Asbestos Encapsulation

Encapsulation is a successful option in dealing with asbestos and involves covering the asbestos with a sealant.

Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM), all piping, elbows, boilers and all mechanical insulation covered with ACM and asbestos are HEPA vacuumed and covered with a canvas fire-rated adhesive sealant (encapsulation). Depending on the application, there are a number of types of sealant.

The sealant's function is to enclose and prevent the asbestos fibres from breaking away from the material. In the case of asbestos pipe insulation, elbows or trees, a canvas with a fire retardant lockdown adhesive lagging is applied to cover and provide a hard-shell coating.

Encapsulation requires periodic inspections, quarterly or annually, to monitor the condition of the Asbestos Containing Materials.



Asbestos is the biggest occupational killer in the UK and appears in over 3000 different building products and was used in our homes, offices, factories and schools.

Those most at risk from contracting Asbestos related diseases are building maintenance, repair workers and contractors who are unknowingly disturbing asbestos containing materials on a daily basis.

Asbestos in buildings

Building materials containing asbestos were widely used from 1930 to around 2000, particularly from the 1960s onwards. So, houses and flats built or refurbished at this time may contain asbestos materials.

Most marine vessels built during the 1960's and 1970's comprise(d) substantial quantities of asbestos of all types. Duty to manage (see below) also applies to marine vessels.

Asbestos has also been used in some heat-resistant household products, such as oven gloves and ironing boards. It has also been used for thermal insulation of pipes and boilers.

Insulating board has been used for fire protection, heat and sound insulation and is found in materials such as ducts, infill panels, ceiling tiles, wall lining, bath panels and partitions. It is unlikely to be found in buildings constructed after 1982.

Sprayed asbestos coatings were used for fire protection of structural steel and are commonly found in system-built flats during the 1960s.

Asbestos-cement is the most widely used asbestos material. It is found in many types of buildings as profiled sheets for roofing and wall-cladding, in bath panels and soffit boards, fire surrounds, flue pipes, cold water tanks and as roofing tiles and slates. It has been commonly used as roofing and cladding for garages and sheds and also in guttering and drain pipes. Asbestos-cement products are unlikely to release high levels of fibre’s because of the way they are made, unless they are subject to extreme abrasion.

Asbestos has been used in a variety of other building materials, for example, in decorative coatings such as textured paints and plasters. Plastic floor tiles, cushion flooring, roofing felts, tapes, ropes, felts and blankets can also contain asbestos.


The duties imposed on people who either have obligations under contracts or tenancies to maintain or repair non-domestic property, or who have control over non-domestic premises, or over the access to and from non-domestic property. These duties were first imposed by regulation 4 of the Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 2002 (CAWR 2002) but now appear in regulation 4 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 (CAR 2006).

The duties affect freehold owners, landlords and tenants and, in certain circumstances, licensees and managing agents. It should be noted that non-domestic premises may sometimes include areas of what normally would be regarded as residential property.

The CAR 2006 came into force on 13 November 2006. These revised regulations revoke and replace the CAWR 2002 and revoke and re-enact, with modifications, the Asbestos (Licensing) Regulations 1983 and the Asbestos (Prohibitions) Regulations 1992. Regulation 4 of the CAWR 2002 has been re-enacted without change as regulation 4 of the CAR 2006.

With the new regulations in place even greater pressure is on duty holders, to ensure compliance.