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Buying a house with asbestos Artex

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Last Updated on 10 October 2023

buying a house with asbestos artex

What is Artex and where can I find it in my house?

Large amounts of domestic and commercial properties contain Artex, and it can cause people concern when buying a house if they suspect it contains asbestos, but what is it?

Artex is one of a number of trade names for a ‘textured’ coating application that is usually applied to walls and ceilings within domestic and commercial properties.

The material was applied frequently in the second half of the twentieth century from the 1950’s onwards.

During the 1950’s through to the early 1980’s the majority of ‘Artex textured coatings’ are commonly found to contain asbestos. The material typically has a stippled or geometric pattern and was applied by decorators or plasterers. The amount of asbestos present is usually very low.

Is it OK to sell a house with Artex ceilings?

Sellers are required by the Property Misdescriptions Act to disclose whether the property they are selling contains asbestos.

Infact, since 2013, it has become a prerequisite under the law. This means that In the UK, it is perfectly legal to sell a home that contains asbestos. However, a seller is required to make this information known to the buyer.

You run the risk of having the transaction ruled invalid if you disregard this law. You might also be charged with a crime and prosecuted.

There probably won’t be any consequences, however, if the seller isn’t aware that the house has asbestos.

So while nothing prevents homeowners from selling a home that has Artex asbestos in it, there will be certain things to take into account as well as having to disclose it’s presence to any potential buyer.

For example, the state of the discovered asbestos will probably have an effect on the buyer’s decision.

It’s also critical to keep in mind that asbestos contamination might affect the property’s value.

As a result, the buyer can then request that you reduce your asking price as a result.

For buyers, mortgage lenders may insist on having a full asbestos survey carried out by a professional asbestos surveying company, such as RB Asbestos Consultants.  So this is another cost for buyers to bear in mind if buying a house that contains asbestos or artex.

What about buying a house with artex?

If you are thinking of buying a house where the seller has disclosed the presence of asbestos artex, then make sure you get an asbestos survey completed before purchasing the property.

Even if the asbestos is deemed to be in good condition and poses no immediate risk, it’s still advisable to have a full asbestos survey conducted on the property so that you’re aware of the location(s) and risk factor.

You may even be able to negotiate on the price before exchanging contracts if there are going to be costs involved to remove any asbestos.

As long as you are aware of what is within the home and that there will be a cost associated with removing or skimming/boarding over the asbestos (otherwise known as encapsulation), then there is often no reason to refrain from buying a house with asbestos ceilings or artex.

If you are buying a house that was built before 1984, then there’s a good chance it will contain asbestos in any artex textured coatings.  Artex coating was made with white asbestos in order to strengthen it up until then.

Sampling and testing Artex for asbestos

Any work on the material you suspect contains asbestos should only be conducted by an appropriately trained or licensed contractor.

Thinking of buying a house or commercial property with Artex and suspect it could contain asbestos?

Then we suggest you have any such materials appropriately sampled and tested to check for the presence of asbestos.

This should be undertaken by a qualified asbestos surveyor.

Artex typically has very low concentrations of asbestos.

Any form of damage to Artex products, such as drilling or scraping will probably cause exposure.

Sampling, if not conducted properly, can provide false results. This may be because the sample was taken from an area of Artex with concentrations of asbestos at a level the laboratory cannot detect.

Therefore, it is important to instruct a qualified asbestos surveyor.  They will be able to evaluate the risks and calculate the potential costs of removing any asbestos containing materials.

A sample of the ceiling should be collected and sent for analysis at a UKAS accredited asbestos testing laboratory.

Asbestos Artex doesn’t have to be removed when buying or renting a house or commercial property

Remember, textured coatings (Artex) are typically a very low risk asbestos material due to their low asbestos content of 2-5% and self sealing nature.

As such, providing they are in good condition and not damaged in any way, they can be ‘over boarded’ or ‘skimmed over’ with other none asbestos products and can be hidden from view.  This happens in residential and commercial properties alike.

If you are renting a commercial property, under a lease where the maintenance is your responsibility, then you legally take responsibility for managing any asbestos also.

It is mandatory in the UK for all commercial premises to manage asbestos. This is generally done by having an asbestos survey completed first.

If you are buying a house with asbestos Artex or commercial property with Artex and you are unsure about the presence of asbestos or any potential removal costs, then please contact us for advice.

Buying a house with artex and want to know if it contains asbestos?

Are you looking at buying a house that possibly contains Artex asbestos?  Need some help or advice? Then get in touch.

RB Asbestos can help you with your asbestos related problem, providing checks for the presence of asbestos materials, carrying out asbestos sampling & testing, asbestos surveys and management plans nationwide.

Speak directly to one of our knowledgeable and helpful advisors for any further information, by calling RB Asbestos today on 0800 141 2676.

If you can’t speak to one of our advisors over the phone right now, you can also contact us online.


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