Asbestos! *gulp*

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Topic: Asbestos! *gulp*

Home Renovation December 23, 2016 at 7:53 pm

Asbestos! *gulp*

Hello all,

I’m a Brooklynite who will soon be closing on a beautiful Victorian two family.

There’s asbestos covering 140ft of pipes in the basement.

I need to get it inspected by an asbestos specialist in addition to a regular home inspection. I don’t know yet what the price will be to contain or get rid of it, but I thought I’d ask in advance if any of you:

1) Know a good asbestos specialist
2) Know if the city helps out with a percentage of asbestos removal projects.
3) Anything else I need to know about this unpleasant surprise.

Thanks and looking forward to joining the revitalization,

3 Replies Add Reply

Here’s a few links that will help answer your questions regarding remediation as they relate to owner/occupants…
asbestos… ‘mold’ issues… . As per any financial assistance, nys is working on it, Ortt’s Bill…
I’m not advocating for or against a diy approach. My current basement/studio has black plastic wrapped, with the seams taped, around the old asbestos wrap. My previous house’s basement (seldom occupied) had the old asbestos with its original wrap left alone, as it was in good condition. fwiw, asbestos was used extensively in both interior & exterior building construction i.e. in vinyl flooring, the adhesives, some ‘plasterboard’, masonary and mortars, etc.. Always wear the proper cartridge mask (not the cheap disposable ones) when doing renovation work. Peace…

If the wrap is in good shape (not crumbling, hanging off pipes or elbows) then you are generally in little danger of the asbestos fibers causing any harm. It’s when they are disturbed that things can be released. Many times, people think that encapsulating the pipes in duct tape or plastic wrap will mitigate any worries, but just the disturbance of the wrap itself while doing this can prove much more harmful than the hopeful result. There are somewhat safe practices of removing this yourself (tyvek suit, adequate respirator, soaking asbestos w soapy solution before removing) but local building codes require specific disposal of particular types of asbestos material (friable vs. non friable). Research these before doing anything DIY. In the end, I would just call 3 environmental removal companies and choose the one that fits your needs best. I have experienced a lot of variation on cost so choose a reputable outfit that will do the job correctly and safely. Good luck.

Remember, if you do remove the asbestos insulation on your steam pipes you absolutely have to replace it with fiberglass. Also all the piping near the boiler needs to be insulated. Get the book “Greening Steam” if you have any questions about efficiently operating a steam heating system. Assuming it is a steam system.

It’s better to encapsulate the existing asbestos and leave it in place then to take it to the dump but I’m not sure what it does to your resale value. I have the same situation and I’m just putting off doing anything. 😉

Larry King

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