Artex is a sort of surface textured coating that is typically used for many different forms and types of interior decoration. It is generally found most often on the ceilings of typically well-decorated homes.
What is Artex?
As a matter of fact, it helps the decorator to come up with various innovative designs and textures. The term Artex is actually a registered trademark of Artex Ltd., a British company that exported its wares all over the world. However, so well-known did its products became that the very term “Artex” became a generic term for many other similar products being made by manufacturers who had nothing to do with the original Artex company.
The main feature about Artex is that it differs from plaster in a number of ways while having many ostensibly similar properties. The foremost being that it has always been marketed as a type of material that had been intended to be used as a base for various sorts of textured finishes, thereby enabling any ceiling to be finished, even by someone who was not well versed in any sort of plastering and masonry skills whatsoever. In fact, it was the mainstay of the English construction and finishing industry way back in the 1970s when a construction boom had led to a tremendous demand for this product.
Artex and Asbestos
These days, there is another immediate pressing concern when dealing with Artex and that is that it may contain that lethal construction material known as Asbestos. As long as it is left to its own devices, it is not much of a public health hazard, but should any repair or reconstruction work be required on your property, then Artex can easily become a ticking time bomb because of the Asbestos present in it.
This is due to the fact that as far as the year 2000, Artex was being manufactured with Asbestos as its key ingredient. And to this day, many such Artex ceilings may be found that still contain amounts of Asbestos. Now, Asbestos by itself is not capable of harming people, until and unless it is repaired, drilled or in any way broken, thereby releasing microfibers in the atmosphere that can easily wreak havoc on the health of the people who live in the house or apartment where Artex has been used.
Do all Artex compounds contain Asbestos?
There is no easy answer to this question, but a simple rule of thumb is that should your house have any Artex dating back to the pre-2000 era, the odds are that it does contain Asbestos. However, the best way to do so is to have the material tested by a duly qualified lab to ensure if the Artex in your home should be removed completely due to the Asbestos content present in it.