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Asbestos on the bottom of greenhouse.

jasonsloan457jasonsloan457 Posts: 4
edited April 2018 in Problem solving
I have an old greenhouse that came with the house we bought. we have been here about 6 years but, having decided to grow some veg, I was sat in the Greenhouse this morning and realised that all around the bottom is asbestos. or it looks like it. The white stuff. I wanted to know
1 is it safe to leave there. 
2 I wanted to grow veg on the outside of the greenhouse and as it seems to go into the soil is it safe to do this
3 should I get rid of it which will mean dismantling the greenhouse due to the way it is constructed. 
Thank you 


  • hogweedhogweed Posts: 4,053
    Can you post a picture? I think the council will test a small scraping for you to check whether it is the dangerous stuff or not. 
    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
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  • Here is a pic
  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 22,351
    It would be very unusual for it to be used as flooring because it is relatively soft.

    Here is some official reading matter

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • raisingirlraisingirl Posts: 6,912
    Can't tell, really. Can you post a pic of the greenhouse so we can see where this stuff is in the construction?

    In general, asbestos is completely safe if it's undisturbed and not shedding dust. So if it's not in the way and not falling apart, I'd leave it severely alone. Don't drill holes in it, or try to remove bits of it and it will do you no harm at all.

    If you need or want to get it taken out, you should get it tested. It's very hard to tell by just looking at it whether it's asbestos or just fibre cement. If you know how old the greenhouse is, it would give us a clue - asbestos was used extensively but only for a fairly short period of time.

    If it is in whole sheets and you don't need to break it to take it out, you can do it yourself, wearing dust masks and overalls, double bagging it in polythene and then taking it to a registered handler - some council recycling centres will take small amounts, otherwise you will have to pay to dispose of it. If it's more integrated into the structure, you will have to pay a licensed contractor to take it out. It is usually at least £1000 for almost any amount removed professionally and if there's lots it will be several thousand.

    So back to my first comment, if it's not in the way and not breaking up, leave it alone.
    “It's still magic even if you know how it's done.” 
  • I would say it was put up sometime in the 1990s. It runs along the bottom. 
  • raisingirlraisingirl Posts: 6,912
    edited April 2018
    Right yes, so not a floor. The really bad asbestos was banned in the mid 1980s. That looks like it's probably fibre cement (i.e. harmless) but it's not possible to be sure just by looking at it. 

    I'd still say leave it alone - from the pic it looks in good condition. If you want to clean the mould off, use a spray and a soft cloth not an abrasive. 

    So to answer your questions:
    1 Yes
    2 Yes - but don't stick your fork through it when you're digging.
    3 No, unless the sheets start to break up or disintegrate (or you want a new greenhouse). 
    “It's still magic even if you know how it's done.” 
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  • Thanks everyone. you have neen a great help and confirmed what I was hoping. Roll on next week and the sunshine we have been promised  :) 
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