Artex Asbestos Coatings
Textured coatings can contain a small amount of white asbestos. They were used to produce decorative finishes on walls and ceilings, becoming an extremely popular choice for homes as they covered over cracks and other imperfections easily.
They are often referred to as artex which is actually one of the brand names for textured coatings. Others included Suretex, Wondertex and Newtex but ‘Artex’ is the most commonly used. If the artex is in good condition, the fibres are not easily released as it is well bonded in the product. Any removal or disturbance will need to be done in a safe manner and disposed of at a licensed landfill site.
What Do Asbestos Coatings Look like?
Most artex finishes are a thin decorative coating applied to walls and / or ceilings. They can look completely different to one another depending on the style of the decorative coating finish. Often they were applied in a stipple finish as well as swirls but the patterns can be of a random design depending on how well they were applied. As a rule, asbestos coatings are white in colour, but many of them will have been painted over, often with several layers of paint.
Where Were Asbestos Coatings Used?
Textured asbestos coatings were often used on walls and ceiling of homes and commercial properties and were particularly popular in the 1970’s and 80’s. They were extensively used in council properties as well as private houses. Any artex installed after 1999 should not contain asbestos as the use of white (chrysotile) asbestos was banned in this year, however, any artex installed before this date could contain asbestos and should be tested before any works are carried out on it.
Are Asbestos Textured Coatings Dangerous?
Artex which contains asbestos is safe as long as it remains in good condition and is not actively worked on with power tools, hand scraping, etc. If artex is on poor condition e.g. flaking off the surface then it will need to be either sealed or removed depending on the quantity involved. Asbestos in artex wall and ceiling coatings can be disturbed by work or activity on the building, such as drilling holes, knocking down walls, re-plastering or removing plasterboard. Asbestos fibres are normally so small that you can’t usually see when they have been used in artex, so before you start work you will need to get it tested to see if it does contain asbestos. If you need any artex testing, we can take a sample and get it analysed for you.
Do I Need To Remove My Asbestos Based Textured Coatings?
If it is confirmed that your coating(s) do in fact contain asbestos, then you can leave them alone if they are in good condition and undamaged and you are not planning to disturb them. If you are planning to carry out any works that will disturb the artex e.g. taking a wall down, removing the artex, etc, then you will need to have the artex removed in a safe and controlled manner. If you need a cost for removal we are happy to provide a free quote for you.