Latest Discussions : Miscellaneous


05:31PM | 09/13/04
Member Since: 07/13/04
10 lifetime posts
I am getting ready to buy a house and the home inspector said there was an asbestos (probably) material around some old pipes that had been used for insulation. The pipes are not currently in use, and the seller (whose dad is a contractor) thought he could cut the pipes and remove them entirely without disturbing the asbestos. However, a second look revealed that that would not be possible, because in order to remove some of the pipes they would have to cut through the asbestos material and that would cause quite a bit of it too be released into the air.

So now we have to decide what to do with it. We will be using our basement on a daily basis for the bathroom down there and the laundry room- so we can't just avoid it entirely. Also, we have four cats who like to touch and scratch everything- and they could possibly jump up on some of the pipes as they are or scratch them.

The asbestos material in question is currently wrapped with some kind of cheese cloth or burlap- but it is very old and in some areas it is very worn and could fall off and in one area it has actually been cut and some of the asbestos material probably fell out. I don't know if it was swept up or is still floating in the air down there or what- but it is definately missing a chunk of it.

I'd really like some recommendations about how we should handle this. Someone mentioned some kind of special paint that can be used to cover it- is this a good idea? If so, what kind of paint is it? Someone else mentioned covering it with duck tape- is that a viable solution?

Also, is this likely to be a problem when we go to sell this house? The house was built in 1925 so anyone looking at it will know it is going to have some quirks- but is this a big enough deal to not be able to sell it? I understand that a person working with asbestos is the most prone to developing an illness... but what danger is posed to a person who is in a room with asbestos for only about 20 minutes a day?

I've read different things as far as how much exposure is necessary to cause problems and I don't know what to believe.


07:06AM | 09/20/04
Member Since: 07/01/03
549 lifetime posts
There are numerous options for removal or management in place. First, lets reject the use of duct tape. This would cause a great deal of disturbance and place a waterproof barrier over the pipes that would hinder future removal. Be sure to take a small sample in a zip-lock bag to a local analytical lab for PLM analysis. For about $25, this will confirm that you in fact have asbestos. There are many products that look like asbestos, and it would be a waste to treat non-asbestos materials with expensive enclosure or removal.

The pipes can be covered with non-asbestos lagging. This is like putting a plaster bandage on the pipes. The existing insulation is wetted, then the wet lagging is wrapped on the pipes. This gives a functional encapsulation that will last many years, and is removable later. It minimally disturbs asbestos. A painted coating will also work. Usually called encapsulant or mastic. Pipe mastic is easy to paint on and provides a dust-free sealed surface. Mastic can be covered with cloth tape for a better more durable finish.

Removal is best done by professionals, using wet methods and removing whole sections of pipe. The pipe is wetted, then wrapped in plastic and sealed. To wrap the pipe, I like to use spray adhesive like Super 77. It allows the plastic sheet to be wrapped tightly with no leaks. The sections to be cut are enclosed in a glove bag and the cutting is done in this enclosure. This method requires a certain amount of expertise, and is not normally done by homeowners. It is the best way however to permanently remove the insulation while minimizing release. Open removal is also done using wet methods, but the entire work area is enclosed in plastic and placed under negative pressure using a HEPA filtered exhaust. This equipment is not available to the home owner.

Any of these methods can be performed by a licensed asbestos abatement contractor. That is your best bet. You can also do some research on methods and obtain the equipment and supplies through a safety supply store. The choice of approach depends on your budget, expertise and risk tolerance.

Post back with your inclination, and perhaps we can give more assistance.


05:40PM | 09/20/04
Member Since: 07/13/04
10 lifetime posts
Thank you for the information-

I have decided I'd really prefer to just have it professionally removed.

Although it is probably just as safe or safer to do the encapsulation business- I think i'd really like to just get it out of there so the problem is not hanging over my head. We probably won't live in this house more than 5 years and I don't want this to be an issue when we go to sell it.

We are getting the sample to be tested tomorrow and have already contacted a place that can do the test. Hopefully that will tell us it isn't asbestos and the problem will be solved. However, if it does, we contacts 2 different places about removal.

they both say that they use the "glove" something or other method- I can't remember what my husband called it exactly. one place said they would charge around $500 for 30 feet of removal..... and the other said about $15 per linear foot of removal. that sounds pretty reasonable. Is that what most people charge? Also- if you know what I'm talking about as far as the "glove" removal- i'd be interested in what you think of that method


06:40PM | 09/20/04
Member Since: 07/01/03
549 lifetime posts
The glove-bag removal method was mentioned in my original post, but since I didn't expect a homeowner to do it, we really didn't spend much time there. "The sections to be cut are enclosed in a glove bag and the cutting is done in this enclosure. This method requires a certain amount of expertise, and is not normally done by homeowners."

It works very well and avoids the expense of putting an entire area under enclosure. Your estimates sound reasonable, and I think you are doing the right thing to hire a professional. Your test results will confirm whether or not you actually have an asbestos removal problem, and testing is a smart first step.

No future problems. Keep your receipts and copy of contractor license so you can show the expense as a tax write-off for capital gains, and to deal with any concerns by a future buyer. Good luck, and well done on your new home.


09:16AM | 09/17/08
Member Since: 09/16/08
1 lifetime posts
I have a one family house in Brooklyn NY.

The house was built around 1928, the oil fired steam-boiler was put in around 1955. We are replacing the oil burner with a modern gas steam generator.

The main steam pipe is covered with two un-identified materials: The vertical pipe from the boiler looks like plaster, I guess it is asbestos plaster. The horizontal pipes are covered in something with a white canvas cover, also I guess asbestos.

I understand from the City of New York that it should cost about $700 to have a competent company remove this stuff, but I find estimates in the range of $3000, which is more than I want to pay for a $700 job.

The City also tells me that I can do the job myself. I do plumbing,electric, drywall, and masonry, and I don't think this is much more difficult than that.

I will need to buy glove bags (or glove boxes) and have not been able to find them. I can take a two day course in Operations and Maintenance from one of the companies that teach Asbestos removal.

If I can buy a book on the subject, I think I can learn it on my own.

How do I get these things?

You are invited to reply here or to my e-mail,

Mike Friedman

Brooklyn NY

Kathy D

09:22AM | 09/03/19
Member Since: 09/03/19
1 lifetime posts
I own an old house that has exposed asbestos pipes from an old heating system. I am now in the process of refinancing this house. My situation is that i am on SS and can not afford to have these pipes removed. The best way seems to encase these pipes. I am not sure of the best type of product to use? I need to do this soon as there will
be an inspector coming. I appreciate any suggestions or advice you can offer me.

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