I was wondering if anybody had any experience of removing/living with asbestos.
We've just had the valuation report back (and are waiting for the homebuyer's survey back) on a house we're planning to buy and they think they spy asbestos in the textured ceilings. There's not much detail in the valuation about how extensive it is and I think, even with the homebuyer's survey, we'll be looking at getting it separately tested.
My understanding is that you can cohabit with asbestos perfectly happily provided you leave it alone (indeed, the valuation says this) so I don't see any point in getting in removed before we have to. My understanding is also that this can be something of a standard line in surveys of a house of a certain age and there's no guarantee it's even there, although I'd certainly like to get it tested before go any further with buying.
DH on the other hand wants it all gone before we even move into the place, with the argument being that, if anything does dislodge it (a leak, somebody bashing furniture into it etc), we'll be screwed. A friend of his has advised him this means removing the ceilings, rebuilding the ceilings and then removing the carpets at the cost of several thousands of pounds before we even put the key in the front door.
The property requires a fair amount of renovation work in general, so even I would want to get rid of it at some point but further down the line when we would potentially/hopefully be in a better place financially (as opposed to having just sunk most of our cash into a deposit). However, DH's argument is also that, because we are planning on doing renovations within, say, the next 10 years, it makes more sense to do this while the property is empty - I don't disagree with him but am not sure how realistic this is with our current state of finances!
The seller seems willing to renegotiate the price of the property, although we're not sure to what extent. Also, if the work required is extensive, there will just come a point where it just won't matter because, even if we weren't paying a deposit, we still couldn't afford the work.
I was wondering if anybody had any experience with dealing with asbestos - is getting rid of it really as intensive as DH says it is? What are the risks of it getting dislodged through things like leaks etc? Is it easy enough to get rid of in small batches or is it easier to do all at once?
I'm pretty sure you can get a plasterer to just skim it. Removing all ceilings seems incredibly drastic and way more likely to create uncontrollable levels of dust.
You can get a test for a couple of hundred pounds. If it's just textured ceilings then it's really no big deal unless you are cutting or drilling it. Obviously be aware that it's there, if you are changing a light fitting hoover up the dust, we're a mask. Usually the most pragmatic solution is to over tack and plater the ceiling. Some people may over skim directly but the adhesion may be patchy. Basically be aware but its not a huge problem. Hope this helps
Asbestos is horrible shit. If you have a choice to not live with it, take it.
agreee I have heard you can skim it
You would create more of a hazard by removing and potentially releasing asbestos fibres than by boarding over and skimming. Asbestos was banned in 1999, so any Artex predating this has the potential to contain asbestos and it is easy to get it tested to confirm.
if a company comes out to do a test, how do you know they're not saying there's asbestos there just to then go on to sell you their asbestos removal services?
@drummergirl34 use an online test lab - you take the sample yourself and send it off.
How come the surveyors are so sure it contains asbestos? I don't think there's any way to know for sure without testing it?
We have artex on many of our ceilings. It cost us £25 to get two ceiling samples tested by a council company. The results came back negative, so we scraped the artex and had it skimmed. If the results had been positive for artex, I think we'd have had to board the ceiling first.
Thanks for the feedback. Oddly, DH's friend was absolutely convinced the entire ceiling needed to go if they found asbestos but they could have misunderstood that it was the texturing on the ceiling and could have been thinking we were talking about it being in the ceiling itself (correct me if I'm wrong but wasn't that the problem with swimming pool ceilings in the 80s/90s?). I too thought you could skim it so good to know I'm not going mad!
Aware this is getting a bit ahead of myself considering it hasn't been tested yet but does anybody know how easy it is the accidentally dislodge asbestos - for example, through a leak/damp, moving furniture around in the rooms above the ceilings where it is or doing other renovation work that doesn't involve the ceiling? This is one of DH's big concerns but I've always been told, like others and the survey has said, unless you're about to cut into it directly, you don't really have to worry about it. (I'm also fairly convinced the flat we are current renting has asbestos in it as it's about the right age!!)
The advice is to get a plasterer to skim it. That way it's still in tact and covered.
Also there are different types of asbesdos and some are more problematic then others.
Yes you could also employ the council to test a sample of worried
Artex contains around 1.8 to 3.8% chrysotile (white asbestos, less risky than other types) and was designed so that the fibres were both bonded and encapsulated. It is further sealed by a layer of paint. The only way to release those fibres is to drill or cut into it. You won't release fibres by moving furniture around and if it gets damp (such as in a significant leak), the risk of fibres being released is low because the material will be wet.
Other asbestos products, such as roofing felt, cement sheets, floor tiles, brake and clutch linings etc, contained much higher amounts of asbestos.
The risk from Artex is negligible unless you drill or cut into it, and even then it is easily managed.
I would have thought the only way to know if it has asbestos, is to get it tested. It's really easy to chip a bit off, double bag it and send it to be tested. You can even get the results within 24 hours.
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