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Buying a flat that could have asbestos in the ceilings

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  • Buying a flat that could have asbestos in the ceilings

    I want to make an offer for a flat I really like (and that needs complete renovation). The flat was built in the early '80s and it has textured ceilings, probably original ones. I think it's called popcorn ceiling in the US, not sure about the name in British English.
    My worry is that at that time asbestos could have been used for the ceiling, and I'm scared about the possible cost of removing it before moving in (there is no way I'm keeping a textured ceiling in my home, in particular if it contains asbestos...).

    What should I do? Give up? Make an offer clearly stating that if any asbestos if found it will have to be removed by the current owner? Any chance the sellers could accept this?

  • #2
    Re: Buying a flat that could have asbestos in the ceilings

    To answer your last question first - not a chance, the sellers will simply sell it to someone else!

    I don't think you need to be too paranoid about the possibility of asbestos in the ceiling. Asbestos itself in its solid form is not dangerous, it's only when it's disturbed and breaks up that the dust is potentially dangerous to inhale. The easiest and quickest way to get a smooth ceiling is to have a plasterer skim over it - sorted

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    • #3
      Re: Buying a flat that could have asbestos in the ceilings

      Won't the presence of plastered asbestos decrease the value of the property? Do you have any idea of what the cost of getting it plastered (is it a normal covering or something special?) is?

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      • #4
        Re: Buying a flat that could have asbestos in the ceilings

        I am assuming that you're talking about the artex on the ceiling possibly containing asbestos. If so, that's not uncommon and was used up to the 1990s I believe. To be honest, unless you're going to do a pilot hole to test it, I don't see how you're going to know whether it is or not.

        No it won't decrease the value of the property to plaster over them. The cost of skimming will depend to some degree on what part of the country the property is in and plasterers tend to charge per day or per square meter. I assume you'll want all the ceilings in the flat skimmed and, if you're doing a complete renovation, possibly the walls as well?

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        • #5
          Re: Buying a flat that could have asbestos in the ceilings

          I think it's called artex, but I'm not sure of the proper name in the UK. I wanted to post a link to an image showing it but I cannot as I'm new in this forum. If you google for popcorn ceiling (the US name) you will see what I mean.

          Yeah, I want a flat ceiling and I will also take care of the walls. I think that the person living there was MUCH older than me, so I want a completely different style

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          • #6
            Re: Buying a flat that could have asbestos in the ceilings

            I've googled 'popcorn ceiling' and it looks how I thought it did.

            If I were you, I wouldn't worry about it - just get them skimmed, it's no big deal

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            • #7
              Re: Buying a flat that could have asbestos in the ceilings

              Scary thought... Surely a chratered surveyor could give you that sort of info?

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