David Valley's Real Estate/Home Inspection Blog

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Should Asbestos be Removed?

Asbestos heating pipe insulation in poor condition

Even though the EPA restricted asbestos use as a building material in the 1970s and proposed a 10-year phase-out of products containing asbestos in 1986, people living in homes and using products built earlier are understandably nervous.

Generally, asbestos-containing materials (ACM's) do not have to be removed from any residential property. In fact, asbestos-containing material does not have to be removed from any residential structures unless it will be disturbed during renovations or demolition activities. As long as the asbestos-containing material is in good condition, in tact and will not be disturbed; it does not pose a significant health risk. It's when asbestos is exposed and friable, flaking or crumbling, and that it's likely to become airborne, is when I recommend encapsulation or professional removal by properly licensed personnel. Removal should never be attempted by the homeowner. This action requires special equipment and detailed training which would generally be too expensive and time-consuming for a homeowner to acquire for a one-time job. Removal is also the last choice among alternatives because it poses the most risk of fiber release if not done properly.

Comment balloon 4 commentsDavid Valley • April 24 2007 03:55PM
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