This advice is aimed at householders. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has information which is more appropriate for businesses.

If your property is more than 15 years old, it's possible that it contains materials made from asbestos.

Common household locations of asbestos are:

  • cement sheets on garage or shed roofs
  • cement shed and garage wall panels 
  • cement drain pipes 
  • cement or insulation board soffit, infill panels and partitions 
  • cement on the side of bath panels.
The general rule is to always leave asbestos alone

Paint indoor materials with an alkali-resistant paint such as PVA emulsion and never sand, drill or saw asbestos materials. 

Always seek advice before 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 an asbestos licence holder.

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 clothes. Never use a vacuum cleaner as this will just spread dust around. 
  • Pick up polythene sheeting and remove protective clothing and dispose of both as asbestos waste. 
  • Wash hands and face after the job is completed.

Disposal of asbestos waste

Small quantities of asbestos cement can be disposed of free of charge by householders at the tip in Newhall. Asbestos waste will only be accepted from minor repair works to roofs and guttering and if it is a maximum of two sheets or three metres of pipe. 

Complete renewal works must be undertaken by professional asbestos removal contractors. We do not accept requests for collection of asbestos.

If as a householder you intend to transport asbestos cement in your personal vehicle, you do not need to be a registered carrier if it is your own waste. However, you should take the following steps to ensure that asbestos does not contaminate your car:

  • 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.