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Asbestos in the home

A guide for Waverley tenants 

What if I think there is asbestos in my home?

  • Don’t take risks 
  • Don’t carry out work on it 
  • Children are most at risk during these times 

If you have a household item you think may contain asbestos, read the guidance below about staying safe.

Where to dispose of asbestos

If it's save to handle an item you think contains asbestos, and you want to dispose of it, take it to the:

Guildford Community Recycling Centre at Slyfield

Dumped asbestos

If you see what may be dumped asbestos anywhere in the borough, please Report fly-tipping or dumped rubbish

Make regular checks of any material that you think contains asbestos. Don’t touch it, but look for signs of wear and damage.  

Dos and don'ts

  • Do keep away from areas where there is damage to material that may contain asbestos
  • Do take every precaution to avoid damaging asbestos material
  • Do ensure you only use qualified contractors for any work on asbestos
  • Don’t dust, sweep, or vacuum debris that may contain asbestos
  • Don’t saw, sand, scrape or drill holes in asbestos materials
  • Don’t trample dust or mess from materials that may contain asbestos through the house. It will result in other furnishings being contaminated and potentially put more people at risk.

Learn more about asbestos in the home

Asbestos is a natural mineral found in rocks all over the world. 

It has been used commercially for about 150 years because it is strong, flexible and stable.

When materials containing asbestos are damaged or deteriorate with age, they can release tiny fibres into the air. 

These fibres can penetrate deep into the lungs. 

Asbestos fibres in the lungs can cause cancer and thickening of the lungs.  

Building materials containing asbestos were widely used from 1930 to the mid 1980’s, but particularly from 1960’s.  

So, houses and flats built or refurbished prior to 2000 may contain asbestos.  

Products containing asbestos that might be found in the home 

Outside 

  • Roofing felt made with Bitumen 
  • Corrugated roofing sheets to sheds and garages 
  • Rainwater downpipes 
  • Roof slates 
  • Soil and vent pipes 
  • Undercloak - board supporting roof tiles where they overhang brickwork, usually at the end of a house 
  • Soffit boards – horizontal roof beneath the roof overhang. They bridge the gap between brickwork and fascia board with the guttering attached 
  • Windowsills – external

Inside

  • Airbricks 
  • Bath panels 
  • Bituminous paper lining to the roof 
  • Bituminous acoustic pad fitted beneath stainless steel sinks 
  • Chimney breasts – asbestos insulation board (AIB) panels used to form mock chimney breasts in timber-framed homes 
  • Cold water tanks – in loft space 
  • Decorative ceiling tiles 
  • Floor finish – cushion floor sheet vinyl 
  • Floor tiles – rigid vinyl or thermoplastic vinyl 
  • Fire surrounds – heat and fireproof 
  • Flue pipes to heating systems 
  • Insulation of warm air heating systems and to central heating systems 
  • Lagging – pipes and boilers 
  • Textured decorative finish to walls and ceilings such as Artex 
  • Textured decorative paint 
  • Window board – black cast resin sheet 
  • Wall boarding to internal partitions, airing cupboard linings, shelving, duct and pipe covers 
  • Asbestos insulation board – lining to doors, door header panels and loft hatches.  

Other

  • Coal bunker – lid and slider panel  
  • Electric night storage heaters – up to 1976, used for the heat retention blocks 
  • Filler ropes surrounding oven doors and solid fuel fires 
  • Fire blankets 
  • Ironing boards – iron rest heat pad 
  • Portable heaters using liquid petroleum gas (LPG) 
  • Oven gloves 

To gather information on asbestos in your home or communal parts to blocks, we have commissioned a survey of all our council owned and council leased property by a specialist contractor.

We maintain an asbestos register database with all survey results and update when appropriate. 

The table below outlines how we deal with different risks.

Type of risk 

Action 

Type, location or condition of asbestos is high risk 

Remove immediately 

Lower risk but planned maintenance  

Remove as part of the maintenance project 

Low risk in bare state 

Seal, record and re-inspect periodically 

Low risk and sealed 

Record and re-inspect periodically 

 

Get permission

If you wish to carry out home improvements, you must seek approval from Waverley before you start work as outlined in your tenancy agreement. 

During that process we will give you information we have about possible asbestos containing materials in your home. We only remove asbestos if they pose a risk. 

If you need to remove or work on any asbestos containing materials such as textured decorative coatings. You must do so at your own cost and use a qualified and approved contractor. 

Before approving work to asbestos, we may ask you to provide evidence of how the contractor will handle the material.  

You may have to pay costs

If you personally carry out work or enable and permit others to carry out work without our approval, you will be liable for any costs of dealing with asbestos incidents, as well as cost of reinstatement. 

When you become a house owner, you are responsible for the asbestos containing materials in your home (subject to restrictions under Right to Buy).

Contact us

During working hours

(Monday - Thursday 8.45am - 5.15pm and Friday 8.45am - 4.45pm) 

Please contact our Property Services Compliance Team on:

Tel: 01483 523109

Email: tenantsasbestos@waverley.gov.uk 

Outside working hours

Contact our Property Services emergency service on 02392 242161.

Useful links

Asbestos health and safety information from Health and Safety Executive 

Asbestos Information Centre