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Asbestos in old roofing felt?

Discussion in 'Roofing and Guttering' started by elsmandino, 23 Sep 2019.

  1. elsmandino

    elsmandino

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    Hi there.

    Having had a bit of a scare with vermiculite in my loft (which turned out not to contain asbestos), I have just read that old roof felt could contain asbestos.

    My house was built in the 30s, but we have no idea when the felt was put in.

    All I can say is that the felt is really brittle and old - it is like card and, if touched, breaks and falls to the floor.

    How common is it, exactly, to find asbestos in underlay?
     
  2. footprints

    footprints

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    No way tell without testing.
    Some roof felt or sarking felt as sometimes described does and some doesn't, my house is 1935 the extension 50's the roof felt under the tiles tested clear the DPC positive.
    Old exterior roofing felt on flat roofs or sheds is also a possibility.
    As a rule intact felt is considered pretty safe as the asbestos is firmly embedded in bitumen so the dust issue does not arise unless the edges are badly weathered even then the quantity to be released is pretty small, more dangerous if burnt though.
     
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  3. Nige F

    Nige F

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    The DPC was probably ASTOS - the clue in the name ;)
     
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  4. elsmandino

    elsmandino

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    I hope this is not a stupid question, but here goes:

    The vermiculite, that I had tested, was used to fill in between the rafters in my loft.

    If the lining were disintegrating, is it likely that any asbestos fibres would have fallen on to the vermiculite below and given a positive reading?
     
  5. Dedekind

    Dedekind

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    I think you seem very concerned with asbestos on several places of the house-- that's perfectly fine, but to me it seems you will only get piece of mind by testing it. While it could have fallen as you say, you cannot be sure and cannot trust an online forum for that.
     
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  6. elsmandino

    elsmandino

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    Agreed - I have opened up a real can of worms with this asbestos malarkey (seems to be everywhere) and it is definitely making me paranoid.

    Shall get a separate test done to make sure.
     
  7. Dedekind

    Dedekind

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    I am absolutely no expert here but heard that if it's left alone then it's not a problem. Just saying in case you do find the roof felt contains it, it might be a bit of a pain to replace it?
     
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  8. elsmandino

    elsmandino

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    Unfortunately, this stuff seems to be falling down of its own accord.

    It is really odd - it is like crispy thick paper and there are bits of it that have dropped on the vermiculite from over the years.

    Plus there are are huge sections of bare tiles, so I have assumed that these have been removed by the previous occupier.
     
  9. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    You would need to be actually chewing the felt, 5 days a week for a decade or so for it to be an issue.

    Instead of testing every single material in your home, if you wanted something more meaningful, have a single air test done on the landing. But mind the stairs.
     
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  10. Nige F

    Nige F

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    probably building paper
     
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  11. elsmandino

    elsmandino

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    Is that a good or a bad thing?

    If you put in anything with asbestos, into Google, it usually brings something up.
     
  12. Nige F

    Nige F

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    Building paper was heavy brown paper sandwiched with bitumen and maybe a string mesh - no asbestos. Cheapo version of bitumen "slaters" felt - in the day.
     
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  13. footprints

    footprints

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    Nope! Put in condom asbestos and they seem to be clear! So that's good to know!;)(y)(y)(y)
     
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  14. elsmandino

    elsmandino

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    Thanks for that - I have sent a sample off just in case (results back in a few days, so fingers crossed).

    Actually, I remember seeing an episode of QI that confirmed that nuclear material was used around 1930s for "glow in the dark" condoms.

    Now that is something to be really scared of!
     
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  15. elsmandino

    elsmandino

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    You were absolutely right, old chap - test came back as bitumen with zero trace of any asbestos.
     
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