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ASBESTOS, not so good!

Asbestos is a harmful substance that is used in more than 3,500 building materials. The substance is not visible to the naked eye, so we often do not know that asbestos is also hidden in our own home.

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The asbestos test

From 23 November 2022, an asbestos certificate is mandatory for the sale of homes and buildings built before 2001. By 2032, every building owner of a home or a building built before 2001 must have an asbestos certificate. When renting, the owner who has an asbestos certificate is obliged to provide a copy to the (new) tenants.


When demolition or renovation of buildings or homes built before 2001, there is a good chance that asbestos will be present.


The safe and correct removal of asbestos entails costs. The Flemish government offers support to individuals, companies and local authorities for the removal of asbestos.

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Remove asbestos

If you know which applications in your home or building contain asbestos, you may be wondering whether it should be removed and how. In certain cases there is a removal obligation. But it's not just who removes the asbestos. In addition, certain precautions must be taken during disposal.

Tricks to recognize asbestos

Would you rather check yourself whether a material consists of asbestos? Then you can use some tricks:

  • refer to the production year;

  • check out the texture;

  • do the flame test.

Note: these tools are less accurate. If you want to know for sure whether you are dealing with asbestos, it is always better to call in an asbestos lab or an expert.

Consult production year

The production year of a material can give you a first clue. Plans, invoices, technical data sheets and other data from the manufacturer can also be useful.

Was the material produced or installed between 1945 and 2001? Then there is a good chance that it contains asbestos. This certainly applies to applications produced between 1955 and 1985.

A roof or facade cladding made of artificial slate or corrugated sheets installed before 1990 always consists of asbestos.
You can recognize asbestos-free slates or corrugated sheets by the mention 'N' or 'NT' (New Technology). Corrugated sheets without asbestos always have a reinforcement band.
More information about recognizing asbestos cement roofs and facades can be found here.

View texture

A second way to recognize asbestos is by looking at the texture of the material. Please note the following:

  • You can recognize most sheet materials in asbestos cement by their waffled structure in the shape of a honeycomb. Usually they also consist of several layers.

  • Asbestos cement applications often have 'asbestos blooms': white spots scattered over the surface. Those stains indicate the presence of asbestos.

  • In places where the material is broken or where the surface is weathered, you can often see asbestos fiber bundles with the naked eye.

Flame test

One last trick is the flame test. Run a flame over the visible fiber bundles, at a corner or where the material is broken.
Do the fibers just glow, and are they not destroyed by the flame? Then there is a good chance that it is asbestos. Non-asbestos fibers will decompose or form droplets in the flame.
Attention: other types of ceramic fibers can also glow during the flame test. To be sure, it is better to call on a recognized asbestos lab or an expert.

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