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Asbestos Insulation Board (AIB) - Frequently Asked Questions

What Is AIB?

Often abbreviated to AIB, asbestos insulation boards are large boards of asbestos that were often used in partition walls, ceiling tiles, soffits, and various other places. They are usually square or rectangle panels of asbestos that are worked into the masonry.

Due to how widely they were used, and in so many different ways, they are still common today. AIB is very often found in internal garage ceilings. While safe if left alone, if disturbed, the asbestos particles can release and become a health hazard.

This is why AIB should be identified and removed before any renovation work begins. This can be achieved by using an asbestos testing kit. 

What does asbestos insulation board (AIB) look like?

AIB can slightly resemble polystyrene or general plaster / insulation boarding at first glance, but it’s vital not to confuse the two. Once disturbed or damaged, asbestos fibres can become airborne, which is dangerous for anyone in the vicinity.

If you suspect there may be a AIB in your home, always get it tested before approaching the material. AIB is considered a high-risk asbestos product and should only be removed by a licensed contractor. But first it needs to be located.  

When was asbestos AIB used?

As asbestos was banned in before the year 2000, it has not been used in construction for a long time. But from the early 1900s all the way through to the 1970s, the material was commonly used across the UK. Which is why so many buildings still contain asbestos today.

In the 1980s, the use of AIB declined once information regarding the hazards became public knowledge. Unfortunately, a large amount of asbestos had already been put into buildings across the UK, and a lot of it in the form of AIB.

A testing kit can determine if asbestos is present. If so, it can be removed by trained and qualified professionals.

Why was asbestos used in AIB?

Asbestos was referred to as the ‘magic material' by many people working in construction. Due to its popularity, it is still being found in homes and commercial buildings to this day.

It was discovered that asbestos was non-conductive and useful as insulation. It was also cheap and simple to use, and as a result, became increasingly popular when used as insulation in walls and ceilings. 

How to take a sample of asbestos AIB

Our asbestos testing kits come with complete instructions and adequate personal protective equipment. You'll be able to safely take a sample this way. If you need any support, we’d be happy to talk you through the process by telephone.

You can send your sample to us for testing once you have taken it. We’ll endeavour to test your sample on the day it arrives at our lab, as we don’t want to keep you waiting long. We’ll also get back to you as soon as possible.

We will advise you on what your next steps should be if your sample tests positive for asbestos. Such as how to arrange for the AIB to be removed. 

Is AIB dangerous?

Yes, but only once the material is disturbed. If so, the asbestos particles can escape, and risk being inhaled by those nearby. Once this happens, those who inhale them can become ill over time with a variety of respiratory illnesses, including lung cancer.

AIB which is left alone poses little risk of releasing asbestos fibres. However once renovations are due the area will need to be tested to ensure the existence of asbestos is verified.