In the world of DIY refurbishment, renovation or home improvement, tackling your old shed or garage might be next on your to-do list. However, before you roll up your sleeves and dive in, it’s crucial to consider the presence of asbestos, particularly if you’re dealing with an older structure. But how do you know if your shed or garage could be harbouring this harmful material? Here are some tell-tale signs to watch for, along with advice on when to consider an asbestos survey.
Age of the Structure
Asbestos was a commonly used material in construction up until its total ban in the UK in 1999 and in Ireland in 2004. If your shed or garage was built or last refurbished before these years, there’s a higher likelihood it could contain fibrous asbestos.
- Roofing and Rainwater Goods: Corrugated roofing and rainwater goods are common places to find asbestos, particularly if they are made from grey fibrous materials.
- Insulating Boards: If you can see a panel forming an insulating layer to the walls or ceiling or anywhere close to a heat source in an older style property, it could be asbestos.
- Insulation to Pipework:. Asbestos fibres were added to insulation applied to pipes and then covered in a protective coating (or painted) which can be any colour, making it more difficult to identify. This is an extremely fibrous material which flakes and powders easily.
- Tiles and Flooring: Older floor tiles and ceiling panels can also contain asbestos.
- Deterioration: Weathering or general wear and tear can expose loose asbestos fibres on the surface of the material.
- Discolouration: Older asbestos materials may become discoloured, appearing grey or brownish.
- Crumbled Edges: As asbestos material ages, the edges can start to crumble or appear frayed.
When Should You Get an Asbestos Survey?
- Before Refurbishment or Removal: If you’re planning on refurbishing, extending, or removing your shed or garage, an asbestos survey is an essential first step.
- Signs of Wear and Tear: Even if you’re not planning any immediate work, the deteriorating condition of asbestos-containing materials can release fibres into the air.
- Planning to Sell: If you’re planning to sell your property, it’s good practice to know whether asbestos is present, as this could affect the sale process.
- Uncertainty: If you’re unsure or if your structure meets any of the signs listed above, better safe than sorry. Go for a survey to know for sure.
If any of these signs ring true for your shed or garage, or if you’re planning any sort of work on them, it’s a prudent decision to go ahead with an asbestos survey. This becomes especially crucial if you’re in the UK or Ireland, given the prevalent use of asbestos within construction. G&L offers professional asbestos surveys and removal services, so you can proceed with your project safely and in compliance with all regulations.