28 May 2006
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United Kingdom
Hello all, I hope you don't mind me returning to the forums after many months with a question and search for advice. The title says it all. I'll try and be brief, but it's difficult.
1. There was a small chimney and "chinese hat" sticking through my roof, mortared into the old chimney stack. A survey many years earlier (when we bought the house) said that it was very likely asbestos and I should have it checked.
2. About a year or so ago I got a local roofing company to remove it and replace it with a vent tile (cold vent only). So I asked the roofing company to watch out and if they thought it was asbestos tell me what to do. This is a local company I have used many times, they are very reputable and been around for 20+ years. When I came home, they had removed it and said no problem.
3. Now we are about to put the house on the market and my wife is now having a fit about it. She got so wound up about whether it had been removed correctly or was asbestos, I got a technician round to check it out. I asked him to take a good sample size of the mortar was certain he would give it the all clear.
The lab came back with a positive result stating that "one chrysotile fibre was found, not part of mortar but suspected foreign contaminant". It was risk-ranked 4 (very low) and recommended action was "manage". I asked for more detail, and the guy said he was surprised to find a single fibre in such a large sample. He wouldn't recommend any specific action (not the job of the lab) but said it was very low risk and if it bothered me I should get a company in to check it out and clean it.
It didn't, so I didn't. But now my wife is about to have a breakdown and thinks I have poisoned the family, and will poison any potential buyer too.
Would this bother you? What would you do in my situation?
Thanks so much for any advice.
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You've learnt a valuable lesson here - never, ever tell your wife/girlfriend/partner anything about concerns you may have about the construction of your property.

Can you send more samples off to confirm?
Tell her it was a single piece of dust left over and that the rest is now all gone.

Have videos of cute puppies on screen at the time to take her mind off it :)
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Did the single fibre have any other information with it? what type of Asbestos was it? White, Brown, but probably not blue? my guess is it was White, the least dangerous in this nasty family.

Lets try to get this in perspective, ONE fibre, I have never had a result returned with only one fibre, ever! could be a rogue result?

As I understand it, a chimney possibly a flue made of Asbestos has been removed, some time ago from an external chimney head, if this is correct, then it would be shall we say difficult for an inhabitant of the property to get onto the roof to be exposed in the open air to Asbestos in what are best described as almost negligible quantities, ONE fibre? of a yet to be described type of Asbestos?

Sorry but the risks of exposure are in the above circumstances, on a roof, inside a chimney flue, totally exposed to all the elements, is in my opinion less than negligible

If you're really concerned, simply have an air test done to check for fibres indoors. This will settle the issue unequivocally.
I had the same problem with an old bird's nest, she told me to burn it as it was hopping with fleas but I just chucked it on the compost, where I was in the habit of urinating when outdoors. A few weeks alter I began to notice small red lumps around my groin and then I realised that the fleas, hungry for blood and sensing my body warmth, were jumping on my exposed bits for a nosh. My biggest mistake was in telling 'er indoors. The rest is not pleasant but it cost a lot of money and involved a bloke with a big spray going round our house.
Give the missus enough money to go shopping for a new frock and a bottle of scent.
Alternatively suggest to the wife that you are willing to buy new household appliances to replace the perfectly good household appliances you already have.
This will appeal to the portion of her brain that contains 'Shiny New Possession Syndrome' (SNPS). All women have this.
When women are in the throes of SNPS i.e. walking round shopping malls for hours or leafing through catalogues ordering stuff, they forget all other things.
It's worked for me for years.
One asbestos fibre in your lung is enough to give you asbestosis the sample should have been taken of the asbestos flue before it was touched to identify any content and the removed by a licenced asbestos removal contractor .
I believe it's against the law to touch it unless you are licensed and for disposal it must be double bagged and marked asbestos and disposed off at the correct asbestos land fill site.
The coni roof man,

What crap you are babbling - are you nuts?

According to your "one asbestos fibre" theory everyone on the planet should stop breathing - just to be on the safe side.

And all householders who paint over artex ceilings should wear space suits and have a licence.

And just in case it hadn't occurred to you, well most all the readers will also be able to google your stale often repeated info ref disposal.

Perhaps the mods will double bag you and your nonsense and dispose of the same - right off these Forums.

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