Before the UK banned asbestos in homes and businesses in 1999, it was a commonly used material in the construction and automotive industries and used for insulating homes across the UK. Older homes will also commonly use Artex surfacing on ceilings. But does Artex contain asbestos? And if so, how do you eliminate the problem? What are Artex ceilings? Artex is a surface coating that is mostly used on ceilings but has been used on walls as well. This ‘texture coating’ is different from plaster due to it being marketed as a design that wouldn’t need to be finished with any plastering skills. Artex was popular in the UK during the 1970s and has a different design from plaster. Rather than having the smooth, flat finish that plaster has, Artex ceilings are designed with a texture normally consisting of a swirl, stipple, broken leather, knifed plaster, or a raised uneven pattern. Due to the raised and uneven nature of Artex, homeowners cannot cover an Artex wall with wallpaper as the raised texture will show through. This is one of the main reasons why Artex is not prominent in modern homes, as it prevents homeowners from decorating their homes in the way they would like. What is asbestos? You’ve more than likely heard of asbestos, as because it is extremely harmful if inhaled. So, it is no longer used in modern homes or any other building. Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibre that was widely used in homes and construction. Homes built before 2000 used asbestos for a range of benefits including insulation and was used as a material to construct products such as pipes and boilers, floor tiles, cement for roofing sheets, and was commonly found in Artex ceilings. It seemed that this material was perfect, however, it has been banned in the UK since 1999 due to the health risks it possesses. The health risks include: Asbestosis – a serious lung condition caused by long-term exposure to asbestos. Carcinogenic – asbestos can lead to a human developing multiple types of cancer. Mesothelioma – a type of cancer that forms on the protective tissue of the lungs and abdomen. Asbestos becomes a risk if the materials containing it become damaged and disturbed releasing the asbestos fibres into the air, which then enter the lungs when breathed in. Some symptoms of the health risks listed above can take years to appear, but once a person is diagnosed with asbestosis, there is no cure. You may require an asbestos survey There are a few tell-tale signs that asbestos is present in your home. And if it was built before 1980, there is a strong likelihood that asbestos was used in the construction of your home. If this is the case, then you more than likely have an Artex ceiling or walls, containing asbestos. If you are able to identify that you have any Artex ceilings, it is vital that you request an asbestos survey to assess if you are at risk from health risks. An asbestos survey should be carried out by a professional such as DES Holdings . This involves taking samples of any materials such as Artex ceilings and sending them to a laboratory for testing. What to do if there is asbestos in your Artex ceiling If the survey from the professionals at DES Holdings concludes that you do have asbestos in your Artex ceiling, then they will be able to carry out a reliable removal service. They are able to cover any part of the UK providing a professional and safe removal of asbestos from your home. They will remove the asbestos using safe practices and according to legal regulations and, once removed, they will dispose of the asbestos safely from your residents. Work with a specialist Even though asbestos has been banned in the UK since 1999, many homes may still contain the deadly material. If you have an Artex ceiling or wall, or if your home was built before the year 2000, you could be at high risk of having asbestos still in your home. With over 30 years of experience handling asbestos, DES Holdings specialise in surveying your home, identifying if you have asbestos, and will provide professional and safe measures to remove the deadly material. If you‘re concerned that you may have asbestos in your home or business property, please get in touch with us or call one of our experts on 01527 521 457.