What Does Asbestos Look Like

What Does Asbestos Look Like?

New postby Marquerite » 29 Oct 2012, 13:44

I am looking to buy a house that has insulation around a pipe in thte basement. My realtor said that it looks like asbestos. My dad, who is a pretty good carpenter, says that it may not be and that it should be tested. Is there a way to tell just by looking at it?
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New postby Santos » 29 Oct 2012, 13:44

As others have stated, asbestos was incorporated into many different materials and can have many different appearances.

One of the many uses of asbestos was heating system pipe insulation. It may have been used for other types of pipes as well. Typically on a heating pipe asbestos insulation is in the form of a corrugated sheet wrapped around the pipe and taped. If you can actually see it from the end, it looks like cardboard, on the pipe just like paper wrapped around the pipe. There were other forms, so just because it does not look like that does not mean it is not asbestos.

If you are seriously considering purchasing this house, you really should order a home inspection. Do not trust what your realtor has to say, although he or she is working for you some tend to think they know more than they really do. Certainly don't trust the seller's realtor, they are trying to sell a house. Also, I would not accept an inspection report prepared on behalf of the seller or seller's agent at face value.

You should have the inspection to identify issues other than this as well. A quality inspection may save you money on the purchase price and will certainly give you a better idea what to expect in the way of maintenance and repairs. I understand dad is a carpenter, but being a carpenter and a qualified inspector are very different fields. He would certainly be helpful in fixing problems but may not know all of the places to look.

If your inspector also suspects asbestos, a test should be ordered for an additional cost. The seller should cover at least part of this cost.

If it is asbestos, I would still not rule out purchasing the house if everything else suits you. If the system is in use, it may be OK to encapsulate the material and save the cost of removal. If removal is required, you can do it yourself once you are the homeowner in most locations. This type of material is fairly easy to deal with given a bit of reading and taking the proper precautions. Do not just jump in and start tearing it out without understanding the proper procedure, as you will contaminate other parts of the house. At some point in the future, I expect that testing will be required for all houses built before the substance was removed from production in which case an improper removal may cause problems when you sell.
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What does Asbestos look like and what texture does it...

New postby Adam » 29 Oct 2012, 13:45

What does Asbestos look like and what texture does it have? Also, when did they stop using it? Thanks. NME?
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New postby Laveta » 29 Oct 2012, 13:45

What does it look like? Just about anything. Asbestos is a powder that was added to many products. It has a high heat resistance, so it was used to insulate exhaust pipes. It was used in "popcorn" ceilings, floor tiles, insulation, home siding, etc.

About the only way you can tell if you have asbetos is to have the product in question tested. It is safe as long as it doesn't become airborne as a dust.

The 1980's was a decade in which asbestos abatement was at it's peak.
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