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More information about the lockdown can be found on our Covid-19 advice pages

Advice about asbestos in your home

This advice is aimed at householders living in Waverley. If you live in another area you should consult your local authority for advice.

If your property is more than 20 years old, it is possible that it contains materials made from asbestos.

Common locations of asbestos

Common locations are listed below but there may be others in your home - so if in doubt leave well alone and seek expert help. Common locations of asbestos cement:

  • garage or shed roofs
  • shed and garage wall panels
  • gutters and drain pipes
  • soffits, infill panels and partitions
  • side of bath panels
  • cold water cisterns.

There may also be asbestos insulation on warm-air heating systems.

If your home is rented, your landlord may have relevant information on the whereabouts of asbestos.

What to do if you have asbestos in your home

The general rule is it is always best to leave asbestos alone if possible. It is usually safe unless it is damaged or disturbed.

  • Paint indoor materials with an alkali resistant paint such as PVA emulsion and never sand, drill or saw asbestos materials.
  • Always seek advice before thinking of removing asbestos and follow the basic rules below if carrying out asbestos cement removal work.
  • Do not attempt to remove asbestos lagging, spray coatings or large areas of insulation board by yourself as these materials can only be safely removed by a licensed contractor.

Sometimes it will be necessary to take a sample, for example, to identify the type of asbestos.  Samples can be analysed by an accredited testing laboratory through the United Kingdom Accreditation Service.

Please note that the council does not provide an asbestos consultancy, analysis, removal or collection service.

There are no grants available for asbestos removal in Waverley.

Asbestos dos and don'ts

Points to remember:

  • don't panic if you think you have asbestos in your home - it's usually only a problem if it is disturbed
  • do treat asbestos with respect
  • don't drill, saw or disturb materials that contain asbestos
  • do seek advice if you think you've got a problem with asbestos in your home.

Safe asbestos cement removal

Asbestos cement can be safely removed by remembering these basic rules:

  • Prepare the work area - remove any unnecessary items, cover the floor and surfaces with disposable polythene sheeting.
  • Wear protective clothing- disposable overall with hood, disposable paper face mask (for use with asbestos) and rubber or disposable gloves.
  • Damp down - use a plant sprayer or hosepipe but don't soak the area as this will make cleaning up more difficult.
  • Remove the asbestos without breaking it up, wrap in polythene sheeting or bags and seal with tape.
  • Visually inspect the area and clear up any debris by hand - wipe down with disposable damp cloths. Never use a vacuum cleaner as this will just spread dust around.
  • Pick up polythene sheeting, remove protective clothing and dispose of both as asbestos waste.
  • Wash hands and face after the job is completed.

Disposal of asbestos waste

Asbestos cement can be disposed of by householders at the Guildford Community Recycling Centre and Transfer Station at Slyfield Green Industrial Estate, Moorfield Road, Guildford. They will accept up to six sheets free of charge. Contact the site on 01483 532187.

If you are transporting asbestos cement in your car or van

If, as a householder, you intend to transport asbestos cement waste in your own vehicle, you do not need to be a registered carrier provided that it is your own waste.

You should take the following steps to ensure that asbestos does not contaminate your vehicle:

  • spray sheets of asbestos cement with water
  • double wrap or double bag the asbestos cement with heavy duty polythene
  • ensure the wrapping is secured with tape
  • make sure vehicle occupants do not have access to the asbestos waste.

Asbestos in council homes

For information about asbestos in council owned homes please visit the Asbestos in council owned homes page.

Asbestos in commercial properties

If your property is commercial, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have produced a number of leaflets which are more appropriate for businesses. 

Page owner: Paula Mackenzie. Last updated: 19/08/2020 10:10

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