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  1. #1
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    Default Ceilings/Asbestos

    Hi all,

    Just been to look at a house to buy which I really liked, but most of the rooms had a treatment on the ceilings with 'sparkly' bits in it. When I asked the agent about it she said it was something they used in in the 70's and it MAY contain asbestos and she suggested we have it removed before we moved in, though as long as it was undisturbed it would be ok. Anyone heard of/any experience of this?

  2. #2
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    Hi lollypop

    The presence of asbestos does not necessarly mean that there is a hazard. There should be little risk of exposure if the ceiling is sprayed or painted but it's usually when it is disturbed that it becomes a risk.

    For instance; at removal or when being drilled into, or working/living in close proximity to asbestosis in bad condition. There are processes to seal it, but any removal or sealing is a specialist job.

    Is the house worth enough to you to get a builders report and one that specifically includes looking at the ceiling, checking the condition and or quoting for removal etc?

    However (and this is my personal opinion) I wouldn't touch it with a 10 foot barge pole.

    All types of asbestos are known to cause lung disease eg, mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis and pleural plaques. There is a long time, at least 20 years but usually more, between exposure and symptoms showing. It is only now, particularly in the UK, that more is being discovered about the disease process and the effects of exposure. From what I've read NZ is a way behind the UK in this.


    There is some information here - http://www.worksafereps.org.nz/hazar...7696_8974.html

    HTH.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by smiler

    However (and this is my personal opinion) I wouldn't touch it with a 10 foot barge pole.
    .
    Me neither. If I really liked the house (so much that walking away was a true gut wrenching experience) I would DEFINATE:Y get a builders report that specifiacally looked at the ceilings. If it was asbestos, I would want the cost of getting it removed shown in the buying price.

    Looking to the future, in the UK I think you can be forced to have asbestos romoved from your home. While I dont think this is the case in NZ - I would want to make sure I was covered in case the law catches up here, and get it removed now.

    I hope it all goes OK, and isnt asbestos.

  4. #4
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    Default

    Asbestos is dangerous , should be removed before moving in and has to be done by a specialized firm (costs!!)

  5. #5
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    Thanks everyone.

    Just found this : http://www.buildingsurveyors.co.nz/f...ail_inspection
    which may help anyone else with prepurchase building inspection questions.

  6. #6
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    Asbestos in ceilings is very common in the US. Most houses built there up until the 70's has it in the walls (joint compound) and ceilings. You can't get way from it there in houses built in the 50's-70's, probably the same here. The warning they give there sound like those on site above. Our old house had that type of celing and we 'sealed' it by painting the ceiling which is quite simple. It is quite safe like this, and as long as you don't touch it safe if you leave it alone even if it is not sealed. Removing it is expensive since they turn your house into a hazadous waste site for a few days and I don't really know how good a job they really do. If you really hate the look you can cover up the ceiling with a thin layer of dry wall which will hide it.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by clg
    If you really hate the look you can cover up the ceiling with a thin layer of dry wall which will hide it.
    Yes but how do you fix the drywall (assume you mean plasterboard) to the asbestos ceiling? by drilling/screwing and therefore disturbing the asbestos. From my experience in buildings with asbestos, the hard smooth sparkly board type isn't a problem as long as you dont break/drill it, to create any dusk/flakes which could be breathed in (the fluffy loose insulation type is ao hazardous i wouldn't even go near it). I have seen asbestos board sealed, but all they do is paint it IMHO, and you could paint or paper it yourself. Here in the UK you can walk off site as soon as any is found, thanks to health & Safety legislation. Think ahead, even if you are happy to paint it for now, will you be able to sell up in future if NZ legislation catches up with the UK? I have drilled it in the past to fix wiring and lights, holding my breath, knowing full well the risks, sometimes even thinking it was plasterboard until noticing it was harder to drill, but when you're self employed and need to put food on the table you do alot of things that you wouldnt do for an employer.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlosparky
    Here in the UK you can walk off site as soon as any is found, thanks to health & Safety legislation. Think ahead, even if you are happy to paint it for now, will you be able to sell up in future if NZ legislation catches up with the UK?
    Thanks Charlosparky you put it better than I did.

    In the 50's and 60's in the Uk very little, if anything, was known about the dangers of asbestos and mesothelioma. Men came home from the shipyards, electrical and aircraft factories in their work clothes which their wives happily washed. Women contracted the disease just by doing this and were not diagnosed until many years later, usually when it was too late. Men contracted the disease after working as a 15 year old apprentice for a year or so, often being exposed in the work place just once or twice, when they were required to strip the boiler rooms of lagging or demolish buildings, all without protection.

    I really don't mean to scare monger but we have in other respects on this forum, compared NZ to the UK of the 50's, 60's and 70's and this is one area where I think this is still true. Legislation came into force in the Uk much too late for many people.

    It's not called the silent killer for nothing.

  9. #9
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    Just an update : The vendors have had a specialist removal quote of $3,000 and it should take a few days to complete the work, obviously the property must be vacated during the works. They have also looked into getting a sample tested which I think costs $90 and can take up to 2 weeks.

  10. #10
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    Lollypop

    Did you get this problem sorted out or did you pass on the house?

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