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Ceiling tiles - polystyrene or asbestos?
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# 1
R&C
Old 31-03-2009, 10:13 AM
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Default Ceiling tiles - polystyrene or asbestos?

Is there a fool proof way of telling the difference?

We are looking to buy an edwardian semi which needs complete renovation, which includes removing tiles on the ceilings of the bedrooms and kitchen. In one bedroom there is also a row of tiles around the top of the wall. We noticed a couple of white mouth/nose masks on the kitchen worktop and that's when alarm bells started ringing but we were on our way out the door so I didn't take a closer look at the tiles. The masks of course could've been there for something completely different. We are going to arrange for another viewing so it would be good to be able to rule out asbestos if possible, if we can't rule it out the chances are we can't buy this house!

Any help appreciated!
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# 2
Steve_xx
Old 31-03-2009, 12:04 PM
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Asbestos, if it's not crumbling or flaky isn't a major danger. Only when it becomes crumbly and particulate does it pose a threat to health.

http://www.hse.gov.uk/asbestos/index.htm
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# 3
Doozergirl
Old 31-03-2009, 12:39 PM
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I agree with Steve that if it's left in situ, it's no hazard to anyone but I still don't understand why you thought that simply having a mask on the worktop was increasing your concern? I don't mean to be rude but the only reason I could think of was that you think they wear masks in the house when they're not trying to sell it to people

The fact it was tiles makes me think polystyrene. All the ceiling tiles I've come across in the houses we've bought have been polystyrene.
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macman
Old 31-03-2009, 12:41 PM
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Just tap it with your fingernail, asbestos is rigid, polystyrene is soft. Can't imagine why there would be asbestos ones in a bedroom unless it was previously used as a kitchen maybe?
I think your mask/asbestos deduction is paranoid-I have several of these masks in my utility room cupboard for general DIY use, that doesn't mean I have asbestos. Anyway, asbestos would not be filtered by the simple face masks sold in DIY sheds anyway.
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R&C
Old 31-03-2009, 4:38 PM
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Sorry should've said that it's a renovation project and no one is currently living there. I didn't know if maybe someone else had been round to have a prod at the tiles, but i realise now that it was a silly assumption.

Thanks for that maxman, i will have a go at prodding the tiles at out next viewing :-)
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# 6
Doozergirl
Old 31-03-2009, 4:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R&C View Post
Sorry should've said that it's a renovation project and no one is currently living there. I didn't know if maybe someone else had been round to have a prod at the tiles, but i realise now that it was a silly assumption.

Thanks for that maxman, i will have a go at prodding the tiles at out next viewing :-)
I could post up a photo I have of my husband after a day's ripping out on a renovation project. I'm not sure he'd like that though!!

But I can assure you that he is absolutely black from head to toe - looks like he'd been down a mine! That's why the masks - it's for all kinds of dirt to at least help you from breathing it in. Brickdust gets everywhere and I've had to use one even just for sweeping up all the sawdust left from laying laminate floor all over a house. It wouldn't be appropriate to use just one of those for asbestos either as already mentioned.
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