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Where asbestos may be found in a building

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Any building – industrial or residential – built before the year 2000 has the potential to contain asbestos within its building materials, so before you perform any sort of maintenance work it is essential to get the building checked out.

Even the smallest exposure can present unnecessary health risks to workers, builders, contractors or homeowners. However, with so many common building materials containing asbestos, it is important to recognise where asbestos is commonly found.

Types of asbestos

The use of asbestos in construction/refurbishment has been illegal since 1999, yet tonnes of this material was used prior to this date, so the likelihood that there is some in your home is incredibly high.

In fact, three types of asbestos can still be found in premises:

  • Blue asbestos (crocidolite)
  • Brown asbestos (amosite)
  • White asbestos (chrysotile)

Each of these are dangerous carcinogens, with blue and brown asbestos proving to be the most hazardous of the three.

Now if they have not been disturbed or damaged, there is negligible risk to your health.

However, if your intention is to refurbish any part of your home/industrial property, then it is important to know where to find it and have it tested.

Where asbestos is found in the home

Every residential property is different - depending on the company who originally built it and what work has been done prior to you taking ownership – however, the following materials are more common within homes that you think.


  • Asbestos Cement Water Tanks
  • Pipe lagging
  • Loose fill insulation
  • Textured decorative coating, for instance artex within ceilings
  • AIB (Asbestos Insulating Board) ceiling tiles, bath panels, partition walls, interior window panels and airing cupboards
  • Toilet seat and cistern
  • AIB behind fuse boxes, fireplaces or around the boiler e.g. sprayed insulation coating the boiler
  • Vinyl floor tiles

Outside, you can expect to find it contained within:

  • Gutters or asbestos cement downpipes
  • Soffits – AIB or asbestos cement
  • AIB exterior window panels
  • Asbestos cement roof or panels e.g. flat or corrugated sheets
  • Roofing felt

Where asbestos is found in industrial properties

For industrial properties, the list of potential building materials that contain asbestos is surprisingly not that different from where you can commonly find asbestos in the home.

Alongside the list you can see above, you can also find it in the following:

  • Sprayed coatings (limpet) on ceilings, walls, beams and columns (commonly used for fire protection)
  • Lagging thermal insulation on boilers and pipes
  • AIB panels in fire doors
  • Asbestos rope seals, gaskets and paper
  • Textiles, for instance fire blankets
  • Textured decorative coatings on walls and ceilings (artex)
  • Asbestos cement flue (outside)

Knowing the risks

Depending on the type of asbestos used, different materials have different levels of risk, and it is important to know the difference.

High risk materials that you should be wary of include: asbestos pipe lagging, asbestos insulating boards (AIB), perforated AIB ceiling tiles and doors with AIB panels.

Whereas in the case of lower risk materials, you should be mindful of: asbestos cement wall cladding and asbestos–containing floor tiles.


Although all of the building materials we have listed above are the most common places to find asbestos; asbestos has been known to have been used in other materials.

That is why, if you are in any doubt, it is always safer to assume asbestos is present and get it tested.

At ICE Asbestos we are licensed to perform both Management surveys as well as Demolition & Refurbishment Surveys. We work all over the UK, and have offices in Birmingham, Darlington, London, Leeds, Nottingham and Norwich.

In short, if you have an asbestos problem, can solve it. Contact us today on 0333 772 0424

What our asbestos removal customers are saying:

Brilliant service from ICEASBESTOS! We are a young family starting out. ICE came round and gave us our free quote and then took away our asbestos tiles for FREE... I highly recommend ICEASBESTOS.

RamoneRead More

We have sought the services of ICE on many of our projects and have not been disappointed. Their service is second to none and their quick turnaround and efficiency has been invaluable at times. As a professional surveying practice I could not recommend their services strongly enough. ICE are professional, fast, personable and all at an extremely competitive fee.

Matt WilsonRead More

My house is going to need a full restoration work and my builder has raised the concerns about potential asbestos on the bathroom ceiling so I contacted Tony and arranged for an inspection. He had a look and said nothing wrong with it. He then also visually inspected all around my house but couldn’t find any potential asbestos. He eventually didn’t charge me a penny for any inspection. He is really professional, friendly and honest to customer. If you are looking for an asbestos specialist,...

KelvinRead More

Prompt friendly and efficient service. Left an urgent message on ICE answerphone on a bank holiday and, with great relief, received a callback (thank you). It was reassuring to actually speak to someone, and to have advice from someone who could come out as a matter of urgency and help was very much appreciated.

Clare Brewer Read More

Tony responded very quickly to my enquiry regarding my concern about asbestos on a garden shed roof. He arrived promptly and dealt with the matter in a very professional manner. I would recommend Ice Asbestos and use their services again should the need arise.

Fiona, NottinghamRead More

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