A crumbling ceiling is always a cause for concern. However, if your ceiling also has an Artex coating that contains asbestos, you should be even more concerned. Such coatings can release asbestos fibres into the air, where they can be inhaled by humans, and cause a variety of serious health problems.
If you have a cracked asbestos Artexed ceiling, it is essential that you have the issue resolved as soon as possible. You can choose to have the ceiling repaired or completely removed.
While these two options may sound simple, dealing with an asbestos Artexed ceiling is quite complicated.
What Is An Artexed Ceiling?
An Artexed ceiling is simply a ceiling that is coated with Artex. Widely used in the UK during the sixties, seventies and eighties, Artex – a brand name – is a surface coating that was designed to allow plasterers to apply textures and patterns on to surfaces, such as walls and ceilings, for interior decoration purposes.
Initially, asbestos was used to strengthen Artex. While, asbestos free Artex has been available since the seventies, most of the Artex marketed before the year 1999 – when the use of asbestos was banned – contained asbestos.
To find out whether the Artex used in decorating your home or business – especially if it was built or remodelled before 1999 – contains asbestos, it is recommended that you have it sampled and tested. Otherwise, it is not possible to determine whether an Artex coating has asbestos just from looking at it.
When Does Artex Become Risky?
Artex containing asbestos only becomes risky when in powder form; in this state the asbestos fibres in it can be disturbed. If you have a cracked Artexed ceiling, the asbestos fibres in it can be released when the coating starts crumbling.
What The Law Says
According to the law, you do not have to remove asbestos from your building – home or commercial premises. If you choose to leave it in place, the asbestos has to be properly managed to ensure that it does not pose any risks. On the other hand, if you decide to remove the asbestos you must follow the strict removal guidelines prescribed by the law (Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012).
Should You Remove Or Repair Your Cracked Artexed Ceiling?
To help you decide whether you will be better served by removing or repairing the cracked ceiling, it is recommended that you seek the professional advice of an asbestos specialist. Such a specialist will be able to determine whether the asbestos fibres in your Artexed ceiling have been disturbed by the existing damage or not.
After the professional inspection, the specialist may offer varying recommendations.
If you are working with a limited budget, a sealant can be applied over the cracks to keep the asbestos fibres locked in place.
Alternatively, you can have the ceiling removed completely, if you can afford it.
Do You Need A Licensed Contractor?
It all depends on the level of risk involved.
To carry out small quantities of low risk work involving asbestos, such as Artex ceiling coatings, you can hire a non-licensed contractor. However, given the risky nature of this type of work, it is important to hire an experienced contractor. All legal guidelines still need to be followed, and safety procedures must be adhered to.
While it is generally discouraged, you can also do the work yourself. To ensure your safety, and that of others, you must wear the necessary PPE and follow the legal guidelines to the letter.
If the risk of fibre release is higher, stricter regulations on who can conduct the work apply.
Asbestos can cause fatal health problems. if you have a cracked asbestos Artexed ceiling, it is best that you consult a qualified expert before taking any other action.
For more information visit https://precisionasbestosremoval.co.uk