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Rewiring and decoraring in 1970's house with asbestos in bathroom tiles

Postby talkingcats » Fri Apr 15, 2016 4:07 pm

I am posting on behalf of a friend who is having her 1970s build house rewired. When another tradesman was giving her a quote to decorate her bathroom, she was told that her bathroom tiles might contain asbestos. She got a specialist in who confirmed that they did and that also the Artex used on the ceiling contained chrysotile asbestos. She was told it was low risk and has decided not to have it removed. But will it affect the rewiring? She's notified the electrician who said he would get back to her about any extra costs/precautions they might have to take.

My question is this: should this affect the rewiring. I would have thought it is very low risk and possibly the electrician might have to wear a mask when drilling. Would it be customary to change a premium for the work?

If this is the wrong area to ask, please direct me to the correct area,.

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Postby lets have a look » Sat Apr 16, 2016 10:47 am

The flooring shouldn't have to be touched, the two holes for the cables in the bathroom ceiling might disturb the artex,the electrician will do a risk assessment,might be cheaper to put up a new plasterboard ceiling if the electrician thinks it's a risk then the artex wouldn't be disturbed,it's very expensive getting asbestos removed by a asbestos removal company
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Postby ericmark » Sat Apr 16, 2016 1:13 pm

Officially when working for large firms it was a complete no to drill anything which has asbestos in it. There are two options.
1) Have it removed first.
2) Surface wiring.
In real terms smaller firms may work around it, when I say small I mean sole trader, the HSE would simply not permit working with asbestos and the firms insurers would also not permit working with asbestos.
The main problem is asbestos is OK if not disturbed, but once disturbed the affects can take 80 years to show. BT went through a campaign to remove asbestos but before that it was common to paint asbestos as that made it safe, as a result many bits were missed, so when I was working in BT building installing alarms it was all too common to find some which had been missed. And in the main it was only as we drilled a hole we realised it was asbestos. Again and again building were closed down to remove which was really a very small amount and often mixed in concrete so not really dangerous as such.

I think it is the time it takes to start causing health issues which is the problem. Who was the insurer at the time, where are the records, people know they worked for Joe when they came exposed to asbestos but not a clue who was insuring Joe who now no longer is trading.
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Postby talkingcats » Sat Apr 16, 2016 9:48 pm

Thanks for the replies. From the limited research I have done, this kind of asbestos (chrystophile) was being used in houses up to 1999 and that up to 50% of the houses in the UK may contain it. Also, from what I've read, it is pretty low risk if appropriate precautions are taken. Given that it is so widely used, my friend and I am hoping that it should be possible to find a tradesman that will do the work. Otherwise 50% of the houses in the UK can't be rewired, which seems crazy!
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