What is asbestos?
Asbestos is a naturally occurring material made up of flexible fibres that are strong and resistant to heat, electricity and corrosion. These qualities made it a popular material in construction for fire-proofing, heat-proofing and strengthening and it was used in the building industry up until 1999, when it was banned, although peak use in construction was in the 1960’s and 70’s. Properties built from 2000 onwards will not contain asbestos.
Asbestos can cause health issues, primarily lung conditions, if the fibres are breathed in but materials containing asbestos are safe if undamaged and in good condition.
Where is asbestos found in homes?
Asbestos was used in a range of materials and can be found in many places around homes including:
- Artex coatings
- Soffits and fascias
- Panels behind boilers, heaters and fires
- Panels on fire doors
- Roof felt, sheet and tiles
- Some types of insulation and pipe lagging
- Cold water tanks
- Toilet cisterns
- Vinyl floor tiles
Should I be worried about asbesto in my home?
Asbestos is only a cause for concern if it is damaged or in poor condition.
We have explained below the steps we take to minimise any risk from asbestos and the actions you can take to further reduce any risk. If you are concerned about asbestos in your home please call us on 01224 423000.
What we do
As an owner and manager of properties with communal areas Langstane has a duty to comply with the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. Set out below are the various duties and how we comply.
Langstane has a duty to identify the location of any asbestos in communal areas of our properties, and in any commercial properties and common areas of supported accommodation properties that we own or manage.
To do this we employ the services of a UKATA accredited asbestos surveyor to carry out management surveys of all relevant areas of our properties. These surveys were renewed in 2019 and 2020 to ensure that we had up to date information.
Management surveys are visual inspections, backed up by asbestos sampling where needed, that tell us the location, amount and type of any asbestos in common areas. We are now starting to also carry out asbestos surveys in individual properties. Although this isn’t needed to comply with the Regulations, we see this as a best practice approach.
In addition to management surveys, we carry out refurbishment and demolition (R&D) surveys before any disruptive work is carried out in common areas or within homes. R&D surveys are needed before any work that might damage parts of the building where asbestos might be found. We will carry out R&D surveys before kitchen, bathroom, heating and window replacements but will also carry out this type of survey before fitting smoke detectors in artex ceilings. We don’t survey every property but we aim to survey between 10 and 20% of properties or more if survey results are varying from property to property.
The final type of survey we carry our is an annual visual inspection of any known asbestos in our properties. This ensures that we have good information on the condition of the asbestos – this helps us to make decisions about whether asbestos needs to be repaired or removed in the future.
We hold an electronic register of all identified asbestos in our properties. The register holds information on the location, amount and type of asbestos and also states how each incidence of asbestos will be managed.
After every survey that is carried out we will update any new or changed information in the register to ensure it is kept up to date.
We pass information from the register on to our contractors to ensure they can work safely in our properties.
Please let us know if you have any concerns that there might be asbestos in your home. We hold a register of all known asbestos in our communal areas and are starting to build up information about asbestos in individual homes and we are happy to provide you with any information we have for you home or scheme.
If you are thinking of making changes to your home you must get our approval as landlord. As part of the approval process we will check whether there is any known asbestos in your home so that you can let your builder know.