1. Visiting from the US? Why not try DIYnot.US instead? Click here to continue to DIYnot.US.
    Dismiss Notice

Could this old loft insulation contain asbestos?

Discussion in 'Floors, Stairs and Lofts' started by User272727, 26 Jun 2021.

  1. User272727

    User272727

    Joined:
    26 Jun 2021
    Messages:
    2
    Thanks Received:
    0
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    I rent the top floor of a converted Victorian house. Over the years I've been in the unconverted loft quite a bit to store things. Then over lockdown I spent quite a few hours clearing out all the old junk that was up there. And more recently putting a bucket under a cracked roof tile.
    The air is always bad and I can see the dust swirling around by my torchlight. I've definitely disturbed it a lot too by rummaging around.

    I didn't think at all that the old insulation might contain asbestos. So now worried about it!

    I spoke to landlord and he brushed it off. He says in the 1980s when he used to live here, some polystyrene type insulation was piped in through a tube.

    But I found a pile of 1950s/60s newspapers up there too, so I doubt any earlier insulation will have been properly cleaned out.

    The property was converted into flats in 1999 and has been rented continuously since then.

    I've resolved not to use the loft for storage or go up there again.

    But do you think from these photos it looks suspect? Should I book an asbestos inspection?

    Thanks for your thoughts!

    Here are the photos:

    https://www.diynot.com/diy/media/albums/loft-insulation.27559/
     
  2. Why Not Indeed

    Why Not Indeed

    Joined:
    13 Mar 2019
    Messages:
    168
    Thanks Received:
    25
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    The only way you will get a definitive answer is sending a sample off for testing. Every other answer you get will be speculative.
     
  3. Sponsored Links
  4. JobAndKnock

    JobAndKnock

    Joined:
    30 Sep 2011
    Messages:
    6,370
    Thanks Received:
    1,383
    Location:
    Lancashire
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    The pipe looks a bit like hessian or sisal lagging - once quite commonly used for that. It is brown and looks like the bags spuds or coal once came in (now showing my age).The rest might be cellulose (basically ground up newsprint), but difficult to tell from a photo. One thing about asbestos is that the fibres are very short and considerably thinner than a human hair - so.if you can see fibres they probably aren't asbestos.

    If in doubt, get a sample tested
     
  5. User272727

    User272727

    Joined:
    26 Jun 2021
    Messages:
    2
    Thanks Received:
    0
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Thanks both for your replies.

    Ah yes JobAndKnock you must be right about it being an old Hessian sack around the pipe, as there's another sack loose around another. Just like the sacks I've seen full of coffee beans in trendy cafes.

    What got me worried about the loft, having previously not considered it at all, was a workman pointed out a couple of corrugated sheets along the side of the neighbour's outbuilding at the foot of the garden as surely being asbestos.

    But it doesn't particularly look like powdery vermiculite in the loft which I gather was the type most likely to contain asbestos.

    I also took a couple of tiles off in the kitchen, which will have been up since 1999 at the latest, and am wondering about the cream coloured adhesive that's left on the dryboard.

    Sounds like the best thing to do is to pay someone to remove the panels from the end of the garden and get them to take samples of the rest while they're here.
     
    Last edited: 29 Jun 2021
  6. Sponsored Links
  7. JobAndKnock

    JobAndKnock

    Joined:
    30 Sep 2011
    Messages:
    6,370
    Thanks Received:
    1,383
    Location:
    Lancashire
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Corrugated cement asbestos was commonly used for outbuilding walls and roofs. Fundamentally, most of it contains white (chrysotile) asbestos, which is often regarded as the least harmful type. In small quantities it can be handled with care by thoroughly wetting with water - avoid cutting, drilling, sawing or snapping it as far as possible (to prevent fibres becoming airborne) and wear a well fitting P3 mask. It does need to be double bagged and must never go into either construction waste, domestic waste or landfill. Your local council should offer a disposal service

    Floor tiles, such as Marley tiles, and some of the adhesive used to install them did contain white asbestos but AFAIK use of this was phased out in the early 1990s - in fact the use of asbestos in the construction industry and in household products was banned outright from 1999 with earlier bans on the import and use of blue (crocidolite) and brown (amosite) asbestos having come into force in 1985.
     
Loading...

Share This Page