I got an interesting email earlier on this afternoon. It was from a reader, who has asked to remain anonymous, who has been having some trouble with Everest over a problem with asbestos. Straight away, I want to make it clear that I’m not on a witch hunt, or looking to shed any negative spot light on either the reader who sent this in, or Everest as a company. However they have asked for my help. But I will openly admit I am not an asbestos expert and the sender is looking for advice on how best to proceed as is looking for opinions on how to deal with this situation.

The Email


I hope this message finds you well. I came across your website and wondered if I could ask you a quick double glazing related question.

My grandma has just asked Everest to install double glazing. They put up the scaffolding and then called their Health and Safety Department as they suspected we had asbestos in our roof. A neighbour of ours then began removing asbestos from his roof.

Everest are now claiming that their scaffolding and our garden have been contaminated. They can’t do the work until this is cleared. According to them, if the man owns his own home, he is entitled to do as he wishes, and so they can’t bring a claim against him.  

Everest now want my Grandma to foot the bill for the contamination caused. We will be meeting the Everest Installation manager and the health and safety people tomorrow.

We would really appreciate any thoughts on what we ought to do in this situation?

Many thanks

As you can see, the language in the email isn’t angry. But it does show a degree of concern. A situation has arisen that needs a solution in order to proceed with the work, but a solution that is amicable for all involved, especially the grandma.

I have done a bit of research on the subject and have come across some guidance on website: http://www.asbestoswatchdog.co.uk/advice/you/homeowners and there are a couple of passages from that page that are of interest:

The current regulations do not place any legal obligations on domestic home owners with regard to how asbestos containing materials (ACM’s) are handled on your own property.


Whilst you are legally allowed to work on and remove low density materials yourself, a trained professional will ensure that it is done in accordance with strict measures to ensure maximum safety.

What this means in my own interpretation, is that firstly the neighbour was entitled to remove asbestos from his own property, but should have done so without allegedly contaminating his neighbour’s property or the scaffolding.

Personally, if I was Everest, I might want to speak with the neighbour and ask why he/she decided to start ripping out asbestos without thinking about where that debris might be floating away to. It is not the fault of the sender of this email or the grandma in question, which leads me to think that it is unfair of Everest to ask the grandma to foot the bill. I would advise Everest start mediation between themselves, the sender in question and their neighbour in order to gain the fairest result.

Those are just my thoughts. This reader would like your opinions and advice. All are welcome in the section below.