Really worried about Artex

It is only recently that I have heard about asbestos being in Artex. Our house was built in 1988 and every ceiling - even the garage - is artexed. Not nice smooth discreet patterns, but giant icicle like things, very painful when you knock against it.

Over the past few years as we redecorate, my husband has been scraping off as much as he possibly can to give a smoother finish - as we HATE it - totally oblivious to the fact that he could have been breathing in something dangerous.

Does anyone know how much it costs to get it tested and indeed who you would contact to get such a test? OH's view is that he doesn't really want to know if it contains asbestos because it is too late now, but I am so worried about it.

Any advice would be appreciated.
Stopped smoking 27/12/2007, but could start again at any time :eek:

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  • Jorgan_2
    Jorgan_2 Posts: 2,270 Forumite
    I thinks its generaly older Artex that contains asbestos, remember there are different types of asbestos, not all are considered dangerous. Many people will skim over the Artex to get a smooth ceiling, its easier than trying to chip the stuff off.
  • melbury
    melbury Posts: 13,249
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    Jorgan wrote:
    I thinks its generaly older Artex that contains asbestos, remember there are different types of asbestos, not all are considered dangerous. Many people will skim over the Artex to get a smooth ceiling, its easier than trying to chip the stuff off.

    Since posting here I have been checking out some websites and it does say that it was being used into the 1990's!! Just wish I hadn't heard about it, ignorance is bliss!!
    Stopped smoking 27/12/2007, but could start again at any time :eek:

  • The GARAGE????!!

    I honestly thought we had it bad in that most of our house had it everywhere. It had even been used on the "lie ins" of the upstairs bedrooms. The trouble was that it had been a DIY botch by the previous owners. It hung irregularly and some peaks were as long as six inches!

    Luckily, if you can say that, we had a leak on our top landing so, being an insurance job, specimens were taken off to be analysed. It was all clear and they were able to do the work quite quickly.

    The point I'm trying to make is that it is possible your ceilings were artexed more recently than when the place was built and, by the sounds of it, by an over enthusiastic DIYer. It's quite likely it doesn't contain asbestos but if you try your local authority website they may have details for environmental health that will do the test for about thirty quid.
  • Incidentally, as you will know, with the wedding cake icing type of Artex, even if it is being skimmed over, you will still need to chip off the peaks first
  • dc
    dc Posts: 2,547 Forumite
    In 1988 Asbestos was a well known hazard, so I doubt if yours will contain it. There were many Artex copies too, together with own-brand vesions.

    Grinding/sanding it off can be very dusty, and soul destroying. The best method I have used, was to use a heat gun (paint remover type) and scraper as the version used in our house, became very plasticky when heated. The next not so dusty method is to chop off the largest points and then skim it, to smooth it off. I believe even Artex sell a smoothing compound to do just that. Usually artex is used to cover up all sorts of nasties.
    Another alternative is to rip it all out together with the sub plaster or plasterboard, and replace it. Plasterboard is quite cheap, plastering an art.

    HTHs dc
    ac's lovechild
  • Nile
    Nile Posts: 14,930
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    Hello melbury

    I'm hoping that nelly, who is a plastering expert, will be along shortly to give his opinion.;)

    Kind Regards

    Nile
    I’m a Forum Ambassador and I support the Forum Team on the 'I wanna' and 'In my home' and Health & Beauty'' boards.If you need any help on these boards, do let me know. Please note that Ambassadors are not moderators. Any posts you spot in breach of the Forum Rules should be reported via the report button, or by emailing [email protected] views are my own and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.10 Dec 2007 - Led Zeppelin - I was there. :j :cool2: I wear my 50 (gold/red/white) blood donations pin badge with pride. Give blood, save a life.
  • ben500
    ben500 Posts: 23,192 Forumite
    Genenerally buildings artexed since 1985 are not tested for asbestos but there have been cases where artexed used after this has been found to contain chrysotile fibres, the risk is minimal whilst the artex is in situ, it is only when the fibres become airborne that a risk is posed and then again very small, but to be safe you should have it tested, the cost can vary depending on where you are in the country but should be under £100, £65-£75 is about average for a single sample with a nominal fee for further samples around £12-£18 per additional sample, if positive then controlled removal is advised which is very expensive, around £1,100 for an average 15sqm room, more if it is applied to walls and stair bulkheads etc, as a previous poster has said in the event you had cause to claim for escape of water or accidental damage to the decor the insurance company would arrange and bear the costs of testing any and all artex coated surfaces they would be working on, this is to comply with their "duty of care" even if your claim is invalid they still have a duty to advise you of the results at no cost to yourself.
    HTH

    I would say it is unwise to remove such material yourself unless you can be positive it is free from asbestos which you obviosly cannot in this case, these fibres if they become airborne will hang around for years for you and your family to inhale, if you have a positive test the air will be tested before the environmental removal company leave when doing the removal.
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  • ben500
    ben500 Posts: 23,192 Forumite
    Nile wrote:
    Hello melbury

    I'm hoping that nelly, who is a plastering expert, will be along shortly to give his opinion.;)

    Kind Regards

    Nile
    I acknowledge Nelly is indeed a plasterer he has said so many times, but I think his expertise may lie more in getting plastered I've seen his posts! But I haven't seen any walls he's worked on :rotfl::rotfl:
    Four guns yet only one trigger prepare for a volley.


    Together we can make a difference.
  • melbury
    melbury Posts: 13,249
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    The GARAGE????!!

    I honestly thought we had it bad in that most of our house had it everywhere. It had even been used on the "lie ins" of the upstairs bedrooms. The trouble was that it had been a DIY botch by the previous owners. It hung irregularly and some peaks were as long as six inches!

    Luckily, if you can say that, we had a leak on our top landing so, being an insurance job, specimens were taken off to be analysed. It was all clear and they were able to do the work quite quickly.

    The point I'm trying to make is that it is possible your ceilings were artexed more recently than when the place was built and, by the sounds of it, by an over enthusiastic DIYer. It's quite likely it doesn't contain asbestos but if you try your local authority website they may have details for environmental health that will do the test for about thirty quid.


    We moved into the house when it was new, so it definitely wasn't an over-enthusiastic DIYer. I just can't understand why they the builders went so beserk with the artexing, it is just everywhere. We have sloping ceilings on the landing with giant points of artex sticking out - it is very hazardous. There was obviously no need to use it to cover cracks etc, as the house was new and so presumably the ceilings would have been nice and smooth.

    I am worried though about the amount of scraping off OH has down over the years, it just never occurred to us that artex was dangerous.
    Stopped smoking 27/12/2007, but could start again at any time :eek:

  • nelly_2
    nelly_2 Posts: 17,863
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    To be honest I havent got a sodding clue, wheather it will or wont contain asbestos. My job is generally to skim over artex.

    The reason artex was used so much was, it's fast and cheap, plastering a ceiling takes 2 1/2 to 3 hours give or take. But artexing can take 15 minutes

    and just for ben500 check out the video page on my website :)

    http://myplasterer.com/
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