We have a duty of care as a landlord to protect you, our customers from any property hazards. If you live in a flat or sheltered accommodation, we are required by law to manage and maintain asbestos in communal areas. We wanted to take this opportunity to tell you more about this service and answer the following questions.
What is asbestos?
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral, made up of many fibres. It was widely used in building materials from 1930 to 1999 because of its strength and resistance to heat and sound.
Why is it a problem?
Products containing asbestos do not normally present a problem unless they become damaged or worn. When this happens, asbestos fibres are released and could be breathed in, causing possible damage. Exposure to high levels creates a risk of lung diseases.
Where might I find asbestos?
Typical items that contain asbestos are:
- cement sheet roofs and roof tiles
- fascias, soffits and drainpipes
- insulation board panels e.g. to boiler cupboards
- textured coatings, such as Artex
- vinyl floor tiles
- fire break walls in lofts
- cement water tanks in lofts
- insulation around pipes and boiler flues
How can I tell if materials contain asbestos?
You can’t. The only way to tell for sure is for a specialist to take a sample for analysis. Remember it is usually older products that contain asbestos.
What should I do if I think I might have asbestos?
Asbestos which is not damaged or worn is safe and can be left where it is. Do not saw, break, scrape, brush or screw into asbestos.
If you think you have damaged asbestos in your property contact our repairs team immediately.
Why do you not remove all asbestos?
The Health and Safety Executive states that it is often safer to leave asbestos in place rather than remove it. Instead, depending on the level of risk, asbestos may be left in place or sealed.
What bpha is doing about asbestos
We have surveyed communal areas in blocks of flats and sheltered accommodation. Any damaged or worn asbestos has either been removed or sealed.
We carry out asbestos surveys when work is arranged in properties as part of the Decent Homes Programme. If removal is recommended we arrange for this to be carried out. Contractors are also advised if there is asbestos in a property in case this ever needs to be repaired.
For further information please contact us on 0330 100 0272.