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Understanding Asbestos Encapsulation

Updated: Mar 1, 2023

Though it is now banned in the UK, some buildings built prior to the year 2000 may still contain asbestos and will therefore require treatment. Given its harmful nature, asbestos removal seems like the only valid solution but, in fact, asbestos encapsulation provides an equally effective and considerably less disruptive alternative. Read on to learn more about this form of asbestos treatment.



Man spraying an asbestos ceiling


What is asbestos encapsulation?

Asbestos encapsulation involves applying a protective layer onto asbestos-containing material (ACM), which will entrap harmful asbestos fibres, thus preventing them from being disturbed or damaged and becoming airborne. The protective layer will usually be installed by erecting an independent framework as a support or by directly applying it to the ACM.


Encapsulation can only be carried out on asbestos which is stable. In some cases, preparatory works may be required to ensure the ACM is in good, stable condition prior to being encapsulated.


There are four main encapsulation methods:


● High-build elastomeric coating

● Mechanical encapsulation

● Penetrating encapsulants

● Water-based epoxy resins


An asbestos contractor will be able to determine what the best encapsulation method is for the specific case at hand. Once in place, the protective layer might be labelled in order to warn people about the presence of asbestos.


Why choose encapsulation over removal?

Asbestos removal can be very complicated, costly, and disruptive. Taking this into account, there will be times when asbestos removal is simply not the most appropriate option. Nonetheless, given that it is incredibly harmful, all asbestos must be brought under control and the affected environment made safe.


This is why having the alternative option of encapsulation - which can be carried out with minimal disruption - is so valuable. Asbestos encapsulation offers the additional benefit of not having to dispose of expensive and potentially dangerous materials. It is especially preferable to asbestos removal when the ACM ideally needs to be maintained, such as insulation or some kind of fire protection measure, or where it is more cost-effective to do so.


A variety of factors will be taken into account when deciding on the best solution for your specific situation. The asbestos contractor responsible for identifying and treating your asbestos issue will carry out a risk assessment and asbestos survey, from which they will be able to determine whether asbestos encapsulation is an appropriate solution. Even if the asbestos is stable and therefore suitable for encapsulation, they may conclude that removal is the best long-term solution.


Tackle asbestos with Evans Asbestos

If you’re facing an asbestos problem, Evans Asbestos is here to help. We offer a range of asbestos services to domestic and commercial property owners across Dorset, Somerset, Hampshire, Wiltshire, Southampton and surrounding counties. Our team of asbestos contractors will be able to advise you on the best solution for your property, be it asbestos removal or encapsulation. Contact us today for expert asbestos advice.

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