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Asbestos soffits - a worried mum

Discussion in 'Roofing and Guttering' started by Benj77, 29 Jun 2020.

  1. Benj77

    Benj77

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    I’ve not written a message like this before so please bear with me. We've just had our soffits sorted out just outside our bedroom window. Only since needing them repaired did we learn they contained asbestos - AIB I believe. The soffits and fascia boards had been rotting/chipped for a while. The builder replaced the fascia boards and sanded back the cracked paint on the soffit before sealing it. Whilst blissfully unaware of the asbestos, we used to keep our window open (just below) and now I'm worried that some fibers might have made their way into our bedroom whilst in a state of disrepair, where we, and more terrifyingly, our little baby also sleeps. Any advice on the level of risk we faced would be much appreciated. And any tips on anything we can do in our bedroom to ‘clean up’ if fibers were in fact released.
    TIA
     
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  3. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    The fibres are so light and small, and will be so sparse, that you don't need to worry. You would have to sand the things in the bedroom and see lots of dust everywhere and be breathing this in for days for there to be quantities in such numbers to be an issue.

    For info, (i'm not suggesting this as a course of action, just what happens in a work environment in these circumstances) if this was to be treated as contamination, then everything in the bedroom and possibly house if the doors were open, would have to be thrown away and the place vac'ed and filtered by specialists. If the firm that did the work is insured, then this may be an option, but otherwise you would need to claim on your own insurance.

    But as I say, for piece of mind from what you stated, risk is very low to none, but if you go by the book, any release of asbestos is treated the same.

    But bear in mind there is also a duty on you to have told the builder, so if you pursue things, there may be a claim coming back at you. The builder would need to be shrewd about it, but its a possibility if things go legal.
     
  4. Chris_W

    Chris_W

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    Generally, the way to know which type of asbestos is to have it tested. If it were AIB, and was already damaged, then I doubt there's cause for concern. What I would be concerned with is how it was removed, and whether your window was open then? If it were asbestos cement, the risk is fairly low. The builder in my opinion should be aware of asbestos, you might have mentioned it, but they should be able to determine themselves if it's suspected and the risks associated with the removal, and indeed whether they could have removed it - AIB is classed as licensed work.
     
  5. datarebal

    datarebal

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    Why would anyone keep the windows open with sanding going on outside it?
     
  6. Benj77

    Benj77

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    Thanks everyone. I wasn't aware it was asbestos, our builder pointed it out. He said it was hard material but the type of asbestos can only be determined using a test. I think I'm more focussed on what can be done to get the bedroom back to a safe standard, if there has been any "contamination"? I wouldn't go through him, we'd sort any arrangements out personally. Our windows are old and sometimes a little drafty (not sure if that's risky in itself under such circumstances?) but definitely shut during the work.
     
  7. Chris_W

    Chris_W

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    If it’s more the room you’re concerned with, maybe speak to the hse, whose guidance is usually free. Maybe even your local authority? If that isn’t satisfactory, then speak to someone like these, and they’ll be able to guide you on what is required. https://aec.uk.net/
     
  8. Benj77

    Benj77

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    Thank you! I’ve just spoken to an asbestos specialist firm. Cheers for all your input
     
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  9. Benj77

    Benj77

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    Sorry one more thing whilst I have you knowledge people, what are fascia boards made from? Can they contain asbestos? Cheers
     
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  11. Burnerman

    Burnerman

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    The vertical fascias, which will include guttering brackets et al, will be made from timber and contain no asbestos.
    The soffits beneath were often asbestolux and the danger from them is absolutely minimal - but only an idiot would sand them!
    John :)
     
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  12. Mw Roofline

    Mw Roofline

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    What year was the house built.
     
  13. Benj77

    Benj77

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    In the 1970s I believe...
     
  14. Benj77

    Benj77

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    Also, be grateful to know how long the disturbed fibers take to disperse outside? Is there a time period you need to leave sitting in garden when renovations involving asbestos are concerned? Cheers all
     
  15. Burnerman

    Burnerman

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    To be fair, its probably best to keep out of the way when cemented asbestos is being tampered with, and anyone with any sense dampens the stuff before moving it anyway.
    Any dust floating towards your garden will quickly disperse or settle so it's absolutely nothing to be concerned about.
    John :)
     
  16. Benj77

    Benj77

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    Thanks John. I remember we kept out of the garden that day with windows closed so guessing that was long enough?
     
  17. Burnerman

    Burnerman

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    Absolutely! It would be foolish of me to dismiss the fact that asbestos is dangerous.....of course it is but this is particularly the case with the blue pipe lagging stuff so prevalent in the mines, power stations and unfortunately some elderly schools - even this is ok if it is left alone.
    Unfortunately, mention asbestos to many and it's automatic melt down, but let's keep things realistic.
    Sheet asbestolux has the benefit of encasing the fibres with cement, reducing the risk dramatically and making the dust much heavier, therefore more difficult to ingest anyway.
    If your 'tradesman' actually sanded the stuff then that's dead foolish - if indeed that's what he did - but that was only a risk to him and not to you and yours.
    If I find this product I either cover it over with plywood or paint it with masonry paint, but realistically it doesn't need any treatment.
    So, forget about this one, and enjoy your home and garden in complete safety.
    John :)
     
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