“Scaffolding was erected, and whereas I used to be waterblasting the window frames, this woman got here out and mentioned, ‘Do you thoughts waterblasting the roof because you’re up there?’ I assumed that is not going to take lengthy, however that turned out to be an enormous mistake.”
Mr Quaid says a neighbour referred to as the council, and a consultant got here out and took a pattern of the water run-off taking place the drain and located it examined constructive for asbestos.
“I had seen the neighbour popping out and taking a look at me doing the work and thought she was most likely simply trying on the filth coming off. Neither myself nor the proprietor had any concept that the decramastic tiles contained asbestos. That they had no paperwork with the title of her home to counsel there was asbestos within the roofing.”
Mr Quaid says the proprietor was required to maneuver out of the home for a number of months whereas remedial work was carried out – water and run-off had discovered its method inside via window cracks. “I imagine she solely returned about three weeks in the past and this occurred 5 – 6 months in the past. They needed to substitute the carpet and repaint the inside, amongst different issues.”
The price to Mr Quaid has been substantial.
His insurance coverage firm mentioned asbestos points are usually not coated by public legal responsibility insurance coverage.
“I went to a lawyer, and she or he mentioned on the finish of the day, although it wasn’t a part of my authentic job, I ought to have performed due diligence – homework in different phrases. The recommendation acquired by the house owner was the identical.”
The house owner’s insurance coverage coated a lot of the restoration, however Mr Quaid says they’ve requested him for $5000 to cowl the surplus and different prices – cash he doesn’t have. He says he’s making use of for a private mortgage and hopes to have the ability to pay it off.
Mr Quaid, who’s a Kind 1 diabetic, says it has been “fairly an ordeal”.
“It actually received to me. I did not know the way to take care of it. I went away for per week and after I got here again the physician recognized nervousness and despair.
“I had a psychological breakdown and needed to take a variety of day without work work. The physician gave me remedy, and I’ve additionally been having counselling to get my head round issues. I’ve slowly received again to work, however I’m nonetheless catching up. I wish to pay them and type it out.”
‘I’ve waterblasted tiles like this earlier than’
Mr Quaid says he has been a certified painter for 18 years and hadn’t heard about asbestos in roofing tiles.
“I find out about asbestos in different areas of a home, and I do know what to search for. However I’ve been on jobs earlier than, with the identical roofing tiles, and waterblasted these with out being conscious, and I’ve seen different folks doing the identical factor.”
Mr Quaid says he hopes the episode will function a warning to different folks waterblasting older decramastic tiles to do their homework first.
“Now, after I do roofs, I do know [what can happen] and I can get an asbestos check performed.”
Pre-80s decramastic tiles extra prone to include asbestos
The expertise is not any shock to Chris Saunders, supervisor of asbestos removing specialist Hazmat in Wellington.
“I’m astounded that to this present day, many householders and contractors nonetheless do not know, or declare to not know of the risks of asbestos, or its presence in quite a few constructing supplies of older houses.
“A big a part of our enterprise is in cleansing up asbestos contamination from DIY tasks gone fallacious. Pointless asbestos fibre respiration could be very harmful, and extra media consideration to the topic is definitely warranted for my part.”
“Mastic or bitumen was the commonest materials used to stick the stone chip to the pressed steel at the moment,” the corporate says on its web site.
“All mastic or bitumen-based pressed steel roof tiles ought to be suspected of containing asbestos till confirmed in any other case. Specific profiles that are prone to be affected embody decramastic and early Harveytiles. Nevertheless, different profiles could also be affected.
“Pressed steel roof tiles manufactured by different events are believed to have been launched and manufactured after the ban on asbestos was carried out, however the identical care ought to be taken regardless for any pressed steel roof tiles which can include a mastic or bitumen-based product.”
Hazmat additionally says there are not any dangers related to pressed steel roof tiles containing asbestos if they continue to be in good situation and are left undisturbed.
“A big well being threat arises when adhesive expires, stone chips turn into dislodged and asbestos fibres could turn into airborne and will be breathed into the lungs. This will happen if the tiles could also be disturbed throughout upkeep, cleansing or removing.”
Jeremy Grey of Builderscrack.co.nz says unexpected asbestos points aren’t widespread. “However due to the number of supplies that options asbestos all through New Zealand’s constructing historical past, and the number of jobs that householders have tradies do, Builderscrack strongly suggests if anybody is not sure or in the event that they know asbestos has been used, they should get recommendation from an skilled.”
“For a comparatively decrease undertaking value, it could be potential to encapsulate asbestos safely, relatively than take away it.”