Textured ceiling coating (often known by the trade name Artex) samples are one of the most common asbestos containing materials that our analysts see in our laboratory for asbestos testing. Artex ceilings are present in millions of homes across the UK and can appear in the traditional stippled effect or as various swirling patterns.

The asbestos content of an Artex ceiling is very low, commonly less than 1%. Due to the nature of the material, the asbestos fibre cannot easily become airborne without some significant disturbance from activities such as scraping, sanding or to a lesser extent, drilling.

The most common recommendations we give to clients with asbestos Artex ceilings are as follows:
• If you can, leave the asbestos Artex ceiling where it is and don’t disturb it
• Ensure the asbestos Artex is well painted (this helps to seal any the asbestos fibre in place) and prolong the life of the ceiling coating
• If you need to remove the asbestos Artex ceiling, we always recommend using an appropriately qualified asbestos removal contractor
• If you need to drill holes in the material, again we would always recommend employing a qualified asbestos contractor. If you still want to do it yourself you can follow our instructions or look on the asbestos task essentials section of the HSE website
• If you need to paint or redecorate an asbestos Artex ceiling, it is best to gently wash the surface with a suitable preparatory substance rather than scraping or sanding. If you do need to scrape away loose areas prior to painting this will need to be done carefully, following the same precautions detailed on the web page referred to above (www.vinteclabs.com/drill-asbestos-artex)

Click here for more information on asbestos in domestic properties.

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