Hi, my neighbour is doing renovations to his home. About 6 months ago he removed an old corrugated asbestos cement style garage roof (about 20m2) and piled up all the old sheets in his front garden. They were in ok shape, so I wasn’t particularly worried. Over the last few months his works have continued, and his team have been chucking around bits of concrete front and back. I didn’t think much of it till they removed the most of the building waste a couple of days ago, leaving only the roofing behind. It’s clear a lot of the roofing has been broken into small pieces, some of which even look a little crushed.

Now most of this is in his front garden about 10 - 15 metres from my front door & bedroom windows. But I have to open my front gate next to it each day (about 2-3metres away) and sometimes play in the front garden with my daughter and new puppy, so get a bit closer. I understand this asbestos roofing is only dangerous when it’s cut up or sanded, but is there any risk to me or my family from being in relatively close proximity to quite a lot of this, even when outdoors, considering that over the last few months it was every so often was being smashed up by an old breeze block being thrown on it. And what is the danger now that all the broken bits are exposed and lying about in the dirt. Once broken is it dangerous, or is it only dangerous at the moment it breaks? Does this count as long term exposure at all? Or does the fact it is outdoors make it insignificant? Not much rain here at the minute and wind blowing towards my house every day this week. I mainly worry about my daughter being exposed...


  • MikeJXEMikeJXE Forumite
    1.8K Posts
    1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    You need to report it, asbestos requires special care and disposal to special facilities 
  • maisie_catmaisie_cat Forumite
    1.9K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Academoney Grad
    I suspect that any asbestos fibres have already been released into the air. Builders tend not to be concerned about asbestos, we found some buried in our garden.
    Corrugated cement sheets are low risk when they are not disturbed, we have them on our garage. Ask your neighbour to cover with a tarp and not allow them to be broken up any more.
    Many local authorities allow residents to dispose of small amounts fee free, perhaps he doesn't know how to dispose of it.
  • plumb1_2plumb1_2 Forumite
    4.1K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    You have little to worry about, I would tell the neighbour  of your concern and ask him to arrange its correct disposal. As a temporary measure ask him to cover it up with a tarpaulin.
    A thankyou is payment enough .
  • Phil4432Phil4432 Forumite
    441 Posts
    Third Anniversary 100 Posts Name Dropper
    Its low content, but really he should have had it removed as soon as it came off.  It shouldn't be left laying around like that.  HSE would probably have something to say.

    As soon as an asbestos roof comes off, the standard procedure is to have it removed and disposed of.
  • lAWriMEnlAWriMEn Forumite
    2 Posts
    First Post
    Thanks for all the replies, much appreciated. It is really annoying that it has been left lying about and I wish I had said something sooner, but I only noticed the other day how broken up it had become. I understood that even when off the roof, as long as it's intact it's fine. I've asked now for it to be covered up in plastic at the very least before it's disposed of. Hopefully that happens. Like I said, my main concern is if this type of exposure outdoors, over a period of months is something to be worried about... I appreciate it's hard to say with certainty, but seems like the consensus is the increase in risk would be minimal. Which is a relief.  
  • brisbris Forumite
    10.5K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    Its extortionate to dispose of asbestos legally and needs proper breathing equipment and and overalls

    Just lying in the garden would be illegal, when its removed it needs bagged and sealed right away.

    Are you sure its asbestos? Not all the old concrete garage roof had asbestos, but in reality the neighbour should have had it tested before removal. 
  • JohnJ76JohnJ76 Forumite
    62 Posts
    Fourth Anniversary 10 Posts
    Maybe worth giving him a hand to get rid of it if its a worry.  Get in touch with your local council, find where it can be taken (most LA's have facilities for householders).  get some disposable overalls gloves and overshoes, some FFP3 masks (double check this but think thats the correct one for asbestos) and some asbestos bags - come in red and clear so you can see one inside the other (or use thick plastic like visqueen). get geared up, hose down the offending articles, place them in a bag, then in another bag, once done, take all the diposables off, in a bag, then shove your clothes in the wash (or wear old stuff and bin it too if you are that worried) and take all the stuff to local disposal centre. Can guarantee that will be more care than the local disposal company will take and charge you a small fortune for the pleasure.
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  • Bigphil1474Bigphil1474 Forumite
    1.7K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    This is what my local council says for domestic disposal of asbestos - yours should do similar:-

    On the day of your booked visit report to the weighbridge on entry to the site for inspection of your load. 

    All asbestos must be double wrapped in strong polythene (minimum of 1000 gauge) and sealed with strong broad tape (for example duct tape). All loose edges and corners must be secure.

    Failure to properly wrap and secure the asbestos in suitably strong polythene (minimum of 1000 gauge) will result in you being turned away from site.

    For health and safety reasons, personal protective equipment (PPE) must be worn when disposing of your asbestos at our facilities. You must wear a high visibility jacket and protective footwear.

    Staff will direct you to the asbestos container and request that you activate your hazard lights whilst on site.

    Our staff will not be able to help you unload and dispose of your waste. For heavier items you may need to bring someone with you to help.

    Charges and payment

    200kg (min price)£47.99

    Not exactly extortionate. For info, you don't need 'proper breathing equipment', an FFP3 mask is more than sufficient. Asbestos operatives usually only use half or full mask respiratory equipment if they are working indoors and removing asbestos containing materials and creating dust. Gloves and overalls are a must IMO - disposable ones so they can be chucked in with the waste. 

    In reference to above posts - the HSE will have no interest in someone renovating their own home, unless there is someone actually employed to work on the property - they only deal with workplaces and/or people at work.  Might be worth asking if the neighbour knows it contains asbestos - if its older than 30 years, then probably best to assume it does.
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