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Asbestos

(9 Posts)
gotnoidea Sat 06-Oct-12 06:28:42

Our buyers have just had the survey on our house back which says there may be asbestos in the ceiling (it is a 60s house) and they are now organising a follow on asbestos survey. I am getting worried that this may cause things to fall through. Does anyone have any experience of this? Does it often come up in survey reports i.e. surveyors just covering themselves? If it is there, is it a huge issue etc etc. Thank you!

Yorky Sat 06-Oct-12 08:44:49

In my (ahem) vast experience of surveys (only bought 1 house!) I would say it is surveyors covering themselves. It was suggested in our survey that the (hideous) lumpy wall effect in the kitchen may contain asbestos - there is no reason to suggest this, it is just a possible, presumably based on common practice based on the age of the house, but not knowing when the walls in the kitchen were decorated.

We are knocking most of the kitchen walls down as part of our extension so if there is asbestos we are just going to have to suck up the extra cost sad

There was a thread on here a while ago where people more knowledgeable than me were discussing the costs of getting a company to take samples from the ceiling to analyse for presence of asbestos - I'll have a search and link if I can find it

PigletJohn Sat 06-Oct-12 11:22:58

If he is talking about an artex ceiling then yes, it is possible but not much of a problem*

If he means there are pipes insulated with asbestos (this very rare unless you live in a converted factory) then it is a significant problem and will require a licenced remover.

*you can have it wet-stripped, or you can decorate over it. There is not much asbestos content, and unless you start grinding or sanding it, a ceiling does not shed dust. There is lots of advice on the web, and IIRC you can get your local council to test a sample to see if it does contain asbestos. If you have not moved in yet, it would be ideal top deal with it while the house is empty. I don't like artex andd would want it stripped or plastered over, even if it was asbestos free. It will be much messier once you have your carpets and furniture in. Local plasterers woill be very familiar with skimming over artex ceilings and might charge £300 a room depending where you are.

If you want to hack it off, spray it with warm water and a drop of WUL. If damp it will not make dust. Put it in plastic bags while damp, and seal them.

gotnoidea Mon 08-Oct-12 09:52:30

Thanks both. It is my current house that possibly has asbestos. Our buyers are having a follow on survey done. Fingers crossed it does not cause any problems with the sale!

NiceBiscuits Mon 08-Oct-12 10:02:50

We had an asbestos survey recently. (1950s house).

There was asbestos in the bath panel, downstairs loo floor tiles, kitchen ceiling artex, and pads under the sink. Also suspected in the textile used in the 1950s fuse box, and in the soffits.

It's a bit boring, so I won't elaborate, unless this sounds interesting to anybody...

betterwhenthesunshines Mon 08-Oct-12 11:10:43

We're having building works and had to have an asbestos survey - was £350 plus £15 for each sample. They found asbestos in roof tiles (not being touched, so not a problem) and in some insulating board around a flue. This is being removed, but the builders are licensed so ther is no extra cost involved.

Asbestos is safe unless it is damaged or disturbed - they might be worried if it comes up anywhere but the company doing the survey should be able to reassure them that it can be dealt with if necessary. It shouldn't mean the sale falls through - and your estate agent should help with that.

gotnoidea Mon 08-Oct-12 12:05:47

Thank you for the reassurance better! I agree with you that asbestos is not a huge issue unless damaged or disturbed and just hope our buyers agree (if any is found that is!) NiceBiscuits - did you decide to remove it and was it a huge job if so?

Yorky Mon 08-Oct-12 12:24:24

Nicebiscuits - I'm interested.

Our house is more 70s than 50s, but as I said, asbestos was mentioned as a possible concern in the kitchen. I know asbestos is fine if you leave it alone, but we want to take out the wall with it potentially on, so could do with knowing if we need to get a specially equipped builder in. Please give me a clue where to start!

NiceBiscuits Mon 08-Oct-12 12:56:13

oooh, well, since you ask grin

So far we have only removed the bath panel, because we need a new bath. If we hadn't needed a new bath we would have left it, as someone said, I don't think it is dangerous if it is encapsulated (it was within the concrete of the bath panel) and undisturbed.

I thought that the council might help us as it might be classed as a sort of public health issue. The council said they would dump it for us, if we left it at the boundary of our property double wrapped and sealed. But we had to get it out ourselves - or get someone to do it. The council did give us a couple of companies to ring to do it. The first one quoted £480 confused; the second one £80. So we used that one! He took it away as well.

The other stuff we will deal with when we get round to decorating the other areas of the house.

Yorky, I would start with an Asbestos survey. The council might give you some contacts of reputable companies that do domestic work. In our case, we used the company that the council themselves use for their social housing. I thought if the council use them they would be reasonably priced and safe. I did get quotes from two others though to compare costs. Our one cost £210 and they looked at the whole interior, and took samples where they were suspicious. Took about an hour, involved two people, and then they emailed a very long PDF document of their report.

Regarding removal if Asbestos is confirmed, maybe call the council again to see what their advice is, maybe it falls under Waste Management (it was this in our case), or maybe Building Regulations: they might be able to recommend if you need a specially equipped builder, and maybe give you some contacts.

Hope this is all useful!

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