Asbestos was commonly used in buildings up until the 1990s.
It does not pose a risk to health if it is undamaged or in a position where it can not be easily disturbed.
Our asbestos policy is in line with the Health and Safety Executive’s recommendations. This is to leave asbestos in position unless it is in an unsatisfactory condition or likely to be subject to frequent disturbances or where it can be removed as part of a repair, improvement or alteration. This section explains how we deal with asbestos.
What does MSV do about asbestos?
We have a long term commitment to remove asbestos from all our properties. We do not need to remove all asbestos from our properties in the short term. This is because there is only a risk to health if asbestos fibres are breathed in and asbestos is usually found in locations where it is extremely unlikely that this will happen.
However, we would like to reassure you that asbestos-containing materials form an integral and important part of many premises, and if well maintained do not present any threat to health.
In the short term, we are surveying key properties so that we can assess the presence, type and condition of any asbestos there is. We can then decide what we will do about it.
You will be advised of the existence of asbestos in your home and of any measure, you should take in order not to disturb or damage it.
Questions you may have about Asbestos:
Q: Where is asbestos found in houses, garages, sheds and other structures?
Asbestos is most usually found in these locations:
- Insulation of pipes and boilers
- Fire break walls in lofts, fire protection in ducts, firebreaks, panels, partitions, soffit boards, ceiling panels and around steel work
- Insulation boards to partitions and ducts
- Some ceiling and floor tiles
- Paper products used for insulation of electrical equipment
- Asbestos cement flat or corrugated sheets used as roofing and wall cladding, gutters, rainwater pipes and water tanks.
- Certain textured coatings e.g. Artex
Q: I think I have asbestos in my house but have not removed it – why?
Dependant on the level of risk, asbestos may be left in place if it is not a danger and unlikely to be disturbed or it may be sealed with paint or plastic film.
Q: My landlord has found asbestos in my neighbour’s home, when will they survey mine?
If your neighbour’s home is of a similar type and age we can assume that the results would be similar and therefore do not need to bother you to do a survey.
Q: Why has my landlord removed asbestos from empty properties but not from mine?
When a property is empty, this is the ideal opportunity to remove it with minimal risk and inconvenience.
Q: What do I do if I suspect the materials containing asbestos in my home are damaged?
Report it to us. We will inspect it to determine if you are at risk.
Asbestos Management Policy
We recognise the risk associated with asbestos and acknowledge our responsibility to reduce the risk of exposure for our employees, tenants, contractors and other people affected, so far as is reasonably practicable.
To achieve this, we have implemented a programme of actions identifying, recording and managing asbestos (including safe working arrangements) in properties it controls, using a risk assessment tool, this work is carried out in a planned and systematic manner.
Q: Can I decorate and carry out DIY?
Yes – but you must take note of the advice relating to any asbestos which may be present in your home. Asbestos should not be disturbed or rubbed down (See Do’s and Don’ts below). If your improvements are likely to increase the asbestos risk then you have to comply with the asbestos regulations and use specialist licensed contractors. Remember, you need our written permission if you want to improve your home.
Do's and Don'ts
Do contact us immediately in any of the following circumstances:
- If materials that you believe may contain asbestos have been damaged or disturbed.
- If protective coatings or sealants are peeling or breaking off or special warning labels have been removed.
- If the surface of asbestos cement-based products such as you guttering or shed roofs which normally have a hard durable surface is broken due to damage, badly weathered or eroded.
- Work, damage or remove materials containing asbestos. The law requires licensed contractors to be used for all work on asbestos
Sand down or scrape of dry Artex.
- Drill, cut or sand materials you may think to contain asbestos. These tools create dust.
- Break off pieces or break up large pieces of materials that you believe contain asbestos.
- Jet wash or clean down asbestos cement products e.g. shed/garage roofs
If you have any questions or concerns about asbestos in your home which are not dealt with in this guidance, please contact us at ComplianceTeam@msvhousing.co.uk