What is asbestos?

Asbestos is a strong fibrous rock, which can resist heat and chemicals. It was often used in building materials between the 1950’s and 1980’s. Most buildings built during this period probably contain asbestos.

Asbestos and the different types of asbestos can only be detected in a specialist laboratory.

What are the risks?

Asbestos is safe provided it is undamaged and undisturbed. If the material does become damaged, fibrous may be released into the air. DIY activities such as sanding or drilling can damage asbestos.

Current scientific advise is that if the material is in good condition and unlikely to be disturbed then the risks are minimal.

For more information on Asbestos and how to stay safe, view a copy of our Asbestos Leaflet

Where can it be found in the home?

Asbestos can be found in some of the materials in your home, for example:

  • cement fascia boards and exterior cladding,
  • cement guttering and drains
  • textured wall and ceiling coatings(e.g. artex)
  • floor tiles,
  • suspended ceiling panels, communal ceiling panels and service ducts
  • bath panels, fire place panels, panels to the underside of kitchen sink or ironing boards.
  • water tanks, pipe lagging,
  • cement panels on garage or shed roofs

What will Hounslow Homes do?

If you suspect you have asbestos in your home, we will arrange for some of the material to be tested and arrange removal if necessary. If the asbestos is undamaged and unlikely to be disturbed, it is safer to leave it this way.

If the materials could be damaged as a result of other major works such as renewal of kitchens or bathrooms, we will remove the asbestos before work starts.


Under the terms of your lease, you are responsible for the fixtures and fittings within the property, including floor tiles and artex. We are responsible for the building structure.

Items you suspect contain asbestos should be left in place if in good condition. For example, if you wish to lay carpet and have floor tiles, lay the carpet on top and secure with carpet tape. Using grippers will damage the floor tiles.

If you wish to remove artex you are advised to seek a specialist contractor for advice. If items become damaged you may be able to carry out a limited amount of removal yourself. Contact Environmental Services or the Health and Safety Executive for advice before you begin.

You should also let the Home Ownership Section and future owners know if you have sealed or removed asbestos in your property so the information can be passed on.

Contact us

If you have any concerns about asbestos, or think you may have asbestos in your home, contact the Customer Service Centre on 0800 085 65 75. You can also download a copy of our Asbestos Leaflet