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Forum topic by Vincent posted 09-04-2012 01:31 PM 676 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Vincent

9 posts in 1042 days


09-04-2012 01:31 PM

Topic tags/keywords: plywood alternative asbestos

My first post ever! I recently bought an old wooden bungalow in Widemouth Bay, Cornwall, UK. It was built in 1923 and still contains 5mm asbestos sheeting underneath the external cladding. It’s the white variety, embedded in cement. Apart from the fibres being a health hazard, the stuff is actually quite sturdy. If I wanted to replace it, what should I use. It will be covered with cladding on the outside so it needn’t be fully waterproof. Could I use impregnated plywood or is that simply not good enough? I realise this is more of a building question than a woodworking question, but I’d much appreciate some help and advice. Many thanks in advance for your time.


11 replies so far

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404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 1657 days


#1 posted 09-04-2012 02:13 PM

You might be better off talking to the planning department in Widemouth. Are any of your neighbours homes of the same construction? Have a chat with them and see if they have done anything with it.
Removal and disposal of asbestos should be done by licensed contractors. It may be worth while getting it assessed as to whether to remove it or not, and then take it from there.
External insulation might be the way to go with regard to covering up the asbestos – or whatever’s left if the asbestos is gone, this is done with with sheet material and rendered over.

Have a look at this for your own information.

http://www.hse.gov.uk/asbestos/regulations.htm

This might be of interest too

http://www.google.ie/imgres?hl=en&client=firefox-a&hs=UTa&sa=X&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&biw=1600&bih=1043&tbm=isch&prmd=imvns&tbnid=ogTwPsn2V-XNKM:&imgrefurl=http://www.retrofitenergyupgrades.com/retro_fit_services.php&imgurl=http://www.retrofitenergyupgrades.com/images/external_insulation.jpg&w=230&h=245&ei=lAxGUJL5MYeHhQe7ioGwDw&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=674&vpy=161&dur=5596&hovh=196&hovw=184&tx=94&ty=99&sig=114188457046990072076&page=1&tbnh=159&tbnw=149&start=0&ndsp=35&ved=1t:429,r:2,s:0,i:76

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Mainiac Matt

4161 posts in 1017 days


#2 posted 09-04-2012 02:19 PM

First point… I don’t believe you’ll find that this type of construction was ever widely used in the U.S. (where lumber products have historcally been both abundant and inexpensive). So many of the guys on this side of the “pond” will not be able to be of much help to you.

Asbestos was commonly used in insulation, however. Especially on steam pipes. And that’s where I have my limited experience, supervising the safety procedures while steam pipe insulation was removed in a shipyard environment.

Unless their is a specific problem with the asbestos… I would leave it be.

Asbestos is a health hazzard when it becomes “friable”... that is to say it is turned to dust and goes airborn. Then you breath it into your lungs and can get asbestosis.

When does it do this? When you start ripping it apart!

If the asbestos board on your walls is in tact and not falling apart. I would take some steps to preserve the integrity of the wall (a good coat of paint?) and leave it be.

Now…. if you talk to an asbestos removal contractor, I’m sure you’ll soon learn that the sky is falling. But ask him this pointed question… “how is asbestos a health hazzard if it is not friable” and see what they have to say.

On this side of the pond, asbestos removal is highly regulated and will cost big bucks. But it’s really not rocket science and I’ve known a few people to do it themselves on the QT with out any apparent problems. You can read up about the necessary safety precautions on the net.

Good luck with your “bungalow”

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

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Tennessee

1467 posts in 1203 days


#3 posted 09-04-2012 03:31 PM

Even though some regulations have loosened up on this side of the pond here in the US, it still is considered much safer to leave it be if it is intact, and as ssnvet suggests, coat it with paint.
I worked for years in multiple factories where asbestos was installed, and my maintenance positions caused me to handle it. I did, by bringing in tested and certified experts who knew the laws up and down.
This is not something you should try to do yourself. At the very least, I would find out the UK laws on having it on your house, can it stay, how to protect yourself from it if it stays, etc.

Good luck!!

-- Paul, Tennessee, http://www.tsunamiguitars.com

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Vincent

9 posts in 1042 days


#4 posted 09-04-2012 06:04 PM

Thanks very much for your response – very much appreciated! Unfortunately I also have an asbestos cement roof, so I’ve spent quite some time reading up on the various government guidelines and Health and Safety Executive recommendations. The asbestos insulating boards measure less than 1m2, are in good condition and can be removed intact. Leaving them is not an option I’m afraid. As far as I can see, I would comply with the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 if I implement HSE A4 (and related recommendations). I’m comfortable with that aspect of it and have all the equipment needed to protect myself (and the environment). I posted the question because I was wondering what to replace the boards with – somebody has suggested 5mm marine plywood, which seems to make sense. That said, any improvement on marine plywood would be welcome!

View chrisstef's profile

chrisstef

11131 posts in 1695 days


#5 posted 09-04-2012 06:23 PM

An asbestos / demo contractor here … and ssnvet has it pretty well covered. In the US we find exterior sheathing can contain asbestos, we call it transite. Exterior non friable asbestos can be removed without a containment but with proper personal protection worn and disposed of as asbestos waste. Over here we wear Tyvex suits (disposable) an half face respirators. Disposal would either require wrapping the sheets in qw mil of poly or in 6 mil garbage bags with proper labelingused and the like. Non-friable materials (cannot be pulverized) are less regulated here than friable materials. This also differs from state to state.

Now, what would i do? If it is in good shape it poses no harm to anyone, it is actually a great product, beside being a carcinogen. By covering up the material you would be “encapsulating” it, which is a common practice. Remember that drilling / nailing will disturb the material so that is not the best idea. Glueing / laminating would be much better. You also used to be able to drill into it without much fuss by putting a dollop of shaving cream over the area you want to drill and drilling it. The shaving crream would absorb any fibers put into the air.This is no longer legal in the states.

If you want to get me a copy of your laws on regulated materials i might be able to make heads or tails of it for you. Id be more than happy to explain things further if needed.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

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chrisstef

11131 posts in 1695 days


#6 posted 09-04-2012 06:25 PM

Well after reading your last post … i should have read the original one better lol. Plywood would do the trick for sheathing in my book.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

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Vincent

9 posts in 1042 days


#7 posted 09-04-2012 06:51 PM

@chrisstef – no, I should have written it clearer. I’d not read your response before posting my second offering. Thanks very much for your very kind offer! Incidentally, the shaving cream is still recommended here. Marine plywood it is!

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chrisstef

11131 posts in 1695 days


#8 posted 09-04-2012 06:55 PM

Its a solid method for making it work. I dont think you need marine plywood though some regular ply is all we use around here, mostly OSB (particleboard), with housewrap (reinforced poly/ paper blend).

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 1657 days


#9 posted 09-04-2012 07:05 PM

WBP (Water and Boil Proof) Ply is about half the cost of marine ply. If your are going to wrap it with a breathable membrane before putting back on the cladding, it would do the job.

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Vincent

9 posts in 1042 days


#10 posted 09-04-2012 07:10 PM

@renners – thanks very much – didn’t even know WBP existed!

View OnlyJustME's profile

OnlyJustME

1562 posts in 1065 days


#11 posted 09-04-2012 07:29 PM

It would also be a good time to add a layer of insulation if the budget allows. Would help in the utility bills for the rest of the time you live there and the savings cans really add up.

-- In the end, when your life flashes before your eyes, will you like what you see?

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