This guide will help you understand everything involved with removing artex which you fear has asbestos in it. We breakdown the costs you can expect or materials and labour.
Artex is a method of interior decorating, commonly used on walls and ceilings. The process allows the decorator to add a texture or pattern to the finish of a surface.
Many people attempt the removal of Artex wall coverings themselves by using a wallpaper steamer. However, the process can be very time consuming and in most cases the covering contains asbestos.
Asbestos is a hazardous substance collectively made up of naturally occurring fibrous materials. The reason why Asbestos is extremely dangerous to our health is that these microscopic fibre particles have the ability to lodge themselves into the tissue of our lungs, causing severe scarring effects.
It is essential that before attempting to remove Artex you have identified whether the substance may contain asbestos.
Many factors affect the cost of hiring a professional to remove Artex that has asbestos in it. Such factors include the scale of the project, the complexity of the area that requires the removal and the need for any additional materials.
Professional Artex removal companies will generally charge a standard daily rate for their labour. When predicting how much your project will cost, you should consider that the tradesperson's labour will be more expensive depending on the extent of the job.
This is because the longer that the job takes to complete, the more costly the labour fees will be.
On average, a professional tradesperson will charge between £250-£400 per day to carry out the job for you. These rates will vary between different companies along with the area that you live in.
Consider that a trader's services are likely going to be more expensive in an area such as Central London, as opposed to somewhere more rural.
In order to help you understand how cost affecting factors will influence the overall project cost, we have included a table below. This table is intended to help you compare possible alternatives to removing Artex surfaces, along with the costs of each service.
Please note, all prices shown in the table below are estimated and should be used for educational purposes only. For an accurate price quote, you should seek the assistance of a professional tradesperson.
These prices are based on a standard lounge ceiling of approximately 20 square meters.
|Plastering over an Artex Ceiling
|Chemically Removing Artex without Asbestos
|Removing Artex with Asbestos
Before you consider removing any Artex surfaces from your home, you will initially have to identify if there is any asbestos present.
Asbestos in white Artex ceilings can be quite difficult to recognise, as it is often mixed with other materials when the surface coating is applied. Not only that, but asbestos fibres are also so tiny, that they are practically invisible to sight and smell.
Thankfully, there are a couple of ways that can help you identify whether your Artex contains asbestos. In 1999, all forms of asbestos were banned from being used in Artex surfaces and other coverings.
If your property was last renovated before the year 2000, then your Artex walls and ceilings could potentially contain asbestos.
The most reliable and accurate way of telling whether your wall coverings contain asbestos is by conducting a thorough investigation with a qualified asbestos surveyor.
Never attempt to carry out any renovation or demolition work to Artex surfaces that may contain asbestos. The process of removing asbestos is incredibly challenging and should only be conducted by a qualified expert.
When the asbestos surface is exposed, the air is filled with microscopic fibres that pose an immense threat to your health and wellbeing.
When hiring an asbestos expert, your property will be thoroughly assessed for signs and traces of the substance before any work is carried out.
Your tradesperson may wish to extract a sample of your wall covering to send away for laboratory testing, to confirm whether any asbestos is present.
Once you have received confirmation that your Artex covering contains asbestos, your professional removal expert will arrange a time and date with you to carry out the work.
On the day of the removal, your asbestos expert will ensure that the area is free of any furniture and fittings that may potentially be damaged.
They may wish to cover the area with polythene sheets along with duct tape to protect any non-asbestos surfaces. Your professional tradesperson will be fully equipped with the appropriate PPE and materials to carry out the removal.
They will begin by dampening and picking off any loose pieces of the wall covering and disposing of them in the appropriate asbestos waste.
A penetrating fluid will then gently be brushed over the surface to help loosen the bond between the coatings. Once loose, your asbestos expert will carefully scrape the coating into a dustpan before correctly disposing of the waste.
The stripped surface is then sealed by applying a specialist asbestos sealant with a brush. The area is then cleaned with a Class H vacuum cleaner, along with disposing of debris and used equipment in a sealed polythene bag.
Your asbestos removal expert will then visually inspect the area to ensure that it has been properly cleaned and is free from any remaining Artex or wall covering.
A sampling of the air is not usually required. However, this will be up to the removal expert's discretion.
Removing Artex wall coverings that contain asbestos is extremely dangerous and should never be attempted by anyone other than a trained professional.
Artex inhalation can be very serious. If breathed in it can lead to severe lung damage and long-term infectious diseases.
Attempting the removal of Artex ceilings that contain asbestos, exposes yourself, your family members and visitors to this harmful airborne substance.
Therefore, you should always seek the advice and assistance of an experienced asbestos removal organisation.
Breathing in asbestos particles can cause a condition known as asbestosis. Not only that, but the inhalation may also increase your risk of developing lung cancer and mesothelioma.
Depending on the number of asbestos fibres that are inhaled, the chances of contracting long-term lung diseases increases.
Studies also suggest that smokers are more likely to develop these illnesses if they are exposed to asbestos particles. However, this does not mean that non-smokers are not at risk, asbestos particles can affect all people of all ages, regardless of your lifestyle habits.
If you wish to visually cover the Artex surface by plastering or boarding over the top, ensure this information is transferred to any future property owners along with tradespeople that you may have working on that area.
Someone in the future may attempt to drill a hole in the wall or ceiling and unknowingly inhale asbestos particles.
As we mentioned earlier, asbestos particles are invisible to the eye and do not have a recognisable scent.
The best practice would be to have a sample surveyed for confirmation by a reputable asbestos organisation.
There are some things you should consider before hiring a professional to remove your artex that may contain asbestos. These include:
✓ Research professional asbestos removal companies in your area.
✓ Compare multiple price quotes for your project. We recommend obtaining at least 3 different quotes to ensure you receive the best price.
✓ Ensure that your trader is properly trained, qualified and experienced to carry out the work.
✓ Consider conducting an asbestos survey of the area you need to remove, to be 100% certain that asbestos is present.
✓ Provide your tradesperson with as much information on your property as possible, including the year it was built or last renovated. This will help the trader determine whether your property is at risk of asbestos.
✓ Never pay the full amount upfront and always as for written confirmation of any transactions.
Here is a list of commonly asked questions regarding removing artex with asbestos in it.
The only way to be 100% certain that your property contains asbestos is by having a thorough survey carried out by an asbestos removal expert.
Asbestos is a collective group of microscopic, organic fibrous particles that were commonly used in decorative finishes during the 1970's. The use of this hazardous substance was later banned in 1999.
Experts suggest that the quantity of asbestos in textured wall coverings such as Artex is relatively low, estimated between 1% and 2%. However, depending on the product, some textured wall coverings may contain as much as 4% asbestos.
The use of asbestos substances was first banned in 1983 in Iceland, later followed by Sweden and Germany in 1992. In 1999, the UK government banned the use of asbestos-related materials due to the growing concern of lung cancer and long-term health conditions.