Testing Artex for asbestos
Last Updated on 10 October 2023
Testing Artex to check for the presence of asbestos
If you’re wondering about having testing done on some Artex to see if it contains asbestos, then this is generally because you may be purchasing a property. Or perhaps you wish to remove the Artex coating from a ceiling or wall as part of refurbishment works.
Most testing of Artex for asbestos ‘events’ would generally form part of an ‘asbestos survey’ on a property.
If it was manufactured before 2000, the textured coating Artex, which is used on walls and ceilings, can contain asbestos fibres.
Before it was banned in the UK in 1992, asbestos was frequently utilised in construction materials. Therefore, it is advised that Artex be tested for asbestos before any renovation or demolition work is done if a building or structure was constructed or rebuilt prior to 2000.
Prior to beginning any repairs, it is also advisable to have a professional conduct an asbestos survey to ascertain whether there is asbestos in the building.
Asbestos has been found in over 4000 different building products. You may have Artex within your property but you may also have other asbestos products you are unaware of.
Always err on the side of caution and ensure any aspects of a property you work on are tested for asbestos. This is a legal requirement in the UK on all properties built before 2000 when asbestos was finally banned in the UK.
Artex can be easy to miss or mistake for other products. Other products such as Sandtex (paint with a grit/ sand content) look like Artex but are usually a none asbestos based application.
How to test artex for asbestos
The most popular way to test artex for asbestos is with a microscope, however there are other ways of testing it as well.
If you are wanting to know how an asbestos surveyor will test artex for asbestos, then please be informed that it is a two part process.
Firstly a trained asbestos surveyor would safely obtain a small sample of the material – it will typically be the size of a 50p coin – and then it will be sent or taken to a testing laboratory for examination. The sample will then be inspected under a microscope to assess for the presence of asbestos.
This generally takes 24-48 hours. The sampling costs vary from one laboratory to the next, but are broadly in the range of £10 – £25.
In the event that asbestos is found in Artex, the surveyor will provide a report outlining the type and condition of the asbestos, as well as recommendations for its safe removal.
Use of an asbestos test kit is another method of testing artex for asbestos. These let you take a sample and test it on your own and are offered by many hardware and DIY stores.
A sample bag, a step-by-step manual, and a pre-paid envelope for submitting the sample to a lab for examination are usually all included with the test kit.
However, in our opinion, asbestos testing should only be carried out by qualified professionals because asbestos fibres can be dangerous if inhaled.
Additionally, it’s critical to adhere to the right safety precautions when working with products that could contain asbestos.
How to deal with asbestos in Artex
The process for dealing with asbestos in Artex will depend on the condition of the material and the location where it is found.
If it’s in good condition, Artex can be ‘over boarded’ or ‘skimmed over’ with other none asbestos products and can be hidden from view.
However, if it’s in poor condition then it will need to be removed.
If you are a contractor and you need to remove, fix through or drill Artex coatings then you need to be specially trained and use all the appropriate personal protective equipment PPE.
If you require this type of training or if you require testing of Artex for asbestos prior to refurbishment work on ‘any’ type of property, then there should be an appropriate asbestos survey in place.
Do you need to get some Artex tested?
Are you looking at buying a house that possibly contains Artex asbestos or planning on doing some refurbishment? Need some help or advice or need to arrange for some testing of Artex for asbestos? Then get in touch.
RB Asbestos can help you with your asbestos related problem. We can test Artex for asbestos, provide checks on your property for the presence of asbestos materials, and we can carry out asbestos surveys and management plans nationwide.
Speak directly to one of our knowledgeable and helpful advisors for any further information on testing Artex for asbestos 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.