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Thread: Asbestos Encapsulation

  1. #1
    Master BRGRSP's Avatar
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    Asbestos Encapsulation

    Hi all,

    Long story short.
    My son and his wife have just had a full survey report on their first property purchase.

    All has come back fairly good, just a few minor defects, except for one almighty bomb shell.

    Apparently the main pitched roof is covered with corragated asbestos visible from inside the roof space, whilst the outside is a conventional tiled roof.
    I'm assuming the house originally had a corrogated asbestos roof but this has been tiled over at sometime years ago.
    Obviously the surveyor has red flagged the issue in urgent need of attention.

    They have been advised to renegotiate the selling price to cover the cost of the repair, or ask the seller to have the work rectified at their own cost before commiting to the purchase.

    My view is the sellers will take the house of the market, they have only been in it 18 months and I think they are trying to pull a bit of a fast one,

    Sorry for the waffle, to my original question, would anyone know or have experiance with Asbestos Encapsulation ?
    I wonder if this might be a cost effective solution to the issue and save on the huge cost of having the roof stripped, cleaned of all hazardous material and then re-roofed.

    I think they should walk away and count their blessings that they had a compehensive survey carried out.
    What I can't understand how the issue wasn't flagged up when the current owners bought the property 18 months ago.

    Can anyone tell me if there is a rule or law in place whereby as a seller you have to disclose any issues known about the property to any potential buyers.

    Any advise or help will be greatly appreciated.

    Many thanks.

    Brian......aka....BRGRSP.

  2. #2
    Master
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    Not sure about your main question but i would stay well clear of that stuff. We had it where i used to work and experts were called in to remove it.
    The building was evacuated and a work carried out and extensive clean up operation afterwards.
    Then air tests are done to detect if any remains.
    Got the all clear so moved everyone back in.
    Another air test done not long after, failed.
    Evacuated again.
    This went on several times and for several weeks and apparently everyone had been contaminated by it.

  3. #3
    Master Sinnlover's Avatar
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    Hi the current owners have duties under the Control of asbestos regulations 2012 and The Construction Design Management Regulations 2015 (all home owners do)
    Any buyer would have the same once they own it obviously.
    Encapsulation is easy to do assuming you have access to the entire asbestos material, if not it might not be the best option, regardless of encapsulation or not the owner will haves duty to manage the risk and pass this info on to any prospective buyer
    However If the asbestos is undamaged and in good condition there is little risk of harm currently
    Feel free to PM me if you want happy to talk through your options.
    Last edited by Sinnlover; 27th November 2020 at 21:04.

  4. #4
    My holiday house was tiled in the 60s with asbestos tiles. They have lasted pretty well, but they have started to deform and leak so I have a guy in at the moment replacing them.

    The asbestos itself is really stable, so all they have to do is be careful when moving it. You can't throw them from the roof into a skip, so it needs a few more trips up and down the ladder but no super fancy safety gear. It then needs special disposal which added a couple of thousand on to the bill. Other than that it been easy.

    Do you know for sure if the asbestos is stable or not? If my tiles hadn't deformed then I wouldn't be changing them. I was told mine was perfectly safe, so rather than simply repair/replace I would check if it's needed.

    *edit* looks like someone who knows what they are talking about has answered as I typed - I'd listen them them before me

  5. #5
    Craftsman
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    Quote Originally Posted by BRGRSP View Post
    They have been advised to :

    A - Renegotiate the selling price to cover the cost of the repair

    B - Ask the seller to have the work rectified at their own cost before commiting to the purchase
    Which one of those options is going to end up with the cheapest/quickest bodge job being done. Never should you offer vendors this option, it can only result in tears.

  6. #6
    Master
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    Have you asked about the House insurance stance.

    I have to do an Asbestos Awareness Course every year, and just reading this makes me think, RUN
    Last edited by hilly10; 27th November 2020 at 21:38.

  7. #7
    Master Onelasttime's Avatar
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    It's probably asbestos cement panels and they're quite common and pretty stable if removed correctly.

    It's when you start breaking them apart that the risk occurs, but they are low risk with correct procedures.

    We had a load of garages next to us with this type of roofing and they removed it all in a day. It might be more of a problem because they're actually under the tiled roof, but maybe not?

    HSE doesn't consider it a major problem:

    https://www.hse.gov.uk/asbestos/essentials/cement.htm

  8. #8
    Master Man of Kent's Avatar
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    The asbestos regs only place duties on those responsible for non-domestic properties (at the moment at least).
    However, anyone doing work in a domestic property still has to comply with the regs as they all originate from the Health and Safety at Work act (so effectively the domestic property becomes the workplace).
    What that means is there is no law requiring removal or even inspection of asbestos in a non-domestic property, but someone working there has to consider asbestos risks and act accordingly.
    I would get expert advice on the material composition first (lots of non asbestos materials look exactly like asbestos), and building surveyors are not asbestos surveyors.

  9. #9
    Master
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    AFAIK any requirement to disclose to a purchaser depends on the questions asked by the purchasers' solicitor. Have you seen the legal stuff? Or have they not been issued/returned yet?

    We were well advanced into buying a house - survey done, quotes for work we would have wanted obtained - and when the legal pack came back from the sellers' solicitor, it transpired that there was no right of access (future potential issues were covered by an indemnity policy). Annoying that we only found out at that stage but that is the way it works (at least for that sort of problem). Maybe they thought if we had already spent some funds we would be less likely to withdraw? We decided to walk away.

  10. #10
    I'm a building surveyor and whilst asbestos is perfectly safe when undisturbed it is something which I just wouldn't want to have to deal with in my own home.

    The cost to encapsulate wouldn't be small and the asbestos will still be there. Say they want to sell in the future, do a loft conversion, suffer storm damage etc they would have to remove it then at a further cost.

    The only way I would proceed in this instance was if the sheets were removed and a satisfactory air test issued. If they really want the property, maybe they could agree a partial contribution.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by johnny778 View Post
    I'm a building surveyor and whilst asbestos is perfectly safe when undisturbed it is something which I just wouldn't want to have to deal with in my own home.

    The cost to encapsulate wouldn't be small and the asbestos will still be there. Say they want to sell in the future, do a loft conversion, suffer storm damage etc they would have to remove it then at a further cost.

    The only way I would proceed in this instance was if the sheets were removed and a satisfactory air test issued. If they really want the property, maybe they could agree a partial contribution.
    I echo this view. I would go further and ponder whether the current owners did a proper job of tiling over the sheets or did their roofer simply drill through battens and asbestos sheet and leave asbestos dust in the loft space?

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