Experts say that if a home is older than the 1990s then there’s a fair chance of asbestos being present somewhere.

The material, banned in many countries and generally restricted in how it can be removed and disposed of, is typically found in roof tiles, insulation and heating installations.

Sometimes you will know it’s there; it might be obvious or it may have been pointed out to you when you bought the property, but it’s not always the case. Pulling up floorboards or knocking down a wall can reveal the hazardous material and so begins an inconvenient and often expensive process.

Although it is possible for homeowners to remove small amounts of asbestos themselves, it is essential that safety procedures are followed to avoid inhaling the dust caused by broken panels. Then there is a requirement to dispose of the asbestos correctly. A better option may be to hire a specialist firm to assess, remove and dispose of the hazard, but this can be costly.

For those buying or selling an older home it’s worth noting that mortgage and insurance companies may insist that any asbestos found is removed before they will complete the deal.

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