Removal of asbestos in leaky ceiling- needs specialist?

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  • Removal of asbestos in leaky ceiling- needs specialist?

    Hi, We are a Charity Shop with asbestos identified in a ceiling that is in poor condition due to a water leak. It will take more than an hour to remove; can we seal it in? Does this need a specialist to do it? Thanks

  • #2
    Originally posted by Digby Saunders View Post
    Hi, We are a Charity Shop with asbestos identified in a ceiling that is in poor condition due to a water leak. It will take more than an hour to remove; can we seal it in? Does this need a specialist to do it? Thanks
    If it's got asbestos in it, then yes, it will definitely need specialist removal. If it's anything like the scenario at my workplace when they discovered asbestos in (I believe)some pipe lagging, this will involve closing your shop (obviously), workers with special boilersuits and masks, a mess, prolonged vacuum cleaning and huge disruption. It may resemble a set from one of those post-nuclear sci-fi films.

    However, it is absolutely not OK to tackle it yourselves, partly because by law you are not allowed to, but more importantly, because although asbestos fibres can be safe for years if undisturbed, they can be carcinogenic if inhaled.

    Good luck.
    'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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    • #3
      Sorry, just re-read your original post and realised you don't necessarily want to remove it (although that might be best)...however, even to seal it, I think you need specialist advice. If you did it yourself, your 3rd person liability insurance may not cover you if the asbestos fibres were disturbed and posed a health risk.

      Your local council (EHO) will advise.
      'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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      • #4
        I would echo the above, you want to get some professional advice on the matter. However, I have dealt with several similar incidents and the cost of the removal of asbestos has been negligible. If I were advising you on this matter I would almost certainly advise the removal rather than the encapsulation of it because it just removes any potential future hassle and or closure.
        [I]The opinions I give are simply my opinions and interpretations of what I have learnt, in numerous years as a property professional, I would not rely upon them without consulting with a paid advisor and providing them with all the relevant facts[I]

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        • #5
          you want to get some professional advice on the matter. However, I have dealt with several similar incidents and the cost of the removal of asbestos has been negligible. If I were advising you on this matter I would almost certainly advise the removal rather than the encapsulation of it because it just removes any potential future hassle and or closure.
          In a nutshell the law requires a risk assessment to be undertaken. Mesothelioma is the No1 killer of men in this country and it is only caused by exposure to airborne asbestos firbres. There is no known safe limit of exposure and even people wearing full protection can be exposed. Moreover, studies have shown that airborne fibre levels in properties increase and remain heightened for many months after removal even if full precautions are taken.

          Consequently removal should be the last resort.

          As this is a shop you, or possibly your landlord, have a duty to manage the asbestos. You'll find all of the answers you need on the HSE website here

          http://www.hse.gov.uk/asbestos/

          On the duty to manage here

          http://www.hse.gov.uk/asbestos/campaign/duty.htm

          There is a short free guide to managing asbestos here

          http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg223.pdf

          but the HSE sell a more comprehensive guide which is well worth buying.
          NOTE: Steven Palmer BSc (Hons) MRICS MBEng is an official LandlordZONE Topic Expert and a Director of Davisons Palmer Lim Any advice given by Steven in this Forum is of a general nature only and should not be acted upon without first obtaining advice specific to your problem/situation from a professional.

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