Most textured coatings are painted white. However, if a small area is damaged, it may reveal the true colour of the coating beneath the paint. For example, an orangey-brown or grey colour will usually indicate that the coating is plaster (as opposed to a true Artex coating). Plaster coatings are generally more modern, and so are unlikely to contain asbestos fibres.
However, if the coating is white throughout, then we recommend that you contact us to arrange for asbestos sampling to be undertaken prior to disturbing the material, as this generally indicates a true ‘Artex’-type coating. Artex and other similar textured coatings may contain chrysotile asbestos fibres (white asbestos) that can contaminate the air if the material is drilled or disturbed.
The only way to know for certain is to have it tested for asbestos fibres. Our asbestos surveyors will take a small scraping of the Artex, usually from the four corners of the room. This is then analysed under laboratory conditions to determine whether or not asbestos fibres are present.
Is it safe?
Artex containing asbestos is safe when it is in good condition and does not pose a health risk. The asbestos fibres are bound into the material and will not become airborne under normal conditions.
The problem with asbestos-containing Artex arises when you intend to drill or disturb the material in some other way. Appropriate precautions must be taken, such as wearing the appropriate RPE (face mask) and PPE (disposable overalls). We will provide you with all of the necessary safety information for free if your results return as positive.
Additionally, if the Artex is deteriorating, e.g. due to a burst pipe, or you plan to carry out refurbishment work that will disturb the material, dust containing asbestos fibres may become airborne and pose a health risk.
Over the last seventy years or more, asbestos in its many forms has been used extensively in industry and the building trade.
It was used in a wide range of materials, such as insulating boards, ceiling tiles, thermal insulation, rope, blanket, joints, gaskets, packings, brake and clutch linings and cement sheets and pipes.
Analysing samples of material for asbestos is the type of work we regularly undertake – with turnaround times often within 24 hours.
To ensure the very highest standards of testing and impartial ATN Surveys send all client samples to a UKAS accredited laboratory.
We examine asbestos found in a wide selection of sample materials including fibre cement, artex and floor tiles.
Our surveyor will attend your site, take the sample and return the results to you quickly and comprehensively.