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Asbestos in garage roof. Is this a worry?

(21 Posts)
iloveithere Fri 05-Dec-14 09:33:29

We have just had our survey report. The house we are buying has a garage at the end of the garden. We intend to use it for storage.
The survey says "the garage is in dilapidated condition requiring extensive repair.
The asbestos cement coverings to the garage roof are deteriorating. They represent a health hazard."

I am waiting to talk to the surveyor, but wondered in the meantime if you clever lot had any advice.

If we just use it for storage, going in there occasionally to get things, will it be OK?
If the children are playing in the garden, would they be at risk from the asbestos?
If we tried to get a new roof, would the roofer be able to put one onto a 'dilapidated' building?

thanks

bobs123 Fri 05-Dec-14 09:44:51

While asbestos stays in it's place and isn't messed about with in any way it is ok. It's when you do things with it - demolish it, drill holes into it that you have a problem.

I would get back to the surveyor and ask how much of a health hazard. Is anyone at risk of inhaling asbestos in it's current state. If the answer is yes you need to get a price to remove it (not cheap the surveyor could give you an approx price) and perhaps re-negociate the house price?

If you were to demolish the garage you could replace it with, say, a Keter plastic one which isn't that expensive in the scheme of things

bobs123 Fri 05-Dec-14 09:46:12

Only a roofer would be able to say if he could put a new roof on the building, butt on no account remove asbestos yourself. You have to have all the gear, dispose of it properly etc

bobs123 Fri 05-Dec-14 09:48:33

www.eden.gov.uk/health/health-and-safety-at-work/asbestos-guidance/working-with-asbestos-cement/

See this

Mrscog Fri 05-Dec-14 09:48:59

Most pre-1990 properties will have asbestos somewhere (any artex ceilings for example) white asbestos is much easier to remove and less dangerous than blue asbestos too, so I think you need more info.

iloveithere Fri 05-Dec-14 10:39:10

thanks, I am trying to arrange for someone to go and take a look at it. I find it very hard to know if the surveyor means it is a hazard now, or it could be a hazard in the future. They write in such an ambiguous way it is really hard to tell.

PigletJohn Fri 05-Dec-14 10:41:16

it sounds to me like it is a corrugated asbestos cement roof. These are common and not hazardous but you are advised not to cause dust by sawing, drilling and sanding them. It is most likely rather old by now.

If you are about to buy it, this would be a good time to have it removed and reroof in, say, polycarb or plastic. You will find advice about asbestos-cement on your council's waste disposal website. They will have one or more tips where it can be accepted. A sensible established local builder will know how to do it, you are very unlikely to need men in spacesuits.

The council website will explain how to handle and dispose of any dust or fragments you find. Generally you wet-wipe or sponge, don't dry-dust or sweep it up, and don't use your domestic vac.

PigletJohn Fri 05-Dec-14 10:43:49

or you could just have it demolished and put up a new one. If it has a good concrete base, uncracked, it will give a good foundation. Garage floors are (supposed to be) thicker and stronger than shed floors due to the weight of the car.

Apatite1 Fri 05-Dec-14 11:04:49

It's free asbestos fibres you need to worry about. They can cause a type of cancer called mesothelioma which is lethal. It manifests decades down the line. If left undisturbed then it's not harmful but I worry about it so am getting it removed from our place. It's being professionally and safely removed as a bio hazard. Personally, I'd worry about the shed coming down in a storm, or us forgetting all about it ten years' time and drilling holes etc. but I appreciate I'm probably over cautious.

TurboTheChicken Fri 05-Dec-14 11:17:05

My Dad died of mesothelioma caused by exposure to asbestos so I appreciate I maybe over cautious but I'd definitely be getting quotes for getting it safely removed and I would not be happy for my children to be playing near asbestos that was showing signs of deterioration.

bobs123 Fri 05-Dec-14 11:24:44

I would pin the surveyor down - does he know for certain there is asbestos present and is it potentially hazardous from a health point of view? If by any chance it needs testing, message me and I can help with getting a sample analysed

bobs123 Fri 05-Dec-14 11:26:25

I meant currently potentially hazardous (all asbestos is hazardous if you mess with it)

wowfudge Fri 05-Dec-14 11:34:34

The way I read that quote, there is a hazard now from the asbestos cement coverings. I'd want that garage removed before the purchase goes through and I would be negotiating to deduct the cost of replacing it from the purchase price.

specialsubject Fri 05-Dec-14 11:58:09

this is word for word what we had a surveyor say - about a perfectly sound and non-dilapidated garage. But your surveyor may have put his specs on.

go round and have a look, if the roof isn't sound then it needs dealing with ASAP by the professionals and there will be cost. If it is sound then it isn't a hazard unless damaged.

DancingDinosaur Fri 05-Dec-14 12:03:07

I would want it removed and the money for the work reduced from house price. We had a similar thing with our house. The survey said garage roof had asbestos in it, although it wasn't an immediate hazard. We changed our offer to £2000 less to reflect cost of the work. The seller accepted this.

Secretsout Fri 05-Dec-14 12:45:41

When we moved in to our house my hubby fell through the roof on the asbestos garage (he was on it cutting trees down). I did some hasty googling and we quickly wrapped it all in polythene sheeting and took it to the council tip where they had the appropriate containers. Ours was gone in less than 2 hours.

SquinkiesRule Fri 05-Dec-14 12:57:51

We have a garage roof like that, only ours is in great condition it was built in the 70's. Dh sealed the roof inside and out and is leaving it alone. So long as it isn't falling apart or you are cutting into it, it's fine to seal it and leave it.

mummytime Fri 05-Dec-14 13:37:16

There is a company near me which specialises in repairing Garages, and removing Asbestos roofs. If you have something similar, you could ask them to have a look. It's much cheaper to remove than asbestos lagging inside (which requires negative pressure tents and showering facilities). FortunAtely it wasn't used in the same way in domestic properties that it was in commercial ones/public buildings.

LightastheBreeze Fri 05-Dec-14 16:18:39

We had our concrete/asbestos garage roof replaced by a local roofer, it cost about £2000 iirc.

SpecialHandsMummy Fri 05-Dec-14 18:36:08

We also had our asbestos roof removed, disposed of responsibly (i.e. suitable recycling centre 100 miles from where we live that could handle large amounts) and had our roof replaced. Bigger than average garage and it cost about £2000. The garage itself was in good condition though.

iloveithere Fri 05-Dec-14 19:25:12

Thanks everyone. I've spoken to the surveyor now. He said its ok until/unless we start renovating the rest of the garage. So we are going to go ahead with the purchase and work on it at a later date. Thanks all for your help

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