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Asbestos wallpaper risk(12 Posts)
I'm buying an 1830s house with some rooms that have old wallpaper on which surveyor suspects could be old enough to run risk of containing asbestos fibres.
She's suggested that we get an asbestos report to clarify - any one who has experienced similar, how much did report cost on average and how much roughly did it cost for a specialist to remove paper?
Our asbestos survey (full survey including garage and samples for testing) cost us about £350 last year - we're in the south east, just outside London.
Bear in mind that a full survey is classed as invasive - unless your sellers are very understanding and accomodating you won't be able to do the survey until you are in the property.
You can buy a sample kit and send samples away for testing . remove a small amount pop it in the bag and a few days later you have the answer if it contains asbestos . Google asbestos test kit even sold on Amazon . its surprising what it was used for in the building trade have a read on the UK health and safety executive website and search asbestos .
The are chances of any house pre-1980s having asbestos in it somewhere in it, it was very popular for a long long time - this isn't necessarily the huge scary issue it might at first seem.
You can't tell by looking but I'm guessing this is old cheap vinyl wallpaper (bathroom/kitchen) which did sometimes have fibres added, however it is worth remembering this generally fairly well encapsulated so is usually a fairly low risk
If you are going to do comprehensive work including decorating work to an old house it could be worth have a survey to give you fair warning of what may be there.
If it's low risk and not loads of paper you can safely remove it yourself and the HSE has worksheets on their website detailing how to do this and in what circumstances it's acceptable as well as how to dispose of it.
We're having a sample done in the house we're buying, and it costs £65 for the first sample and £10 for each sample thereafter. There's only one wall in ours that is suspected of it though--so it's a slightly different situation!
Asbestos in homes is usually the less dangerous kinds and is safe if it’s covered by paint or wallpaper and not disturbed. Take precautions if you need to drill into it.
Thanks everyone for the info! It's great to chat to people who've had to deal with the same issues.
Most of the downstairs rooms and large staircase area are covered in old wallpaper that has been painted with plastic paint.
As it's an old house with K render on the external walls, the paper will need to come off sooner rather than later so we can let the walls breathe, then paint with clay-based paint, so not really an option to leave the paper on.
ask advice from local environmental health in council about how you removing (hypothetical) asbestos old wallpaper - we did this for cement asbestos shed roof -we were told (in our case -please note) dh to wear specific mask wear disposable overall & keep the surface of shed wet & ask council for special disposal, it may well be something similar ie using steamer to wet paper (but check!)
Don't forget it can be hiding in almost any pre 80 building products from floor tiles to toilet cisterns and its even been found in crayons and talc powder .
We had our asbestos survey done by Casa Environmental, who I think cover most of the south of England. Their fee was something like £80 for call out and first sample, £10 for subsequent samples. The surveyor was really good in that some asbestos he could identify visually and we didn’t actually pay for tests on that because it’s so obvious (corrugated sheet). Results came back within a few days. It has left little holes all over the house though, so your vendors may not agree. But on the flip side you could try revising your offer based on the assumption that it does contain asbestos but that may not go down well!
Personally get a professional to do the survey, Bear in mind the paint can have lead in it and wall paper can have toxic dyes, but as long as you know you can take precautions, Asbestos is best avoided no matter how small, if any is found I wouldn't buy the house unless it was professionally removed, not encapsulated etc removed
Thanks everyone for your advice. We've found some local specialists so will see what they advise.