Dealing with Asbestos containing Textured Coating

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vijay

New Member
Hello All

I would like to get advice from tutors and plasterers on how to deal with an Artex like textured coating that contains white chrysotile asbestos. I have read the earlier posts here and done some research, as summarised below.

My flat was built in 1970. The coating is on top of concrete ceilings, (except under the steps leading to the upstairs flat where it may be on plasterboard). It is a very shallow pattern of 4mm wide pimples about 1mm to 2mm deep. In one bedroom, the ceiling has been artexed over a second time, forming spikes in places of up to 3mm. The lounge also has a little of this spike pattern in 3 inch wide strips where the concrete slabs join each other, about every 4 feet apart. All the ceilings are painted with matt emulsion and all are in sound condition. Incidentally, the textured coating in the bathroom, which is about 6ft by 6ft, was plastered over, probably about 3 years ago by the previous owner, and the ceiling is fine.

Looking at the earlier forum posts on this topic, I see that there is some risk of the artex falling off the ceiling if it is plastered over. Some comment that this is possibly due to the moisture in the PVA-water mix, or in the wet plaster, weakening the bond between the textured coating and the underlying ceiling. Talking with British Gypsum and Artex, I learned that:

a) Thistle-Bond-It has a small risk of reacting with the textured coating and its use is not recommended and

b) Thistle Uni Finish plaster, or Artex Ceiling Finish powder (preferably after using Artex Sealer), are their only recommended products to smooth out Artex.

Talking with the paint manufacturers, I am informed that the norm is to scratch the ceiling or break the tips of the textured coating to enable the plaster to bond with the underlying substrate. As it is not advisable to do either of these where asbestos is present, any replastering will cause the plaster to stick only to the existing paint on the ceiling. The plaster data sheet shows that it weighs 3.4Kg per Sq M per 2mm coat. I am not sure whether that is dry or wet weight; but 2 to 3 coats of plaster, adding up to 4 to 6mm thickness, may create a lot of weight resting just on the paint.

The plasterers who have come to look at the job are happy to do it, but none is willing to use either Uni Finish or Artex Ceiling Finish. They all seem to have experience of having done such work before and none has had any incidence of the textured coating coming off the ceiling. Two suggested the use of two coats of PVA-water mix, and one suggested a coat of Thistle-Bond-It overnight, prior to plastering with Multi-Finish. Incidentally, the use of Febond has been recommended in the forum; speaking with them they suggested to me the use of Ever Build 501 PVA instead, perhaps because it goes on neat without needing to be diluted with water.

I have not yet come to a decision on whether to (a) just repaint the ceilings as required (and live with the not so pleasant textured look) (b) have the ceilings plastered over to smooth them or (c) get a licensed company to remove the textured coating and then have the concrete ceiling plastered. (I don’t want to put up a false ceiling, owing to the loss of height). I would appreciate your early advice.

Thank you for your valuable time.
 

leebo02

Well-Known Member
you've certainly done your homework there, just go with what the plasterers who have seen the job say, after all they have seen the job and we haven't, i have uni bonded and skimmed countless ceilings like this and not had any problems,, leave the plasters to do the uibonding
 

Danny

Administrator
I have pva tonnes of ceilings like this before :)

If you are worried about moisture then putting wet plaster over it will be just as the same :-/
 

johniosaif

Private Member
Get it tested by a firm or get a kit to test it yourself. You can also paint on some pva mixed at 3/1 to see how it reacts,
 

rawly

New Member
why not screw and plug 2x1 batten to concrete ceilin and board it that puts an end to all your worries
 

vijay

New Member
So British gypsum said to use uni finish but you have to seal the artex first :hueco:
Well, British Gypsum recommended Uni Finish direct on the ceiling or speak to Artex about their Ceiling Finish product. Artex recommended Artex Sealer coat overnight and then Artex Ceiling Finish powder next day, or to speak with British Gypsum about Uni Finish. Both only recommended these two products.
why not screw and plug 2x1 batten to concrete ceilin and board it that puts an end to all your worries
Get it tested by a firm or get a kit to test it yourself. You can also paint on some pva mixed at 3/1 to see how it reacts,
I have pva tonnes of ceilings like this before :)

If you are worried about moisture then putting wet plaster over it will be just as the same :-/
you've certainly done your homework there, just go with what the plasterers who have seen the job say, after all they have seen the job and we haven't, i have uni bonded and skimmed countless ceilings like this and not had any problems,, leave the plasters to do the uibonding
Thank you for all the 7 replies so far. I like the reassurance given by Leebo02 and Danny that they have done numerous such ceilings and never had a problem. I also like the suggestion of doing a self trial with PVA-water mix on a small area, maybe 3-1 and 1-3 on a small area as a test.
 

johniosaif

Private Member
why not screw and plug 2x1 batten to concrete ceilin and board it that puts an end to all your worries
No it doesn't, you create asbestos dust possibly and only hide the problem causing a possible hazard later on during any demolition
 

johniosaif

Private Member
Well, British Gypsum recommended Uni Finish direct on the ceiling or speak to Artex about their Ceiling Finish product. Artex recommended Artex Sealer coat overnight and then Artex Ceiling Finish powder next day, or to speak with British Gypsum about Uni Finish. Both only recommended these two products.





Thank you for all the 7 replies so far. I like the reassurance given by Leebo02 and Danny that they have done numerous such ceilings and never had a problem. I also like the suggestion of doing a self trial with PVA-water mix on a small area, maybe 3-1 and 1-3 on a small area as a test.
Made me laugh that bit...lots of stuff in life is done without problems except when it is a problem, a cancer causing asbestos can take 30 yrs to be a problem,it can take many many times of doing stuff "with reassurances" before it's a problem, you are getting advice here based on health and safety risks and legal risks ie been sued ,you have raised the fact that there is risks inherent in the works to be done therefore you need to do it legally correctly and morally correctly,otherwise go on a site and say you don't care about health and safety and you just want a quick cover over,instead you have got the facts ,sought second opinions and then chosen the easy route,
 

radford

Active Member
Made me laugh that bit...lots of stuff in life is done without problems except when it is a problem, a cancer causing asbestos can take 30 yrs to be a problem,it can take many many times of doing stuff "with reassurances" before it's a problem, you are getting advice here based on health and safety risks and legal risks ie been sued ,you have raised the fact that there is risks inherent in the works to be done therefore you need to do it legally correctly and morally correctly,otherwise go on a site and say you don't care about health and safety and you just want a quick cover over,instead you have got the facts ,sought second opinions and then chosen the easy route,
Exactly ... Like I said just paint the bugger
 

kgreigh

Well-Known Member
Sorry @vijay didn't read the question properly,I have skimmed many artex ceilings over the years using pva 5:1 then 3:1 and multi finish on top and touch wood are all still fine however I prefer to overboard.over boarding does create a problem in this instance If fixing directly to the concrete so the only solution other than skimming to guarantee its success is to create another ceiling below the concrete one by fixing timber battens to the walls and filling in between with timber at 400mm centres,dependant on the size of the ceiling will determine the thickness of timbers used,as it is only carrying it's own weight you will probably get away with 4x2 in most situations,if it's under 2m you could probably go down to 3x2.if you have the spcace to lose a few inches then go this route it's the route I would take if it were my own home.:)
 

vijay

New Member
Thank you all for your input so far. Also for the couple of trophies - Being a new member, when I got the first trophy I thought somebody was having a laugh at the length of the question I had posted. Now i know better.

I can see the safety attraction of kgreigh's solution - a new false ceiling supported off battens on the wall; however, the downside is the loss of height.

On refelction and based on johniosaif's last post, a further question for Leebo02, Danny and kgreigh, who have all mentioned that they have skimmed many artex ceilings using PVA and multi-finish without any adverse outcome. Please tell me whether this also include ceilings on which it was not possible to do any prepartion such as scratching the painted surface or chiselling off the nibs of the artex spikes i.e. the PVA and plaster could only be directly put on to the painted ceiling?
 

vijay

New Member
QUOTE i have uni bonded and skimmed countless ceilings like this and not had any problems,

Please tell me whether this also include ceilings on which it was not possible to do any prepartion such as scratching the painted surface or chiselling off the nibs of the artex spikes i.e. the PVA and plaster could only be directly put on to the painted ceiling?
 

vijay

New Member
I have pva tonnes of ceilings like this before :)

Please tell me whether this also include ceilings on which it was not possible to do any prepartion such as scratching the painted surface or chiselling off the nibs of the artex spikes i.e. the PVA and plaster could only be directly put on to the painted ceiling?
 

vijay

New Member
Sorry @vijay I have skimmed many artex ceilings over the years using pva 5:1 then 3:1 and multi finish on top and touch wood are all still fine .:)
Please tell me whether this also include ceilings on which it was not possible to do any prepartion such as scratching the painted surface or chiselling off the nibs of the artex spikes i.e. the PVA and plaster could only be directly put on to the painted ceiling?
 

radford

Active Member
Okay you have options ..
A) unifinish expensive no guarantees
B) artex smoother expensive no guarantees
C) pva cheapest option no guarantees
D) suspended ceiling most expensive but guaranteed not to fall down on your head

You pays your money and you makes your choice.
 

Danny

Administrator
it totally depends on the height of the stipple :) I have scraped that many ceilings and yes most like asbestos in it... but I hope its not enough to kill me :-\

If you dont want to scrape it just a tight coat of bonding to cover the stipples once its been pregritted and hope for the best... Reskimming artex will always have an element of risk to it... it may fall off but if you are worried about the height with overboarding then you dont have great deal of choice....
 

kgreigh

Well-Known Member
Please tell me whether this also include ceilings on which it was not possible to do any prepartion such as scratching the painted surface or chiselling off the nibs of the artex spikes i.e. the PVA and plaster could only be directly put on to the painted ceiling?
As mentioned it does depend on the depth of the stipple on the artex, I have skimmed artex (pva then multi) on shallow ish stipple without having to disturb the artex its self ie scraping off the stipple. I have also done it on slightly larger stipple (pva,bonding then multi) the thing with using bonding or multi to build out past the stipple especially if it's deep is the weight that is held only by the weakest bond. (Paint to artex/old artex to plasterboard/pva to paint?)there is no guarantee that it will hold. How deep is the stipple out of curiosity?
 

vijay

New Member
As mentioned it does depend on the depth of the stipple on the artex, I have skimmed artex (pva then multi) on shallow ish stipple without having to disturb the artex its self ie scraping off the stipple. I have also done it on slightly larger stipple (pva,bonding then multi) the thing with using bonding or multi to build out past the stipple especially if it's deep is the weight that is held only by the weakest bond. (Paint to artex/old artex to plasterboard/pva to paint?)there is no guarantee that it will hold. How deep is the stipple out of curiosity?
Thank you kgreigh. In all but one room the stipple effect is pimples of 1mm to 2mm depth. In one room, the stipples are 3mm, occasionally up to 4mm.
 

vijay

New Member
I would just mask up and scrape it :)
it totally depends on the height of the stipple :) I have scraped that many ceilings and yes most like asbestos in it... but I hope its not enough to kill me :-\

If you dont want to scrape it just a tight coat of bonding to cover the stipples once its been pregritted and hope for the best... Reskimming artex will always have an element of risk to it... it may fall off but if you are worried about the height with overboarding then you dont have great deal of choice....
OK, thank you Danny; that's helpful feedback
 

kgreigh

Well-Known Member
Thank you kgreigh. In all but one room the stipple effect is pimples of 1mm to 2mm depth. In one room, the stipples are 3mm, occasionally up to 4mm.
Not too much depth to contend with then though as you are aware the risk will always be there,as a homeowner you have done all you can to find the best solution so I hope it all goes well.
 
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