Asbestos Anxiety - Please help!

Discussion in 'Other Trades Talk' started by AmyNin, Oct 12, 2020.

  1. AmyNin

    AmyNin New Member

    Hello, I moved in to my new home mid August and as we were getting it painted the decorator noticed that the skim on one kitchen wall was lifting off. So a lot of it cracked and fell away from tapping etc. This wall has layers on layers of plaster etc. There was historic damp from a leak in the bathroom above. So in the pictures you can see some of the most recent skim that was not cracked / lifted...the coarse layer underneath (potentially artex?)...then underneath that - more skim? Then red sand plaster with small stones in it...then brickwork.

    My main issue right now is that I am terrified we have exposed atrex on our kitchen wall? Some of it has broken away - the small hole where all the red sand has also fallen away and we are back to brick. All of this was incredibly loose, literally cracks appeared from tapping on the wall.

    The painter and decorator that started to remove the skim did not say this could be artex.

    We had a damp proof specialist come to check the wall - he did not mention any danger. He actually advised us to score the coarse layer with a stanley blade over and over to skim over it - we didn't do this.

    We had a plasterer booked, we sent him pictures and videos of the job, he did not mention that the coarse layer underneath the skim could be artex. (He didn't turn up in the end so we got another recommendation from a friend.)

    When the second plasterer came to look at the job he has warned that the coarse layer beneath the skim is artex. He has said he can't touch the wall until we have had a test. He assured us even if it does have asbestos, it will be low levels = low risk, but I am terrified now. I suffer with anxiety and this has knocked me bad. I watched my Grandad die struggling to breathe and he had worked with asbestos in his earlier years.

    I've been googling like crazy and finding guidance that states that if you have white textured walls / ceilings and when you remove the top layer it is NOT white underneath, then this is likely plaster and NOT ARTEX so therefore not asbestos.

    I sent pictures to a family friend in the trade he said it looks like "browning"...

    I don't understand how we have had a decorator, a damp proof specialist, another plasterer look at the wall and NO ONE mentioned any risk what so ever, until our new plasterer comes yesterday and says he can't work on it until we have had it tested.

    I need some guidance from professionals. What is the brown, coarse layer underneath the skim? What are the risks? How should we proceed with this wall? Any help would be very much appreciated.

    Please see pics below...
    Wall.jpg Hole 2.jpg Patch.jpg Peeling.jpg Wall.jpg Hole 2.jpg Patch.jpg Peeling.jpg
     
  2. Nanook

    Nanook Active Member

    Instead of worrying yourself sick, contact an asbestos firm and have them visit and take a sample for testing.
     
    Mancone likes this.
  3. Wayners

    Wayners Screwfix Select

    That's polytex not artex imo. That is way less dusty but can contain asbestos. It's very thin product like vinyl paint with grit like product in it and possibly asbestos. Just get it tested. As for your stress, try be realistic and understand what is being said and the risks, however I do understand the worry as kept me awake.
     
    Astramax likes this.
  4. AmyNin

    AmyNin New Member

    I don’t know what the risks are...especially with polytex. Google doesn’t have the answer...
     
  5. AmyNin

    AmyNin New Member

    I have got a lot and taken my sample tonight. Sending it off tomorrow so we shall see...I just wish I knew exactly what the coarse layer is
     
  6. Nanook

    Nanook Active Member

    Hi,

    No-one on this forum or any other forum can tell you absolutely hand on heart if that funny gritty white coating is asbestos or not. That’s why there are specialised companies who deal in this. We have both said to get the material of the walls tested... you’ve taken the correct course of action. In the meantime if you are that worried, seal up the doorways to the room. Bin liners and lots of good adhesive tape will make a good enough barrier.

    All the very best
     
  7. Nanook

    Nanook Active Member

    Open the windows and doors to any other adjoining rooms when it’s stopped or isn’t raining in the meantime.

    I’m saying this because of your anxiety and not because I think your house is plagued : )
     
    AmyNin likes this.
  8. Nanook

    Nanook Active Member

    Seal the room up and do not enter it in the meantime whilst you are waiting for the results. Peace of mind is always the best option even if it turns out that it was all ok.

    Asbestos was used in a myriad of forms in buildings, at the time they didn’t know what we know now, if they had they wouldn’t have used it. So, seal up the room or rooms like I suggested and don’t touch until you get the results. Don’t hoover or dust in the room or around the room until you get the results. If you have already, that’s ok because you have only been ever so slightly exposed if it turns out to be Asbestos. But don’t do any more, just leave it. As I understand it, it was mid-term to long/term people who dealt with Asbestos within the industry and/or job who suffered. You’re not one of them, so be kind to yourself and don’t stress yourself out : )
     
  9. Astramax

    Astramax Super Member

    Wouldn't worry yourself as the amount of asbestos in powdered Artex is circa 1.2% if ready mixed circa 1.8%, your kitchen isn't exactly a lagged power station.
     
    AmyNin and Nanook like this.
  10. Nanook

    Nanook Active Member

    Astramax... you are best : )

    Yeah I’ve got a little bit of a Screwfix community forum crush... just saying

    Astramax has incredible knowledge of buildings and uses that knowledge on this forum. You’re in safe hands : )
     
    AmyNin likes this.
  11. Astramax

    Astramax Super Member

    My last three houses had to be demolished whereas the other two.......well best not talked about.
     
    JayCee2020 and WillyEckerslike like this.
  12. Nanook

    Nanook Active Member

    Astramax there is a time and a place for joking... this poor poster is really worried and they most likely won’t get your wonderful sense of humour...
     
  13. Wayners

    Wayners Screwfix Select

    That is polytex im sure and it hasn't really been disturbed by looks of it. It's been painted over and all good stuck to walls. The plaster has come off from bricks and I guess it's still stuck to that bit. I've scraped and removed loads of that and it's never dusty vs artex. Worst bit is the sulphur smell like rotten eggs when you scrape it. It's not uncommon for that to come off in large sheets. Was more the 1970s stuff that had asbestos in so I understand but no way too tell by looking at it, but any asbestos is embedded in the vinyl. Given the choice I take that over to artex any day. Very unlikely you've had any exposure to anything harmful imo. Maybe the test will come back to negative. I hope so. I don't scrape now or have for years. Just overboard or pva and skim but as I said its not always stuck well
     
    Nanook, AmyNin and Astramax like this.
  14. AmyNin

    AmyNin New Member

    Thanks Wayners, appreciate you taking the time to say that. I feel some relief now and maybe I will sleep get some sleep tonight lol :)
     
    JayCee2020 likes this.
  15. AmyNin

    AmyNin New Member

    NADIS - no asbestos detected in sample :)
     
    Nanook likes this.
  16. Wayners

    Wayners Screwfix Select

    Result. Bingo.. Probably not as old as we thought then.. Sleep well. Thanks for update
     
    AmyNin likes this.
  17. Astramax

    Astramax Super Member

    Not surprised, at least you can now cross that worry of the list and move on. ;)
     
    AmyNin likes this.
  18. Nanook

    Nanook Active Member

    New next door neighbour found asbestos Artex on the sides of the chimney breast last year as they were renovating one of the bedrooms. The first I knew about it was this immense walloping of our adjoining wall for what seemed like hours. I was about to go round and give them a piece of my mind but spotted the Asbestos Removal van in the drive and thought better of it. I had thought removal would have been a quiet delicate process, clearly not in this instance.
     
  19. Wayners

    Wayners Screwfix Select

    @Nanook
    They take plaster off wall with artex still stuck. Never seen such a dusty mess and I can't understand it. Why not just steam it off and scrape. What do I know I guess...
     
  20. AmyNin

    AmyNin New Member

    Thanks so much guys, for the advice etc. I couldn’t talk to my friends they thought I was being crazy! Haha. I’d even sent my two little dogs to go live at my mums, so they will be coming home today and I can enjoy my new home again. The wall is being ripped down next week!
     

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