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Would you buy a house with asbestos and lead piping?!

(66 Posts)
aufaniae Wed 21-Nov-12 09:13:56

Just got the survey back (finally, but that's a different story!)

The surveyor had led me to believe there were no major problems. There does seem to be a long list of things which require action however.

It says this about asbestos:

"The property is thought likely to contain several asbestos containing materials used in it’s construction, including the external chimney flue terminal, panel boarding to the conservatory, textured ceiling coatings and others.
There is no way to know from visual inspection alone whether certain materials in this property do or do not contain potentially hazardous asbestos fibres.

However, so long as the suspected materials remain undisturbed and encapsulated by painting over or similar there is minimal risk to health. Asbestos is only harmful when fibres become airborne and there is the risk of inhalation which may then cause asbestosis and related respiratory problems. You should therefore ensure that any workers at the property are aware of the risks associated with disturbing suspected asbestos materials either by drilling, sanding, cutting, breaking or removing etc. and are adequately protected with appropriate respiratory masks during the works.

Controlled sampling and laboratory testing is the only way to determine whether certain materials such as the conservatory panels and textured ceiling coatings in the property pose a risk to health and it is therefore strongly recommended that you arrange for sampling in various locations and lab testing using polarised light microscopy by accredited specialists prior to any potentially disruptive work being carried out that disturbs these materials. Although a serious matter it is a relatively easy and inexpensive process and is the only way to correctly identify whether there is a risk or not. Further professional advice may be sought once the lab test results are known. Alternatively you may of course simply assume that the materials do contain asbestos from the start and treat them accordingly."

Phoenixfrights Sun 16-Nov-14 12:57:25

Actually have just looked at the HSE guidance and no, sampling is a requirement for the issue of a 'certificate of reoccupation'. So I think it just means the asbestos contractor has done their job properly. Just check it's a company registered with the HSE though.

Phoenixfrights Sun 16-Nov-14 12:50:24

I think (?) it's quite unusual for air testing to be done: either they are very cautious and highly professional, or they ripped it out without realising and wanted to know whether they needed to be worried. either way if the testing was done by someone reputable and registered (look the company up) I would not worry, no.

bluewaterukk01 Sat 15-Nov-14 02:30:37

We are in the process of buying a flat which has been refurbished completely by professional developers. Just found out from lawyers documents that the property had asbestos which was removed during refurb and air testing carried out, which came back as satisfactory. Do I need to be worried about asbestos risks anymore? It was located in living room in insulating board. Ta

TeacupDrama Sun 09-Nov-14 16:36:48

we have both victorian house though main pipe into house is not lead drainage pipes are obviously leads drainage pipes are no risk

there are asbestos tiles on garage roof and hot water cylinder is covered in asbestos but painted over in olive green to annoy me blend in we got it done as part of survey it is the least dangerous kind and painted over. DH knows she stuff about this and it is removal that is the big risk, in situ and painted over probably not a huge risk but a survey with samples maybe £2-300 plus VAT

Phoenixfrights Sat 08-Nov-14 21:23:54

(most types of) asbestos, or lead pipes, wouldn't put me off. We have some asbestos in our place, like almost all houses that were built pre- 1985. There is practically no risk from encapsulated asbestos of the type found in panels, artex, lino, etc. The danger comes from sanding/ drilling/ breaking up etc., as others have said.

Now, asbestos lagging on heating installations is a different matter entirely, as it's likely to be highly friable (e.g., it sheds fibres very easily).

Any reputable builder undertaking a refurb would use a proper asbestos disposal company in respect of panels/ concrete/ artex/ lino containing asbestos. It may add a couple of thousand to your costs but if a house is otherwise perfect for you ....

GertrudePerkins Sat 08-Nov-14 18:57:00

we are in the middle of upgrading our lead supply pipe.

it is costing £1200 and has been less hassle than I thought - done in 4 days and just awaiting the water company doing their bit.

SASASI Sat 08-Nov-14 16:35:52

We have bought a 1960's bungalow riddled with the stuff, it's currently being removed. Floor tiles, soil pipe & soffit boards that contained the nasty airborne type.

Structural survey cost £150 & vat
Asbestos survey cost £250 & vat

Prices for removal & disposal - 14k, 11k & 6k - cheesiest still a reputable company so we went for them.

Very lucky seller re-negotiated based on the 2 higher quotes (didn't give them the cheapest!!) I expected around 5k taken off but they took 10k off the asking price! Unfortunately to keep our mortgage deal (loan to value changed with sale price) we had to put the 4k into our deposit, the 4k would have been handy for our rennovations.

If they had not amended the sale price I don't know if we would have went ahead. Turns out the re-negotiated because estate agent thought we were cash sellers!

theposterformallyknownas Sat 08-Nov-14 15:34:44

That is standard for all houses before mid 20th century, they have to cover themselves with that paragraph if it is only a normal survey.
A full structural survey goes into more detail and obviously costs more.

I would be getting quotes to remove the lead piping tbh.

specialsubject Sat 08-Nov-14 15:11:19

if you have little-old-lady artex ceilings (looks up and winces) then they MAY contain asbestos. No way to tell. Undisturbed is fine. Many, many houses have it.

surveyor is arse-covering as always.

lead piping only an issue in soft water areas. And is a cheap thing to change in the scheme of things.

sacbina Sat 08-Nov-14 13:01:33

we did. house had asbestos sheets on walls, ceilings and roof tiles. took the opportunity to gut it and renovate the way we wanted it.

nozydog Sat 08-Nov-14 10:25:56

Asbestos is BIG business nowadays, people are scared to death of it so testing/removal companies will capitalise on this fear! Most people now dying (or who have died) from asbestos related illness will have worked around loose airborne fibres for many years, although there are reports of some people becoming ill after one short (but probably heavy) exposure or many years of very light exposure (to airborne fibres, not just by living in a house containing it) I'm 49 and as a child used to handle it on a regular basis, remember those little mats we stood our Bunsen burners on in chemistry lesson every week! Also helped my dad scrape old Artex off a ceiling once wearing no dust mask! Apparently thousands of tons of the stuff was spread across the skyline and into the atmosphere after 9 11, a sobering thought. Nowadays it's wise to be cautious, but it poses minimal danger if it's just sitting there undisturbed. I've just looked at a 100 year old house with asbestos boards used as ceilings, obviously a renovation technique used in the 50's & 60's as it wasn't widely used much before the 40's. Most Victorian houses wouldn't have actually contained it when they were built, but it may well have been added since they were built! I wouldn't actually worry too much about Artex as millions of houses around the world will have pre 1980 asbestos containing Textured paint on walls or ceilings, apparently it contained around 6% asbestos (generally the least harmful type) so drilling holes in this will pose little or no risk to health. However sanding it smooth with an electric sander would be a different matter, I wouldn't advise that!

MissMysticFalls Mon 16-Jun-14 10:41:00

Thanks everyone for your information, that's so helpful. We're probably going to get the tests done before we complete so we can get any work needed/wanted done before we move in (we rent so can stay here until the place is ready).

lljkk Mon 16-Jun-14 10:34:06

Lead pipes are usually only a risk if you live in a soft water area. Calcium in the water in hard water areas prevents lead from leaching into the water. I would happily live, at least for a spell, with lead pipes in a hard water area.

Asbestos I think you need more info about this specific house.

We had lead pipes & lead gloss paint & asbestos to deal with in previous house (well, garage for the asbestos) & all were manageable. Good luck with your decisions.

Trazzletoes Mon 16-Jun-14 10:14:40

We bought our house with artex on various ceilings and also possible asbestos in the chimney . The chimney is bricked up so that doesn't bother us. I've spoken to numerous people and companies about the artex on the ceilings. No one is even slightly bothered about it. We are thinking of having it skimmed but other than the fact that it's hideous, it's not a big deal for us at all.

peggyundercrackers Mon 16-Jun-14 10:11:44

company who done it was

p.s. sorry for all the small updates.

peggyundercrackers Mon 16-Jun-14 10:11:07

just seen a question about the quote for testing, we were £85 + VAT for our test.

peggyundercrackers Mon 16-Jun-14 10:10:33

we bought a house with asbestos in it and wanted it removed. a company came and took a sample and told us what kind of asbestos it was - some asbestos is more dangerous than others. The type we had didnt need to be removed by a specialist company as it wasn't the dangerous type - they said if they removed we would be £180 but a joiner who was working at the house done it for us. the local council came and took it away for us for free - turns out they dump it and bury it underground.

we used a company called aspect for the testing and results came back the same day. man came and took a very small sample in the morning and called by 5pm at night to tell us what it was and we had a written report sent to us within 2 days.

MissMysticFalls Mon 16-Jun-14 07:18:59

Would love an update from OP and anyone else who was thinking of getting asbestos tests and quotes. Our survey just came back recommending an asbestos survey. I assumed this was something all houses built pre 2000 would need but have no idea about costs of ceiling removal/skimming - lots of artex on walls and ceilings.

We're also asking the vendor via solicitors if they had any asbestos testing done prior to their purchase in late 90s.

pootros Sun 16-Feb-14 02:27:43

Aufaniae- what came of your survey?
Did you buy? Am in same situation - about to find a hse quote. Gutted.... Thought we'd found the house...

sleeplessinsuburbia Mon 26-Nov-12 09:43:21

No my husband just repeated its asbestos and the guy twigged that my DH knew his shit so he just said , oh right but most houses have it. It was actually the house we were renting and he was putting it on the market and asked if we were interested. It sold for a lot too!

aufaniae Mon 26-Nov-12 08:11:40

"An agent tried to tell my DH that an entirely asbestos house was plasterboard"

That's appalling shock he was literally putting your lives at risk to make himself a few quid comission. Supposing you'd believed him, bought the house and started putting up shelves all over the place?! That makes me angry on your behalf!

Did you complain about him?

aufaniae Mon 26-Nov-12 08:09:20

Oh I need to know! I want to get rid of that ceiling for aesthetic reasons anyway! Whether it's asbestos or not makes a difference to how we treat it in the short term. But mmportantly level of asbestos in the house has will have a financial impact in the work we want to do. If we do need to try to renegotiate, I imagine it will help to have facts to back us up.

We've got the asbestos survey booked, should get the results in a couple of days,

sleeplessinsuburbia Mon 26-Nov-12 06:46:39

Well as others have said, asbestos is probably in most houses. If it has no damage you can live in it safely before you renovate. Ring an asbestos removal company ASAP and ask for ball park figures to remove a wall/ ceiling etc. the replacement cost may not be the issue if you're renovating as you'd need new walls anyway. I wouldn't even get it tested, if it gets to that stage I'm sure the removers would be experienced enough to know if its asbestos or not.
An agent tried to tell my DH that an entirely asbestos house was plasterboard so there may be less than you think. Or more...

aufaniae Sun 25-Nov-12 09:27:57

sleepless we do want to renovate so I think the only way we can afford it is if the seller will renegotiate. And I have no idea if they will or not. It's pretty nerve-wracking!

If this house falls through, it means DS won't be able to go to the lovely school I want him to. sad The one where we live now is OK. And it's not worth risking our lives over of course! But the pressure is on!!

sleeplessinsuburbia Sun 25-Nov-12 07:40:53

My DH works with it and wouldn't even consider a house with it unless it was cheap enough to compensate having it replaced. When we rented a house with asbestos he wouldn't even put a nail in the wall as he refused to ever expose our dcs to it. If you don't want to do any renos or it has no damage (at all) should be ok but it will come up again when you go to sell.
I know nothing about lead.

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