Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@. Skimlinks & other affiliated links are turned on

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • AdviceWanted
    • By AdviceWanted 6th Jul 17, 9:57 PM
    • 8Posts
    • 0Thanks
    AdviceWanted
    Asbestos exposed in my rental flat? Advice wanted.
    • #1
    • 6th Jul 17, 9:57 PM
    Asbestos exposed in my rental flat? Advice wanted. 6th Jul 17 at 9:57 PM
    Hi all,

    I'd like some advice on the likely hood that the photo below this post could be an asbestos threat.

    EDIT: Turns out new users can't post links or photos! Sultanabran has posted the link for me. Please see below. It's an off white finely textured substance revealed where the paint has pealed off. The exposed is area is about 15 cm by 5 cm.

    I'm renting in the UK and am originally from Australia. Recently water damage got into my roof and it has exposed some of the building material in the ceiling. Please see the photo. I recently googled it and was horrified to discover Asbestos is still common in many buildings here. (Being a younger and less densely populated country we're pretty sheltered in Australia).

    Honestly I really don't know much about it so I was wondering if someone with more experience (preferably a builder) could tell me if it's likely that part of ceiling would contain Asbestos?

    Unfortunately I don't know how old the building is except to say it's definitely built well before 2000, the landlord purchased it some 20 years ago and was working for the previous owner before that. It's in Clapham on the High St and I was reading that a historic building a couple blocks away was built in 1914 though I can't speak to renovations.

    Also it's a relatively small opening. There is a breeze blowing through the apartment and the substance does look textured in a way that could potentially be crumbly (though I definitely having touched it!) But I'm not really sure if a small opening like that is actually dangerous? I've spoken to the landlord's agent and they're not sure so any advice would be appreciated.

    Many thanks in advance.
    Last edited by AdviceWanted; 06-07-2017 at 10:39 PM. Reason: Trying to get some advice.
Page 1
    • ceredigion
    • By ceredigion 6th Jul 17, 10:02 PM
    • 2,208 Posts
    • 2,541 Thanks
    ceredigion
    • #2
    • 6th Jul 17, 10:02 PM
    • #2
    • 6th Jul 17, 10:02 PM
    photo ?
    ..........
    • docmatt
    • By docmatt 6th Jul 17, 10:02 PM
    • 716 Posts
    • 342 Thanks
    docmatt
    • #3
    • 6th Jul 17, 10:02 PM
    • #3
    • 6th Jul 17, 10:02 PM
    No picture dude.
    • sultanabran
    • By sultanabran 6th Jul 17, 10:36 PM
    • 167 Posts
    • 103 Thanks
    sultanabran
    • #4
    • 6th Jul 17, 10:36 PM
    • #4
    • 6th Jul 17, 10:36 PM
    Pic posted on behalf of the OP

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/36806076@N02/35632487581/in/dateposted-public/
    • AdviceWanted
    • By AdviceWanted 6th Jul 17, 10:37 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    AdviceWanted
    • #5
    • 6th Jul 17, 10:37 PM
    • #5
    • 6th Jul 17, 10:37 PM
    Legend ! Thanks Sultanabran. Sultanabran has kindly posted the link to the photo for me. Please click the link to view the afore mentioned photo. As I said any advice would be appreciated.
    • EachPenny
    • By EachPenny 6th Jul 17, 11:21 PM
    • 1,376 Posts
    • 1,407 Thanks
    EachPenny
    • #6
    • 6th Jul 17, 11:21 PM
    • #6
    • 6th Jul 17, 11:21 PM
    As I said any advice would be appreciated.
    Originally posted by AdviceWanted
    It is impossible to tell from a photo (like yours) whether or not something contains asbestos, so any responses you get will be guesses based on assumptions. The only way of being sure is to get a sample tested.

    If you want to know more about the risks of asbestos, one of the best sources of official information is the HSE website. http://www.hse.gov.uk/asbestos/
    "In the future, everyone will be rich for 15 minutes"
    • AdviceWanted
    • By AdviceWanted 6th Jul 17, 11:51 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    AdviceWanted
    • #7
    • 6th Jul 17, 11:51 PM
    • #7
    • 6th Jul 17, 11:51 PM
    Hey thanks, I understand its impossible to tell from a photo. I'm just asking about the likelihood that its dangerous from someone who's more experienced with than me (like an asbestos consultant or an experienced builder). It's also a small hole so I'm hoping I'm stressing out over nothing. Thanks for the link.
    • EachPenny
    • By EachPenny 7th Jul 17, 12:45 AM
    • 1,376 Posts
    • 1,407 Thanks
    EachPenny
    • #8
    • 7th Jul 17, 12:45 AM
    • #8
    • 7th Jul 17, 12:45 AM
    Hey thanks, I understand its impossible to tell from a photo. I'm just asking about the likelihood that its dangerous from someone who's more experienced with than me (like an asbestos consultant or an experienced builder). It's also a small hole so I'm hoping I'm stressing out over nothing. Thanks for the link.
    Originally posted by AdviceWanted
    I don't mean to be flippant, but you'd do just as well to get a coin and toss it. Heads it's asbestos. Tails it might not be.

    Depending on when the ceiling was last installed/repaired the work might have been done using an asbestos product, or it might be gypsum plasterboard, or a material called 'Masterboard'. It is impossible to tell by looking at a picture of a flatish greyish surface.

    Rather than worry about it, you should consider what you are going to do about it. Are you going to ask the landlord to repair the water damage properly, or are you content to leave it as it is?
    "In the future, everyone will be rich for 15 minutes"
    • AdviceWanted
    • By AdviceWanted 7th Jul 17, 1:01 AM
    • 8 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    AdviceWanted
    • #9
    • 7th Jul 17, 1:01 AM
    • #9
    • 7th Jul 17, 1:01 AM
    You seem to know a bit about materials. Can I ask what your experience with this sort of thing is? If you know a reasonable amount about asbestos can you tell me (or anyone tell me) if a small opening like that is a serious risk to my safety? I will pack up and get an air bnb if need be. It's not really worth my health.

    To answer your question I've already asked them to repair it twice. I'm moving out at the end of the month so I get the impression they are planing to wait to do this repair before the next tenant moves in. I could pressure them (which I've done out of necessity with other repairs) but I'm also concerned that if it is asbestos, having them sand and reseal the damage will actually spread more particles in the flat and on my belongings. My understanding is legally they are obligated to prevent / minimise asbestos risk. And I even read on a couple websites they're obligated to tell you if asbestos is in the building? Does anyone know anything about this? As I said I'd appreciate advice from someone with experience in this area.

    Thanks.
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 7th Jul 17, 1:47 AM
    • 22,604 Posts
    • 87,467 Thanks
    Davesnave
    If it were me, and I was as concerned as you sound, I'd be pro-active and seal the surface with PVA.

    2 minutes, job done.

    Then I'd get on with my life.
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • Kiran
    • By Kiran 7th Jul 17, 6:31 AM
    • 1,098 Posts
    • 485 Thanks
    Kiran
    2nd the opinion above. Seal with pva or alkyd paint. The landlords agent saying they're not sure is a cop out, if they are managing properties that could potentially contain asbestos then someone should be trained to an awareness level. As everyone else has said, you can't tell asbestos by looking at it with the naked eye. The suspect material needs to be sampled by an asbestos surveyor and examined under a microscope. It costs about £30. Are your agents not going to repair the damage from the leak?
    Some people don't exaggerate........... They just remember big!
    • tshirttan408
    • By tshirttan408 7th Jul 17, 8:41 AM
    • 39 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    tshirttan408
    When you say asbestos, do you mean you think you have artex which may or may not contain asbestos?
    • teneighty
    • By teneighty 7th Jul 17, 9:08 AM
    • 965 Posts
    • 657 Thanks
    teneighty
    As others have said the textured coating has to be tested to tell for certain if it contains asbestos.

    However even if it does contain asbestos, textured coatings/artex are a very low risk. The actual asbestos content is very low, it is the least hazardous white asbestos and if the coating is not damaged the release of fibres is unlikely.

    By the way Australia was one of the major sources of raw asbestos so I would be very surprised if it isn't quite widespread in the older buildings.
    • societys child
    • By societys child 7th Jul 17, 11:29 AM
    • 4,300 Posts
    • 4,514 Thanks
    societys child
    To me it looks more like some type of "ripple coat" paint. (paint with some type of sand mixed)
    Artex is much smoother and tends to hold the water, stretching to form "blisters" on the ceiling (first hand experience) The Artex didn't rip like whatever that is in the pic has.

    Note that this is just my opinion.

    • casper_g
    • By casper_g 7th Jul 17, 11:46 AM
    • 1,037 Posts
    • 894 Thanks
    casper_g
    I think the OP was concerned that the material (plasterboard or alternative) might contain asbestos, as it looks friable/dusty where it's exposed and affected by the damp. But of course, the textured coating could contain it as well depending on its age.

    By the way, there's plenty of asbestos in Australian buildings too! The country's Asbestos Safety and Eradication Authority says Australia was one of the highest per-capita users of asbestos prior to the mid 80s, and anything built before about 1990 is likely to contain at least some. https://asbestossafety.gov.au/asbestos-information
    • AdviceWanted
    • By AdviceWanted 7th Jul 17, 2:28 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    AdviceWanted
    Hi All,

    I'm at work so I've got to be quick but many thanks for your replies. Casper was right. I'm concerned about the stuff underneath the ceiling paint (that looks friable and dusty). If anyone with some experience has any advice regarding this it would be greatly appreciated. As is all the advice you have already given.

    And I knew there were several high profile class actions in Australia to do with Asbestos but I had no idea it was so prevalent! I think I've just been lucky in that the apartment I had in Aus which I spent most of my time staying in there was quite newly constructed.

    I realise it's impossible to know for sure from that photo but if anyone has advice about if it's likely to be a real threat or not that would be great. I've emailed the landlord following my call yesterday and if he dodges it I'll probably get a tester to come in independently. But in the meantime I'd value some experience opinions on whether I'm mostly being paranoid or not.
    • AdviceWanted
    • By AdviceWanted 10th Jul 17, 4:53 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    AdviceWanted
    Just a quick update. I finally spoke to the landlord today. He seemed confident there's no issue with Asbestos. I spoke to the agent the other day and asked her if repair workers are usually required to wear dust masks when they renovate apartments in the building. She said no. So all in all that seems reassuring. Thanks for your help all.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

2,086Posts Today

7,196Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • Byebye! I'm about to stop work & twitter, to instead spend glorious time with Mrs & mini MSE. Wishing u a lovely summer. See u in 10 days.

  • WARNING Did you start Uni in or after 2012? The interest's rising to 6.1%; yet it doesnt work like you think. See https://t.co/IQ8f0Vyetu RT

  • RT @JanaBeee: @MartinSLewis Boris is the anomaly (coffee), the others are versions of normal (beer). Lots of same candidates = vote share d?

  • Follow Martin