identifying asbestos

Discussion in 'HVAC Heating & Cooling' started by cvap, Feb 10, 2014.

  1. cvap

    cvap New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    Ma.
    Is there anything besides asbestos that was troweled onto duct work for insulation in the 60's? It is an Air-Ease horizontal belt drive hot air furnace in an attic installation. The stuff is gray and is on both sides of the furnace. The house also has the whole furnace room plastered on wire lathe with gray stuff that looks harder like regular plaster.
  2. ImOld

    ImOld New Member

    Messages:
    73
    Location:
    In the rumble seat
    Before the resident experts inundate you with scientific gobbledygook, let me say this about that.

    I moved an entire floor of computers around in Manville Corporations world headquarters back in the 1970's to accommodate the army of lawyers they needed to defend themselves against asbestosis lawsuits.

    I read a ton of this stuff and the gist of it is you need to be in some sort of contact with asbestos products for many years before bad things might happen.

    It would not be good to have it on the inside of environmental air ducts but, if in an area, undisturbed, not a problem. In other words, leave it alone.

    There are very strict laws and very expensive procedures to remove asbestos if you wish to remove it.

    If it is a worry to you, please do not ask how to identify asbestos on a forum.

    Take a sample to your local health or environmental control dept for analysis.

    If incidental contact with asbestos were a problem, myself and probably half the population would be in serious trouble.
  3. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades

    Messages:
    3,812
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Asbestos can be identified using a microscope.

    ImOld is correct. If not disturbed is not a problem. If it is disturbed it can become airborne.


    Good Luck.
  4. Dana

    Dana In the trades

    Messages:
    2,783
    Location:
    01609
    Yep, it's the friable asbestos fibers in the air that creates the health hazard in this situation. If it's not flaking falling apart, encapsulating it in place with paint is usually good enough to keep the fiber count in the air way down, and you can just live with it. Ripping it out will usually increase the amount of free fiber in the air, so it's usually done in haz-mat suits and wetting it down, screened off from other areas. with poly sheeting w/air filters inside the poly tent. The goods get bagged, then surfaces get wiped, then the surfaces & sometimes air is sampled sometime later to verify the levels. Obviously not a DIY job.

    About 30 years ago I pointed out to a relative that the steam boiler in his rental house was covered in flaking asbestos, and that it wasn't a good idea to let his kids play in the basement. He notified the landlord, who subsequently hired an undocumented guy from the Caribbean to strip the boiler down to the cast iron. That left the place hopelessly contaminated, with everything in the basement heavily coated in asbestos dust, at which point I advised that they just move out and notify the city/state. (I'm not sure how that was resolved on the legal end between the city/state & landlord.)
  5. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades

    Messages:
    3,812
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    I used to work with asbestos when working at NASA JSC.

    All of the older buildings had it. It worked great, if not messed with.

    I was certified and it was a PITA bagging all of the protective gear and taking a shower, after a job.


    You need to respect it and don't mess with it.
  6. ronniekeeling

    ronniekeeling New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Toronto
    Asbestos abatement

    The gray thing might be fire proofing material that is mixed on to concrete so as to get protection from excess heat and fire. Asbestos was extensively used in used in ducts and piping services and it is quite a dangerous material as far as health hazards are considered. Various asbestos abatement services that include assessments and management can be considered so as to get an exact knowledge of presence of asbestos in your house.
  7. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades

    Messages:
    3,812
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Or just don't mess with it and live with it.

    It worked fine for years, before people started messing with it.

    Water can be dangerous also.
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