Home Improvements

Much like in the US, the UK has developed an increasing interest in watching reality TV shows, from The Only Way is Essex to Come Dine With Me, we are a nation of reality TV addicts. Alongside the segments of real life soap opera and cooking is the home improvement arena, which includes TV shows based on home buying, selling and renovation of a property. Although interesting and helpful when it comes to gaining tips, watching programmes such as DIY SOS and Grand Designs unfortunately does not lead to expert knowledge in the refurbishment, remodelling or buying of a home.

Due to the fast-paced nature of these programmes, issues such as asbestos in the home are rarely touched upon and timelines become adjusted or abridged to deliver a fun and entertaining TV show rather than a realistic view on the level of work that goes into the renovation of a property. Because of this gap between reality TV and actual real life, it is important for those seeking to improve their property to take precautions that will prevent accidents, damage to the home or future health problems such as mesothelioma from asbestos exposure.

Following years of research on asbestos, the risks of the deadly carcinogenic are clearer than ever, with experts stating that even a few hours of exposure to asbestos fibres can be enough to trigger the condition later in life. In fact, the severity of asbestos exposure to the human body has already led to thousands of unwitting sufferers dying for asbestos-related illness each year, sometimes up to 50 years after originally being exposed. However, despite knowledge on the dangers of asbestos being more available than ever, people are still willing to take risks; this could be from the feeling of invincibility that comes from youth or simply that this information is not being shared enough across the UK.

Indeed, although high-risk industries such as construction, shipping, rail, power plants and automobiles are kept in the loop when it comes to asbestos exposure and the prevention of it, the ever-growing DIY market is in need of this knowledge, particularly when it can be found in any industrial or residential building that has been built or refurbished before the year 2000. The places where asbestos can be hidden in a residential property are as varied as they are surprising; they include the water tank, pipe lagging, textured decorative coatings such as Artex; the toilet seat or cistern, vinyl floor tiles, cement roofs, roofing felt and gutters.

Because asbestos could be in practically any part of a property, it is imperative that those seeking to undertake DIY work first identify whether asbestos is present and then determine its type and condition. If no information is available or is limited but asbestos is suspected, the property should be surveyed, with representative sampled of material analysed before any work takes place. Should a survey be required, ARG can provide two types of survey for asbestos containing materials, a nonintrusive management survey and a full intrusive refurbishment/demolition survey. Should higher risk asbestos containing materials be found, we at ARG can conduct efficient, competent and cost effective asbestos removal services.

While DIY can seem a fun and exciting project to undertake in your home, it is important to take the correct precautions and ensure your home isn’t going to result in an SOS for you and your family in the future.

Contact ARG today to discuss your survey: 020 8804 8008 or E‐Mail: enquiries@arggroup.org