Does Asbestos Need to Be Removed?

By Jamie Orr
Date 20/09/2020
does asbestos need to be removed?

Despite being banned in the 1970s, asbestos is still present on many buildings across the UK. If it’s not dealt with, it can cause serious problems as the solution begins to flake. But how exactly should you deal with it?

In this post, we’ll discuss asbestos removal and whether there is an alternative.

A brief introduction to asbestos

Asbestos was hugely popular in the 20th century, renowned for its insulative and heat-resistant qualities. It was used for insulation and fireproofing on countless buildings, until the 1970s and 80s, when the health risks associated with asbestos dust became clear.

In short, exposure to asbestos fibres can cause a number of issues including asbestosis and mesothelioma, with around 20 tradesmen dying each week as a result of past exposure.

However, it’s also a risk for the occupants of buildings where it has been used. Once asbestos fails, it begins to flake, releasing harmful fibres into the air. Given that it has a lifespan of roughly 60 years and asbestos use peaked in the 1960s, that makes the coming decade critical.

Asbestos removal

Once asbestos fails, it’s extremely dangerous and impossible to repair. That’s why removal is necessary. But with all of the above in mind, asbestos removal is both complex and hazardous. Materials coated with asbestos can release fibres when they’re removed, making asbestos removal a specialist job.

Thankfully, with greater awareness of the risks, staff can be properly protected when removing asbestos. But it’s still a huge expense. On top of that, there is a risk of asbestos fibres remaining in the air once removal is complete, posing a risk to anyone nearby in the future.

Is there an alternative?

Fortunately, there is an alternative to asbestos removal. Coating asbestos can prevent the fibres from being released and causing health issues.

Of course, you can’t just coat asbestos surfaces with regular paint. That’s where cork comes in. A specialised cork-based coating can encapsulate asbestos fibres, providing long-term security and vital protection for anyone in your building.

Unlike removal, fibre encapsulation avoids unnecessary disturbance of the asbestos cement. It’s often the contractors’ and employers’ choice for maintaining a building, as well as caring for a workforce. Crucially, it also means you’re not sending those hazardous materials to landfill.

But that’s not all. The government also provides 150% tax relief on the cost of asbestos encasement as part of its Land Remediation Relief scheme. In simple terms, this means you can offset 150% of what you pay for asbestos remediation against your taxable profits, essentially reimbursing some of the cost.

Get your asbestos remediated

With an average lifespan of 200 years, a cork coating can safely encase asbestos for generations to come. At Corksol, we will also provide a warranty for 15 years as standard, to give you complete peace of mind.

That said, the clock is ticking as asbestos needs to be dealt with before it starts to deteriorate. Find a local approved applicator who is up to the job and get it sorted before it’s too late.


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