Fibro asbestos roof hidden by tiled roof

Discussion in 'Renovation & Home Improvement' started by Leonard, 9th Nov, 2016.

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  1. Leonard

    Leonard New Member

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    Hi everyone,

    I recently purchased my first IP and have conducted the usual building and pest inspections for a 1960s style home.

    One of the issues raised by the B&P was the existence of a fibro roof hidden underneath the exterior tiled roof. The fibro roof has wooden beams supporting it but appears to be constructed poorly as loose nails were visible. As such, the B&P inspector mentioned that asbestos fibres are currently present in the ceiling cavity given the low quality of workmanship.

    I was wondering if anyone had insight into a similar issue and whether it's a major cause of concern? The external property manager I spoke to thinks that as long as there's no access to the ceiling cavity it shouldn't pose an issue to tenants.

    However, given the contract is still subject to several clauses, I'd like a second opinion on this, so would appreciate comments from more experienced investors than myself!

    Cheers,
    Leo

    (Looking on the bright side though, at least it shouldn't leak with two roofs...)
     
  2. balwoges

    balwoges Well-Known Member

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    Could you in all conscience let a family live in this house knowing the danger it presents?
     
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  3. beertank23

    beertank23 Well-Known Member

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    there would be absolutely no issue as long as nothing in the roof space is disturbed.

    You could mitigate the dangers by utilising some preventative measures, for example have the fibro roof painted and sealed, then have the roof space vacuumed out and new insulation put in, you would have to weigh up the costs versus having the hazard removed entirely.
     
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  4. Tonibell

    Tonibell Well-Known Member

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    I'd be pretty concerned - you have been notified of the risk in writing. It is unlikely anyone will clear the issue in writing to you.

    If you continue and tenant becomes aware of it on the future - you probably have acclaim where you are the sole defendant.

    If you notify the property manager in writing I expect you will get a different response.

    You need someone to provide clearance on it - probably after some rectification work.
     
  5. Leonard

    Leonard New Member

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    Thanks for all your input, I've just received the B&P report and it appears the roof issue needs to be fixed prior to tenants moving in. It references installation and safety concerns about the hidden fibro roof and includes a recommendation to hire a roof contractor for an upgrade.

    I guess now it's a question of whether to undertake a preventative measure as beertank23 mentioned or pay for a complete fix. Either way, I'll have to factor it in to the original offer.

    Agree about the legal implications as well Tonibell, will raise it with my solicitor before proceeding and go from there.
     
  6. Gockie

    Gockie Unicycle - get exhausted but never two tired Premium Member

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    Consider recinding if there are other suitable purchases you can find.
    I can't understand why anybody wouldn't have removed the asbestos roof before re-roofing.
    It will be your problem to deal with later down the track.
     
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  7. willair

    willair Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    This happens at lot,cost wise to strip the old super 66"Asbestos off and dump the materials sometimes people just sheet straight over the old roof and once you screw the new metals it will be rock solid into the old battens..
    The down side would be cost wise to do a full removal and refit with a asbestos base
    just the scaffold alone starts at 2k,materials would scale up from 4k,then labour it would be over 10k and can go into 20k..good luck..
    Plus the old super 66 sheets were in a lower asbestos range compared too the internal external cladding walls ceilings which are the dangerous materials ..
     
    Last edited: 12th Nov, 2016
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  8. Joynz

    Joynz Well-Known Member

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    What is the source of your info that the asbestos roof sheets have less asbestos or are less dangerous than asbestos wall sheets?
     
  9. willair

    willair Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Just old plumbers union safety data from years ago,the roof sheets have more cement in the mix and less asbestos,where the wall had more asbestos ..
    Strange item is you can install a asbestos metre in the main mall in brisbane cbd and from what i'm told they get a small reading straight away..best way is stay right way from that materials,from the workmates i have seen die some very slowly it's not a good way to die..
     
  10. bob shovel

    bob shovel Well-Known Member

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    What are the dangers and risks?

    Is purely based on the word "asbestos" in the heading?

    How many tenants go crawling in the roof space?

    The risks can be managed a variety of ways as @beertank23 mentioned.

    There is asbestos still found in lots of places and low levels present in just about everyone's normal daily activities.it's not until it's disturbed or not looked after correctly that it may become a hazard
     
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  11. kierank

    kierank Well-Known Member

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    @Leonard, if it was me, the first thing I would decide is 'Do I really want this property?'. In other words, is the property fairly unique, did you get it for a really good price, does it have huge potential, ...

    If the answer is No, then I would walk away. There is another great property just around the corner.

    If the answer is Yes, then I would:

    1. Raise the issue with the vendor and advise them you are still interested in the property if you can both resolve this issue (via the REA/lawyers). You may need an extension to the B&P clause.

    2. Advise the vendor that they can either rectify/remove the asbestos at their cost and get the necessary clearances OR you get a quote to rectify/remove the asbestos (add in a contingency to cover your risks) and reduce the sale price or get a reimbursement at settlement.

    IMHO, you are in a strong negotiation position.
     
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  12. Marg4000

    Marg4000 Well-Known Member

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    Putting a new roof over a failing asbestos roof was not uncommon years ago before the dangers of asbestos were understood.
    It was usually an economic decision to simply roof over the top, usually with colourbond.
    We watched it happen to the house beside my sister's.
    Marg
     
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  13. balwoges

    balwoges Well-Known Member

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    As the mother of a 37yr old son who died from the effects of asbestos [mesothaelioma] let me tell you what his specialist oncologist told me 'it takes just one small strand to take up residence in someones lungs and years later to kill them - some people are more susceptible to this disease than others'
    Chances are most will have no problem, but would you be willing to gamble your families/tenants families health?
     
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  14. bob shovel

    bob shovel Well-Known Member

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    I am sorry to hear about your son. 99% of the talk about asbestos is people with little knowledge.

    But the thing is how do you know which fibre it is that gets you? In most cases it's people that work with it in some way. The risks in this example can be managed to reduce the chance of fibres coming into contact with people. There is a very small number who succeptable in severe ways but house
    holds would make up a very minute number of cases
     
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  15. wylie

    wylie Moderator Staff Member

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    It has been said that the next wave of deaths will be from home renovators.
     
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  16. balwoges

    balwoges Well-Known Member

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    I have just had the main bathroom gutted for renovation and we were required to vacate the property for the day while they demolished the walls ... the house was built 1981, so the tradies are taking all precautions.
     
  17. Marg4000

    Marg4000 Well-Known Member

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    We had our bathroom renovated in the early 1990s, (house built 1978), tradies just ripped out the walls and piled them in the skip on the footpath!
    Marg
     
  18. Leonard

    Leonard New Member

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    You're spot on with your assessment, a few of the roof restoration companies have quoted in the 15k-20k range because the job involves 2 roofs + asbestos removal at the same time.

    Thanks for your advice, I have asked for a price reduction from the original offer but will take on board the other option you mentioned as well. I'll also raise the possibility of an extension to the B&P clause to my solicitor as well.

    Generally the house is in a good location with solid potential, but I'm prepared to walk away like some have suggested if the seller isn't prepared to negotiate. Like @Gockie mentioned, it might not necessarily be an immediate problem but it's still an issue in the long term.
     
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  19. kierank

    kierank Well-Known Member

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    When requesting the extension, you can advise the vendor that the B&P report is acceptable on the condition that 'the asbestos roof issue is resolved to your sole satisfaction'.

    This will put pressure on the vendor to be flexible and show them you are still keen to move forward. Your solicitor will know the correct words.