Asbestos can exist in a variety of forms in a building; cement, coatings, floor tiles, insulating, lagging and loose. Many buildings build before 1999 will contain at least one form of asbestos as it was often too expensive or too difficult to extract.

Asbestos filled cement can often be found in the form of guttering, wall cladding and roofing. It is most commonly used for corrugated cement roofing which can be found on old farm buildings, warehouses and on some private sheds and garages.

Many walls and ceilings used to be coated in asbestos in either a sprayed or textured form, this could exist in lofts, around beams and living spaces. Textured coatings are generally quite stable but sprayed coatings have the highest asbestos content so even a minor disturbance could release huge quantities of the material into the air.

Asbestos tiles were commonly used in insulating floor surfaces underneath carpet or laminate flooring. Sometimes similar density asbestos was used in fireproof blankets and even oven mitts. Although not as dangerous as other forms of asbestos it is still advised to use caution and consult guidelines before working with it.

Asbestos insulating board (AIB) was quite commonly used in partition walls, lift shafts, roof linings and fire doors. Large quantities of this can still be found in many buildings built from the 1950s onwards and it is considered very dangerous to work with and only handled by a full licensed contractor.

Loose fill and lagging asbestos are considered the most dangerous forms of the material and are often found in cavities and wrapped around pipes and boilers. Both of these are the most dangerous and should only be handled by a professional as they can easily release toxins into the air.

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