Where Can Asbestos Be Found?

Asbestos containing building / construction materials and where you're likely to find them.
Where Can Asbestos Be Found? 1If you’re looking for more information on what asbestos looks like take a look at our What Does Asbestos Look Like? page.

This page is designed to show you the main places you can find asbestos within a building. In most cases this refers to building which were constructed prior to the year 2000. There are so many different uses and locations of asbestos that it is not possible to list them all. This page is a great introduction to the main asbestos types and the most likely places you will find them.

There is a slight difference on the types and locations of asbestos used and found within domestic and commercial premises. To better help you we have put together additional detailed pages on these building types. These pages will give greater detail on locations of where you would be likely to fins asbestos in both commercial and domestic property.

You can view these here:

Remember, although having some knowledge to help you keep a look out for asbestos is an advantage, it is always the safest option and recommended that if you need to confirm the presence of asbestos for any reason that you get help from a professional UKAS accredited asbestos surveying company. Asbestos surveying and knowing where to look and how to positively identify asbestos is a skilled profession. It’s a profession that takes years of training and experience to master. If you’re not sure, give us a call. We are here for fast and free advice.

Asbestos Boards & Mill Boards

Asbestos boards and mill boards can be found virtually anywhere in a building. They have been used for a wide variety of purposes including thermal and acoustic insulation, moisture resistance and general building board. Mill board was used mainly for fire and electrical insulation. The following are the main areas that you are likely to find asbestos boards and mill boards.

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Windows and doors – Internal & external

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Under cloaking & fascia’s – Entrances, porches, roofs

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Beams, RSJ & Joist Lining – Loft voids, ceiling voids, floor voids

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Soffits & Upstands – Roof areas, near windows, porches
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Ceilings & Walls (Including Cupboard Lining) – All areas

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Heating & Radiator Lining – All areas

Asbestos boards can be found used as tiles, panels, lining, packing and beading. Wherever you are likely to find asbestos boards you may well find associated asbestos debris if the boards are in any way damaged or exposed. To better understand what asbestos boards / mill boards are and what they look like take a look at What Does Asbestos Look Like?

Asbestos Thermal Insulation

Asbestos thermal insulation can be found virtually anywhere in a building where you are likely to find heating pipes and appliances. This product was mainly mixed and hand applied or applied in pre formed sections. The following are the main areas that you are likely to find asbestos thermal insulation.

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Boilers & similar – Internal & external to the equipment

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Walls, Ceilings & Floors – Debris from insulated pipework etc

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Calorifiers & tanks – Internal & external to the equipment

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Pipes to boiler rooms & similar

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Pipes to underground ducts & below floors

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Pipes within ceiling & loft voids

Asbestos thermal insulation can be found insulating anything where its thermal resistance may be required. All pipes, joints, ducting, boilers, calorifiers, tanks and heating systems. Thermal insulation debris is often located to floors, walls and ceilings where during its installation the asbestos has touched these areas. To better understand what asbestos thermal insulation is and what it looks like take a look at What Does Asbestos Look Like?

Asbestos Sprayed Insulation:

Asbestos sprayed insulation is generally used on the main structural elements of buildings. It is a thermal and anti-condensation product which was mixed and applied through spraying techniques. The following are the main areas that you are likely to find asbestos sprayed insulation.

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Beams & RSJ’s – Within all areas

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Columns – Within all areas

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Ceilings – To the main construction

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Walls – To the main construction

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Block & Brick – Upstands & Fire Breaks

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Overspray – To all areas adjacent to insulation

Asbestos sprayed insulation although mainly found to the main structural elements of a building can also be found anywhere in a building where it has been applied. This is due to the overspray caused during installation which can be found on every surface including within wall voids. To better understand what asbestos thermal insulation is and what it looks like take a look at What Does Asbestos Look Like?

Asbestos Textiles, Strings, Ropes & Gaskets:

Asbestos textiles, strings, ropes & gaskets can be found in any room throughout a building. Mainly used for thermal, acid resistant and moisture resistant properties. The following are the main areas that you are likely to find these asbestos products.

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Electrical Installations – Fuses & boxes

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Blankets – Firefighting & heating element covers

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Pipes & Vessels – Insulation and covering

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Windows & Doors – Ropes and strings (Gaskets)

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Exhaust Vents – Insulation & Covering

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Pipes, Flanges, Safes & Heating Doors – Ropes & Strings (Gaskets)

Asbestos textiles, strings, ropes & gaskets can be found in a variety of locations. Curtains, fire breaks and voids have all seen the usage of asbestos textiles. Ropes and strings are generally more focused in areas where you would expect to find gasket type materials such as windows, heating doors, and pipe flanges. To better understand what asbestos textiles, strings, ropes & gaskets are and what they looks like take a look at What Does Asbestos Look Like?

Asbestos Cement:

Asbestos cement is the most widely used asbestos product in buildings. It was used mainly for its tensile strength and moisture resistant properties. It comes in a variety of products and is observed in all areas of buildings. The following are the main areas that you are likely to find these asbestos cement.

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Gutters, Down Pipes, Soil Pipes – External

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Roofing – All types, sheeting, tiles, under cloaks

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Tanks & Vessels – Loft voids, tank rooms

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Panelling – Internal all areas, soffits, ceilings & walls

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Boiler & Flue Pipes – Internal and external

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Lining – Cupboards, doors, walls & ceilings

Asbestos cement although high density can be brittle. It is common for building which contain asbestos cement products to have areas of associated debris due to age and breakage.. To better understand what asbestos cement is and what it looks like take a look at What Does Asbestos Look Like?

Asbestos Paper & Felts:

Asbestos paper and felts can be found in many areas of a building. Paper is generally a lining used in multiple locations. Felt is generally used for roofing purposes.

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Walls, Ceilings and linings – paper finish

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Electrical installations – paper lining and flash guards

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External Roofing and associated – felt membrane

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Internal Roofing and associated – felt membrane

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Pipes and associated – paper insulation

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Floor coverings – paper backing

Asbestos paper and felts in many areas of buildings hide below coverings of non-asbestos products such as newly laid felt roofs or flooring. Care should be taken prior to any works which could damage these types of hidden materials. To better understand what asbestos paper and felt  is and what it looks like take a look at What Does Asbestos Look Like? 

Asbestos Vinyl, Resin & Bitumen:

Asbestos vinyl, resin & bitumen is present to many building products and can be found in any area of a building both internally and externally.

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All floor surfaces – Vinyl tiles and vinyl coverings

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Toilets & Bathrooms – Resin cisterns and tanks

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Within Brickwork – Bitumen damp proofing

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Roofing & Associated – Bitumen coating

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Wall skirting and stairs – Resin upstands and treads

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Kitchens & Bathrooms – Bitumen below sinks & drainers

Asbestos vinyl, resin & bitumen is most notably found to flooring, toilet cisterns, dam proof courses and other similar products. However there are many products which are not that common. Any vinyl, resin or bitumen product within a building must be presumed to contain asbestos until confirmation is carried out. To better understand what asbestos vinyl, resin & bitumen paper looks like take a look at What Does Asbestos Look Like? 

Asbestos Decorative / Textured Coatings:

Asbestos decorative / textured coatings, also widely referred to as Artex is a general paint brush or trowel applied textured finish. This product can be found in any area of a building both internally and externally.

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External walls & construction

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Internal walls in all areas

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Ceilings in bathrooms and wet rooms

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Ceilings in all other internal areas

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Beams and structural items

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External cabins and sheds

Asbestos decorative / textured coating can be found applied to many different surfaces ranging from plasterboard through to concrete. In many instances this product is also applied directly to other asbestos materials such as cements and boards. To better understand what asbestos decorative / textured coating is and what it looks like take a look at What Does Asbestos Look Like? 

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