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    • cth3403
    • By cth3403 21st Sep 16, 2:54 PM
    • 9Posts
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    cth3403
    Asbestos in house we're buying
    • #1
    • 21st Sep 16, 2:54 PM
    Asbestos in house we're buying 21st Sep 16 at 2:54 PM
    Hi,

    My wife and I had a building survey completed and this indicated the possibility of asbestos, as such we've had an asbestos survey carried out and found that the tiles they've used in a suspended ceiling are asbestos insulation board (Amosite, Chrysotile).

    Our son has breathing difficulties and there is no way we'd exchange until the asbestos is removed. Can we get the vendor to pay for removal or reduce the house price to cover the cost of removal? Any suggestions or tips would be gratefully received.
Page 1
    • HouseBuyer77
    • By HouseBuyer77 21st Sep 16, 2:58 PM
    • 640 Posts
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    HouseBuyer77
    • #2
    • 21st Sep 16, 2:58 PM
    • #2
    • 21st Sep 16, 2:58 PM
    Many houses contain asbestos (only fully banned in 1999) and in most cases entirely fine provided it's left undisturbed. So drill into the ceiling and you need to be careful but day to day the asbestos is entirely encapsulated into the material and not a problem.

    So I'd be surprised if you managed to negotiate a reduction unless this house was either specifically advertised as asbestos free or having asbestos is rather surprising (unless it's newer than 1999 or has been totally refurbished since 1999 it's not that surprising).
    • Surrey_EA
    • By Surrey_EA 21st Sep 16, 3:00 PM
    • 496 Posts
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    Surrey_EA
    • #3
    • 21st Sep 16, 3:00 PM
    • #3
    • 21st Sep 16, 3:00 PM
    You can ask.

    Have the specialist company who carried out the inspection confirmed that the asbestos needs removing? I'm no expert, but as I understand it most asbestos is not harmful, unless you begin breaking it up or drilling through it. Although with your son's breathing difficulties I can see why you night be concerned.
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 21st Sep 16, 3:03 PM
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    davidmcn
    • #4
    • 21st Sep 16, 3:03 PM
    • #4
    • 21st Sep 16, 3:03 PM
    It's not going to affect your son's or anybody else's breathing, unless somebody grinds it up and snorts it.
    • cth3403
    • By cth3403 21st Sep 16, 3:31 PM
    • 9 Posts
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    cth3403
    • #5
    • 21st Sep 16, 3:31 PM
    • #5
    • 21st Sep 16, 3:31 PM
    Thanks for the replies.

    It was built in the 30's and I'm guessing the ceiling was done in the late '80s or '90s. To be honest I'm not surprised that the house has asbestos from everything I've read, but I'd kind of hoped that during the form filling in stage they might have mentioned that the suspended ceiling they had fitted is AIB.

    Whilst it might be fine to live with if you don't mess with it, the potential is still there. We don't feel that taking such a risk with our children's health is something we can live with if we can get it removed.
    • Grenage
    • By Grenage 21st Sep 16, 3:40 PM
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    Grenage
    • #6
    • 21st Sep 16, 3:40 PM
    • #6
    • 21st Sep 16, 3:40 PM
    The electrical sockets and any square edges are going to be far more of a hazard than asbestos ceiling tiles. The seller may not have known that they were asbestos tiles, or quite probably, didn't consider them noteworthy.

    As a seller, I would not be interested in footing the bill - you might be lucky.
    • fairy lights
    • By fairy lights 21st Sep 16, 3:42 PM
    • 5,879 Posts
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    fairy lights
    • #7
    • 21st Sep 16, 3:42 PM
    • #7
    • 21st Sep 16, 3:42 PM
    Whilst it might be fine to live with if you don't mess with it, the potential is still there. We don't feel that taking such a risk with our children's health is something we can live with if we can get it removed.
    Originally posted by cth3403
    But you've said yourself, it's fine as long as you don't mess with it.
    If you would rather have it removed then that's your choice, but I would be very surprised if the vendor would be willing to pay for it.
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 21st Sep 16, 3:48 PM
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    Davesnave
    • #8
    • 21st Sep 16, 3:48 PM
    • #8
    • 21st Sep 16, 3:48 PM
    We don't feel that taking such a risk with our children's health is something we can live with if we can get it removed.
    Originally posted by cth3403
    Yes, you can get it removed, but the vendor will probably not be interested in having it done, or footing the bill, just to suit your lifestyle choice.

    After all, they lived with it for years, probably not giving it a thought, hence the lack of any flag-up from them.
    'Opportunity is missed by most people, because it's usually dressed in overalls and looks like work.' Thomas Edison.
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 21st Sep 16, 4:04 PM
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    davidmcn
    • #9
    • 21st Sep 16, 4:04 PM
    • #9
    • 21st Sep 16, 4:04 PM
    We don't feel that taking such a risk with our children's health is something we can live with.
    Originally posted by cth3403
    What risk? Have you ever heard of a child suffering from an asbestos-related illness? I haven't.
    • hazyjo
    • By hazyjo 21st Sep 16, 4:18 PM
    • 8,104 Posts
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    hazyjo
    As a vendor, I definitely wouldn't pay. It's very common - search the forum for 'asbestos'. Lots of posts on it.


    What if they pay to get all their ceilings, etc replaced and you pull out? No thanks. Your request, your bill.


    Of course, they may be more accommodating or be in a rush to sell.


    Good luck.


    Jx
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    • stator
    • By stator 21st Sep 16, 4:21 PM
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    stator
    When you say suspended ceiling, are you talking about this kind of thing?
    Changing the world, one sarcastic comment at a time.
    • AnotherJoe
    • By AnotherJoe 21st Sep 16, 5:05 PM
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    AnotherJoe
    ..... Because if you are, the tiles can simply be removed with no risk to anyone.

    And as said, regards your child's breathing difficulties, asbestos is a complete irrelevance. It can certainly have other extremely harmful effects if you were to drill into it and breathe in the dust, but I'd not expect you to be doing that . There is zero risk from them as tiles.

    You could ask for a sum off for safe disposal of the tiles but they won't be harmful at all in any way in the meantime and will take a few minutes to remove.
    Last edited by AnotherJoe; 21-09-2016 at 8:05 PM.
    • cth3403
    • By cth3403 22nd Sep 16, 9:03 AM
    • 9 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    cth3403
    When you say suspended ceiling, are you talking about this kind of thing?
    Originally posted by stator
    Yep - that's the kind of thing, but not as high and in a better state.
    • stator
    • By stator 22nd Sep 16, 9:07 AM
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    stator
    If it really is an asbestos containing material then it can be carefully removed by hand and double bagged, making sure not to damage the tiles. The council will take them for disposal if you contact them and ask about arrangements.
    Changing the world, one sarcastic comment at a time.
    • lewishardwick
    • By lewishardwick 22nd Sep 16, 9:21 AM
    • 256 Posts
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    lewishardwick
    Our son has breathing difficulties and there is no way we'd exchange until the asbestos is removed. Can we get the vendor to pay for removal or reduce the house price to cover the cost of removal? Any suggestions or tips would be gratefully received.
    Originally posted by cth3403
    No way will a vendor PAY to have something removed if you've not even exchanged!

    Have you ever taken your son into a building made before 1990? There's a high chance it has asbestos somewhere!

    If it is like the tiles above, carefully remove, double bag them and check with your local council. Most will let you take small amounts to the recycling centre for free. Might take a few trips to clear it all.
    • cth3403
    • By cth3403 22nd Sep 16, 9:34 AM
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    cth3403
    Ok, a couple of points:

    Firstly, according to the HSE website:

    "All AIB work that is not short duration work requires a licence. Short duration work is when work with these materials will take no more than two hours in any seven day period, and no one person works for more than one hour in that two hour period. Work with AIB that is short duration but is still likely to release a high level of asbestos fibres is also licensed.

    Assessing the risks from work with AIB will often require a degree of judgement. AIB sits in the mid-range of the spectrum of friability on disturbance so it is reasonably likely to release asbestos fibres when it is worked on (high friability means very likely to release many fibres, low friability means less likely to release significant numbers of fibres).

    Therefore, you need to decide what form and condition the AIB is in and how well it is bonded within a matrix, eg how well the AIB is coated, covered or contained within another material, such as paint or other covering, and the nature and extent of the work you need to do, as this will affect the level of controls you need in place to do the work."

    So removal will need to be carried out by a licensed asbestos contractor.

    Secondly, the following is taken from this article 'Systematic Review of the Effects of Asbestos Exposure on the Risk of Cancer between Children and Adults':

    " Six studies reported the relationship between age, including age during childhood, at the first asbestos exposure and mesothelioma. Among them, 4 indicated that people exposed to asbestos in childhood have a higher risk of mesothelioma than those exposed in adulthood. Meanwhile, the other 2 studies showed that asbestos exposure later in life increases the risk of mesothelioma. The results of the 2 studies including non-occupational early childhood exposure report conflicting results...

    Therefore, the effect of asbestos exposure during childhood remains unclear and requires further study."

    Whilst other dangers in the home, such as electricity, bleach etc. are known, the effects of asbestos (particularly on a child's development) have not been sufficiently explored. Granted, this article is probably talking about high levels of exposure over many years, but I'm not prepared to play Russian roulette with my children's health when it can be removed.

    I understand and appreciate our vendors wouldn't want to foot the bill, but as purchasers we don't want to either. If we can come to an agreement - then great, if not we'll look for a property without an AIB ceiling.
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 22nd Sep 16, 9:47 AM
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    davidmcn
    Secondly, the following is taken from this article 'Systematic Review of the Effects of Asbestos Exposure on the Risk of Cancer between Children and Adults':
    Originally posted by cth3403
    Yes, but your children would need to be exposed to it first. That review is looking at cases where people have actually been breathing in asbestos dust (e.g. where asbestos has been mined), nobody is playing "Russian roulette" by having some asbestos sitting in the middle of a solid ceiling tile.
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 22nd Sep 16, 9:54 AM
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    Davesnave
    Taking down a suspended tile ceiling usually doesn't mean damaging the tiles or disturbing them in any significant way. For most of us, it would be a job for a rainy afternoon.

    What is left will be the real problem: a mass of wires and all the metal framing, plus the redecoration/re-routing of wires once that's gone.....oh, and possibly a new ceiling if the suspended one was a hiding job

    Good luck, OP.
    'Opportunity is missed by most people, because it's usually dressed in overalls and looks like work.' Thomas Edison.
    • Kynthia
    • By Kynthia 22nd Sep 16, 10:05 AM
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    Kynthia
    Children that were 'exposed' are those that were around loose fibres. Such as in schools where it was regularly drilled into or broken up when works were done. Or those that had parents who worked with it and then they would regularly hug them in their work clothes and be around when they were taken off and put on the wash. Being in a property with undisturbed tiles is not 'exposure'. Most people would agree with you getting it removed very quickly once you own the property but expecting the vendors to do works or reduce the price because you don't like something is possible but unlikely to happen. They probably didn't even realise as they've been in place so long and other buyers will just handle it.
    Don't listen to me, I'm no expert!
    • cth3403
    • By cth3403 22nd Sep 16, 10:07 AM
    • 9 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    cth3403
    Yes, but your children would need to be exposed to it first. That review is looking at cases where people have actually been breathing in asbestos dust (e.g. where asbestos has been mined), nobody is playing "Russian roulette" by having some asbestos sitting in the middle of a solid ceiling tile.
    Originally posted by davidmcn
    I get that - I know that as long as it is undisturbed it's inert and won't spontaneously cause cancer.

    But when does it become a risk? When one of the tiles gets chipped? When I knock one out of place when changing the light bulb?

    Then what happens? Do we have to seal off the room? Would it cost more to get it removed because it is now damaged and airborne? Would everything in that room have to be disposed of because of contamination?

    In it's current state I'm not concerned. But when we're living there, we have things in the room and something happens... that's a concern.

    All I'm looking to do is to mitigate the risks to my family. I admit I know very little about asbestos and as such I'm not comfortable living with it when I would have to judge the point at which it is on the verge of becoming a risk if it ever is.
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