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New central heating. Is this asbestos? Does it need professional removal?

Discussion in 'Plumbing and Central Heating' started by hztm2008, 4 Oct 2020.

  1. hztm2008

    hztm2008

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    Hi, Could I ask for some advice please...

    We have a heating company about to replace warm air heating system with a combi boiler and radiators. They have said they they will completely remove the old flu which runs from the warm air boiler downstairs, through the floor to upstairs, up the inside of the airing cupboard on the landing and on up in to loft. We have removed a panel underneath the airing cupboard and we can see what we think might be asbestos. I have attached some pictures and would be really grateful if you could tell me if you think this is asbestos sheets. The heating engineers do not seem bothered but we wondered if it is safe to disturb this or whether we need specialists to look at it. We are worried that they will just pull the old boiler out and send asbestos fibres all over the house.

    Pic A is the space underneath the airing cupboard with the heating flu running up the left had side. Pics B and C are what I think might be asbestos protecting the wooden boxing that hides the flu inside the airing cupboard. Pic D is the ceiling of the airing cupboard. The top left side of the has a board where the flu passes through to the loft. This has been painted but again might be asbestos?

    Thank you very much indeed for your assistance

    A.JPG B.JPG C.JPG D.JPG
     

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  3. ianmcd

    ianmcd

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    It does look like the flue might be asbestos, but no definitive way to tell just by looking at it Im afraid, you would have to get it tested
     
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  4. hztm2008

    hztm2008

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    Thanks for coming back
    I think the flu is asbestos cement and can be removed.

    I am worried about he panels at the edge of the flu that are screwed on to the wood
     
  5. ianmcd

    ianmcd

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    It was common practice when installing WAU in those days to line the cupboards with asbestos sheeting, but again only testing a sample is definative Im afraid
     
    Last edited: 5 Oct 2020
  6. kitessurfer

    kitessurfer

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    HSE used to have photos of asbestos applications in homes and guidance. Perhaps revert to report when you bought the house, it may be a pointer. My report on early-ish 80s house questioned bardge boards under guttering could be asbestos. Also artex may well contain asbestos.
     
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  8. hztm2008

    hztm2008

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    Thanks for all the information. We have now had four quotes for the new heating and three of the companies have said that it is fine for them to remove the asbestos. I spoke to a specialist company who want close to £4,000 (based on the photographs). I am trying to establish if it is legal for the engineers to remove this (or legal for me as the home owner to allow them to remove it). I don't want anyone risking their health either. Any guidance would be appreciated. Thanks
     
  9. Brigadier

    Brigadier

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    From the photos, the boards look very suspicious.
    They also look like insulating board, which is very nasty stuff, health - wise.
    A full set - up from a licensed contractor, plus follow - up testing to confirm fit for reoccupancy.
    Hence the apparently high quote.
    (All of the above are opinions based on the photos ; I would only stand behind the above if I laid eyes on it in person).
    Get a specialist in to test, and give their opinion based on what they actually see the situation to be.
     
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  10. Madrab

    Madrab

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    It all depends on how confident you are with it. If you can use PPE properly (mask/gloves/suit) and are happy to take a sample properly then you can order a sample kit and have it tested yourself for not a great expense.

    Any company must be licensed to remove asbestos and ensure it is disposed of at a properly licensed site, you need to ask for that before allowing them to proceed with it's removal. You can DIY remove asbestos but there are specific rules and regs you need to follow.

    https://www.hse.gov.uk/asbestos/essentials/index.htm
    https://www.hse.gov.uk/asbestos/faq.htm#domestic-properties

    Your flue, if it is asbestos cement, must still be handled with great care as any breaks or splitting can also create fibres.

    Depending on what form it is in is critical to the approach.

    To give you an example for removal, if it's loose sheet/damaged/nailed material then max protection should be employed in its removal. A sealed space may need to be created and an appropriately filtered vacuum used. Full head to toe PPE (FFP3 level mask) must be used and the asbestos itself must be doubled bagged in plastic that is thick enough to avoid accidental puncturing. The waste must then be disposed of at a licensed site specifically for asbestos - hence the 4 grand estimate.

    Unfortunately it's nightmare stuff.
     
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  11. Gasguru

    Gasguru

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    All heating installation companies must comply with the asbestos regulations and by the sound of it you've had a bunch of chancers in prepared to jeopardise your health.

    Send off some samples and then you know what you're dealing with.
    The company below are based in Croydon, they can send you out a sample pack to return by post.
    Some panels might be sufficiently safe that you can remove yourself with appropriate precautions.

    One of my customers had the misfortune to have a contractor in their house that had no respect for asbestos...they caught him recklessly jigsawing through the fire proofing board.
    He then thought he'd use the customers own hoover to clean up the mess and promptly spread the dust everywhere.

    http://www.asbestosaware.co.uk/Test Pack/default.html
     
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  12. denso13

    denso13

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    As above, get it tested and do it properly. You don't want sleepless nights for the next 50 years until it may, or may not, badly affect your health. You don't always need to use a licensed contractor but see what the test results say.
     
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