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Bricks and Brass • View topic - dust in loft - asbestos?

dust in loft - asbestos?

Forum for discussing period houses.

dust in loft - asbestos?

Postby jkgray » Mon Apr 06, 2009 7:25 pm

I have a circa 1900 terraced house where the loft has been converted by the previous owners.

The loft bedroom is very cold however as when you look into the eaves cupboards there is nothing between the underside of the tiles and the inside of the cupboards. This results in a huge draughts so much so that it can actually blow the cupboard doors open!

The tiles themselves just look like standard tiles and are common to all teh house in the area (a conservation area). There is no felt underneath the tiles - perhaps pre-felt days in c.1900? - and it looks like mortar/cement material was put on to the back of the tiles. The 'cement' clearly contains fibrous material (perhaps horsehair?) and has a crumbly appearance (looks like paper mache).

I am about to try and insulate the area but before I do so have one concern which may be completely unfounded but thought I get a few views:

There is a lot of dust in the cupboards, presumably where the wind has blown through.

Is there much chance that this dust could be asbestos containing? Would the 'cement' on the back of roof tiles contain asbestos?

Thanks in advance for any advice offered.
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Postby tim smedley » Wed Apr 08, 2009 8:21 pm

My experience of asbestos cement is limited, but what I did use had very short fibres - no more than 1 cm long and certainly not hair like. I also understand only certain types are an issue and then when a dust (I think it is the grey type). (Sorry!)

It is highly unlikely that you will have asbestos in your tiles if they are from the original build as asbestos was much more common from the 1950?s through to the mid 80?s so the date of the conversion would help you.

The obvious thing is to get a roofer to come around and give you an opinion on it. If the jury is still out then contact the Building Controls Officer at your local council - they too can be very helpful. The HSE website has some pictures http://www.hse.gov.uk/asbestos/gallery.htm

Final thought - if you still can?t work it out then treat it as asbestos and remove it safely. Follow the guidance on the HSE website http://www.hse.gov.uk/asbestos/essentials/index.htm

When done tape the joints of the cupboards with packing tape on the loft side and inside the cupboard. Insulate the loft and forget about it!
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Postby jkgray » Wed Apr 08, 2009 9:41 pm

Thanks.
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