A danger along with the first step in determining whether or not asbestos is present is identifying the material itself.
Asbestos is frequently off white in color, though less common types may be brownish or blue. Its appearance typically depends upon the stuff it had been mixed with to make it workable: cement, polymers, starch, asphalt, or other binders.
Where Asbestos Is Located
Here’s where to search for asbestos and what things to do should you locate it:
Some ducts are manufactured largely of asbestos; other pipes, made from metal, might be wrapped using a cellulose-asbestos air cell insulation. Both seem a bit like off-white corrugated cardboard. Asbestos sheeting insulating material has the same appearance although not the corrugation. Also, registers could have asbestos taping inside.
Ductwork manufactured from asbestos is a major concern because, when the substance begins to deteriorate, the fibers are blown to the home. Consult with an asbestos abatement contractor about removal. (See below for how to hire a professional asbestos abatement contractor.) Removing ductwork costs $12 to $25 per lineal foot—or $1,000 to $2,000 for a normal-sized cellar.
Replacing the ductwork is added
If the wrapping is friable, clothed ducts ought to be removed. A stop gap measure is to have the ducts encapsulated.
The furnace sits on an asbestos pad or could have an asbestos liner in the foundation. A unique asbestos fabric may join the ductwork and the furnace or boiler. If any of these are subjected to possible damage, they should be encapsulated or removed.
Asbestos in Plumbing
Some conduits, especially those connected to steam or radiators heat, are jacketed with asbestos. Asbestos pipe wrap, frequently covered with canvas, has a soft white surface. It’s normally more straightforward to fix it than remove it when the conduit wrap has little holes. It is possible to caulk the holes and wrap the pipe with re-wettable glass cloth. Don’t use duct tape as it’s going to fall off over time.
Keep clear of old knob-and-tube wires that have a coating that is white covered with black fabric. When installing new wiring if you’re remodeling, do not pull out these wires; rather, bypass them.
Asbestos is likely contained by manufactured logs produced before 1978. The ashes are a serious concern; remove them instantly. Unless they are friable, the logs don’t discharge fibers. Wood-stove protective panels for ovens or wood stoves and gaskets may look like a grayish-white rock. If some of these parts are damaged, remove and replace it with a material that is acceptable and safe.
Crawlspace or Cellar
Bear in mind that fibers may have collected on the floor or the floor beneath ductwork or piping. Have these areas cleaned with a trained asbestos abatement or professional —if you must—wet mop them. Never sweep or vacuum asbestos fibers—they are around 1/1000th the thickness of a human hair and will go right through a family vacuum and into the air.
Walls & Ceilings
Sprayed-acoustical, normally called cottage cheese that is “, ” ceilings normally possess a low percentage of asbestos, though some may contain just as much as 40%. Avoid doing anything that’ll loosen the material (by way of example, don’t sweep the ceiling). Removal can be quite pricey, from $5 to $30 per square foot, and is normally not essential when the surface is left.
Most patching plaster and drywall joint compounds until 1979 out there included a small quantity of asbestos. Avoid scraping or sanding them. Some plaster walls in houses that are older include blown-in insulation that includes asbestos; it looks like cotton which has hardened. If you’re remodeling only have this removed.
Flooring that Includes Asbestos
Even lately vinyl flooring tiles that are manufactured contain a small amount of asbestos. Because it’s ingrained in the stuff, it doesn’t pose a danger. Its felt backing and the tile simply develop into a problem when you’re renovating. Don’t sand or scrape on these substances. In the place of removing the old vinyl flooring, add the brand new flooring on top after which the most effective option is to cover it.
Roofing & Siding
Some old shingles are generated from asbestos mixed with cement or asphalt. Asphalt-asbestos shingles don’t release fibers readily; asbestos-cement shingles can be cautious during removal. Avoid crumbling or breaking either sort. Felts and roofing pitches also contain asbestos but, again, are unlikely to discharge fibers unless damaged.
How exactly to Employ Contractor or an Asbestos Abatement Inspector
A few plumbing together with qualified asbestos testing and heating contractors can help find questionable substances. A laboratory evaluation of a sample, which typically costs under $50, can give a definitive answer as to whether the sample includes asbestos.
The EPA has a toll-free number it is possible to call for lab’s who do this work, and it also offers directions for obtaining and packaging the sample.
Though some states require licensing of asbestos removal contractors, others don’t. You might be sold a bill of goods you don’t need or do a shoddy job by unscrupulous contractors. They may leave airborne asbestos levels that measure 3 to 4 times higher than they did before the job. If this happens, clean-up costs could be astronomical.
Familiarity with the advice given here will assist you in the interviewing process. You can also contact your regional office of the EPA for advice.
Decide the level of training and expertise your contractor has had and request references. Be certain your contractor is certified if your state has a licensing program. If no certification program exists, get proof that workers are trained in an EPA-approved plan. Make sure to get several estimates and be sceptical of any that are very high or low.