of careful handling and management of asbestos to protect public health and the environment. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in significant legal consequences, including fines and imprisonment.

Knight Specialist Services Ltd: Your Go-To for Asbestos Surveys

In dealing with asbestos, professional expertise is vital. Knight Specialist Services Ltd stands out as a leading provider of asbestos surveys in the area. They offer comprehensive services, including:

  • Asbestos Testing: Using advanced techniques, Knight Specialist Services Ltd can accurately identify the presence of asbestos in floor tiles and other materials.
  • Asbestos Surveys: Their detailed surveys help in assessing the condition of asbestos-containing materials and determining the best course of action, whether it’s removal, encapsulation, or monitoring.

With their experience and expertise, Knight Specialist Services Ltd ensures that any asbestos-related concerns are addressed safely and effectively, providing peace of mind and protecting the health of occupants and workers.

Do you require an asbestos survey for your property Click HERE to find out more.