Question? Just ask us!
Free Encyclopedia of Building & Environmental Inspection, Testing, Diagnosis, Repair
InspectAPedia ® Home
ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS - INSPECT, TEST, REMEDY
ACOUSTICAL SEALANT CHOICES
AGE of a BUILDING - how to determine
AIR BYPASS LEAKS
AIR LEAK DETECTION TOOLS
AIR LEAK MINIMIZATION
AIR LEAK SEALING PROCEDURE
AIR POLLUTANTS, COMMON INDOOR
ALLERGENS in BUILDINGS, RECOGNIZING
ANIMAL ALLERGENS / PET DANDER
APPLIANCE EFFICIENCY RATINGS
ARCHITECTURE & BUILDING COMPONENT ID
ASBESTOS CEILING TILES, Asbestos-Containing
ASBESTOS CEMENT ROOFING
ASBESTOS CEMENT SIDING
ASBESTOS DUCTS, HVAC
ASBESTOS-FREE INSULATION MATERIALS
ASBESTOS IDENTIFICATION IN buildings
ASBESTOS FLOORING HAZARD REDUCTION
ASBESTOS FLOORING REMOVAL GUIDE
ASBESTOS LIST of PRODUCTS
ASBESTOS MATERIAL REGULATIONS
ASBESTOS MATERIAL REGULATIONS Update
ASBESTOS MATERIAL REGULATIONS, OSHA
ASBESTOS PHOTO GUIDE to Materials
ASBESTOS REMOVAL, Amateur, Incomplete
ASBESTOS REMOVAL CERTIFICATIONS
ASBESTOS REMOVAL, Wetting Guidelines
ASBESTOS RISK ASSESSMENT
ASBESTOS TESTING LAB LIST
ASBESTOS UNDER the MICROSCOPE
ATTIC LEAKS, CONDENSATION & MOLD
BASEMENT HEAT LOSS
BUCKLED FOUNDATIONS due to INSULATION?
BUILDING NOISE DIAGNOSIS & CURE
CATHEDRAL CEILING INSULATION
CEILING FINISHES INTERIOR
CEILINGS, DROP or SUSPENDED PANEL
CEILINGS & WALLS, PLASTER TYPES
CERAMIC TILE FLOOR, WALL
CERAMIC TILE, ASBESTOS in?
CHIMNEY INSPECTION DIAGNOSIS & REPAIR
CHINESE DRYWALL HAZARDS
DEW POINT CALCULATION for WALLS
EFFLORESCENCE, Salts & White / Brown Deposits
FIBERGLASS INSULATION MOLD
FLOOR TILE HISTORY & INGREDIENTS
FLOOR TILES ASBESTOS
FLOOR TYPES & DEFECTS
HEAT LOSS in BUILDINGS
HOUSE DOCTOR, how-to be
HUMIDITY LEVEL TARGET
ICE DAM PREVENTION
INDOOR AIR QUALITY IMPROVEMENT GUIDE
INSULATION FACT SHEET- DOE
INSULATION IDENTIFICATION GUIDE
INSULATION R-Values & Properties
METAL LATH, PLASTER & STUCCO
METHANE GAS SOURCES
MOISTURE CONTROL in BUILDINGS
MOLD: A COMPLETE GUIDE TO MOLD
Museum Artifact Preservation
NOISE / SOUND DIAGNOSIS & CURE
ODORS GASES SMELLS, DIAGNOSIS & CURE
PAINT FALURE, DIAGNOSIS, CURE, PREVENTION
PLASTER & BEAVERBOARD & DRYWALL
PLASTER BULGES & PILLOWS
PLASTER LATH, METAL
PLASTER, LOOSE FALL HAZARDS
PLASTER TYPE IDENTIFICATION
PLASTER VENEER Best Practices
ROOF VENTILATION SPECIFICATIONS
SAFETY HAZARDS & INSPECTIONS
SEARS KIT HOUSES
SOUND CONTROL in buildings
SPLITS & CRACKS in STRUCTURAL WOOD BEAMS
STAIN DIAGNOSIS on BUILDING EXTERIORS
STAIN DIAGNOSIS on BUILDING INTERIORS
STUCCO WALL METHODS & INSTALLATION
STRUCTURAL DAMAGE PROBING
SWEATING (CONDENSATION) on PIPES, TANKS
Thermal Expansion Cracking of Brick
THERMAL EXPANSION of MATERIALS
THERMAL IMAGING, THERMOGRAPHY
THERMAL MASS in BUILDINGS
THERMAL TRACKING Indicates Heat Loss
VAPOR BARRIERS & CONDENSATION in BUILDINGS
VENTILATION in BUILDINGS
VINYL CHLORIDE HEALTH INFO
VOCs VOLATILE ORGANIC COMPOUNDS
WALL CONSTRUCTION BARRIER vs CAVITY
WATER ENTRY in buildings
WINDOWS & DOORS
WINTERIZE A BUILDING
WOOD Burning Heaters Fireplaces Stoves
WORLD TRADE CENTER 9-11 DUST PHOTOS
Asbestos pipe insulation in buildings - how to recognize & handle: this article provides photographs of abandoned and partly-covered-up asbestos pipe insulation in buildings to assist in the recognition of that material. We include photos of pipe insulation that is not but might be mistaken for asbestos. We discuss the procedure and costs for removal of asbestos pipe insulation and comment on leaving the insulation in place.
Green links show where you are. © Copyright 2014 InspectApedia.com, All Rights Reserved.
Asbestos pipe insulation, still in use or abandoned on building pipes, compared with fiberglass pipe insulation
We provide photographs and descriptive text of asbestos insulation and other asbestos-containing products to permit identification of definite, probable, or possible asbestos materials in buildings.
Also see ASBESTOS DUCTS, HVAC a field identification guide to visual detection of asbestos in and on heating and cooling system ducts and flue vents.
Asbestos pipe insulation materials like the insulation shown at page top should have been removed during asbestos abatement, and so form an indication of amateur workmanship, raising the question of asbestos particle contamination in other building areas.
The pair of photographs shown here assist in distinguishing between corrugated asbestos paper pipe wrap (photo on the left) and fiberglass insulation pipe warp (photo at right).
Look carefully at the end of these wrapped insulation sections to see the difference. In the photo of fiberglass pipe insulation, I peeled back a little of the white-painted outer fabric to show the yellow fiberglass interior.
The photograph shown at the page top is some "new old stock" corrugated asbestos pipe insulation that was never used - just left in a basement ceiling.
Look closely at the photo as it is a clear example of the visual characteristics of the corrugated-paper-like asbestos wrap which was used along the lengths of heating and other plumbing pipes in buildings.
While an expert lab test using polarized light microscopy may be needed to identify the specific type of asbestos fiber, or to identify the presence of asbestos in air or dust samples, many asbestos-containing building products not only are obvious and easy to recognize, but since there were not other look-alike products that were not asbestos, a visual identification of this material can be virtually a certainty in many cases.
A professional asbestos removal company would not have left these un-used asbestos pipe insulation sections "stored" here.
Here's an example of an insulation retro-fit using spray foam insulation.
A professional would not have left this asbestos pipe insulation in place.
Perhaps more of this material will be found elsewhere in the building. If a section of asbestos insulation were found to have been totally encapsulated by the new spray foam insulation, such as in a wall cavity, most experts would be expected to recommend that it be simply left alone
Continue reading about asbestos material removal in buildings in these articles:
Green link shows where you are in this article series.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Questions & answers or comments about removal of asbestos-containing pipe insulation and asbestos pipe insulation removal and disposal procedures and costs
Question: I have about 30' of old hot water radiator heat piping with asbestos insulation ... what is the best method for removal ..
I have about 30' of old hot water radiator heat piping with asbestos insulation like that shown at the top of this page. Need to remove insulation and then piping. Insulation appears to be wrapped in a cloth wrapping (more asbestos?). Is the insulation very friable? Besides using all proper PPE, isolation and clean-up described in your other sections, what is best method for removal of this asbestos insulation? - Tom
Reply: Characteristics of a Professional Asbestos Removal Job vs an Amateur Asbestos Removal Project
Tom, the corrugated-paper like asbestos pipe insulation we show at page top is quite soft and friable; the cloth wrapping its exterior is usually cotton or linen that has been painted and is not itself an asbestos material. I'd call a licensed asbestos removal company for this project.
In many jurisdictions you may be legally permitted to remove asbestos but the disposal of the asbestos containing material (ACM) waste must comply with local or state hazardous waste disposal regulations. See our page left article link: ASBESTOS MATERIAL REGULATIONS
The difference between an amateur asbestos removal and a professional job is also that the pros can be expected to take the the steps we list below. You could follow these and the more detailed procedures for asbestos cleanup in the US EPA regulations and documents in our references, but the risks are: ASBESTOS REMOVAL, Amateur, Incomplete health hazards for the worker(s) and a risk of contaminating the building with asbestos, leading to a still more-costly cleanup. Here is a general description of a professional asbestos cleanup procedure:
What is the Typical Cost of Asbestos Pipe Insulation Removal - per linear foot
Because we are past the peak of consumer fear about asbestos contamination and because the procedures, regulations, licensing have become well known, removal prices for a job like the one you describe should be manageable.
Current (2011) costs per foot to remove asbestos pipe insulation range from around $12. to $25. per foot on larger jobs, and $40. to $65. per foot on a small job. Those per foot costs tend to be less on a larger asbestos abatement project than on a smaller one because of the overhead of coming to the job, setting up containment, etc.
Does the Asbestos Pipe Insulation Actually Have to Be Removed?
If the asbestos pipe insulation is in good condition (not falling off, damaged, making a mess) and especially if it's not in an area where it is likely to be disturbed, you have the option of leaving it in place, perhaps coating it with an encapsulant. The cost of this approach is less than asbestos pipe insulation removal, and the total release of asbestos particles in the building is also less.
Of course plumbing and heating repairs or changes may make it necessary to disturb asbestos-insulated piping, in which case the material needs to be removed and disposed-of.
Asbestos site inspection fees
Typically you'll get a quote based on the number of linear feet of asbestos-insulated pipe to be cleaned, possibly such a quote can be obtained just by telephone, with of course the proviso that on seeing the site and a need for other measures that quote is "subject to site inspection" . If an onsite survey is required to plan the asbestos cleanup, some contractors charge around $300. for that service, and may for give that fee if they are then hired to conduct the cleanup.
Asbestos Waste Disposal Fees
We find this cost varies widely from being included in the cleanup per foot cost, to low fees for in-ground burial where permitted, to a cost per bag or pound to have the asbestos containing waste material double bagged and hauled to an approved dumping site by a licensed hazmat waste hauler.
Other asbestos cleanup costs
Other costs on larger asbestos abatement jobs typically include fees to run an air scrubber - figure $100./day - and the fees paid to a qualified expert for asbestos tests performed at the site before, during, and after the cleanup. For small residential asbestos cleanup jobs such as yours, onsite airborne asbestos monitoring is not performed.
Keep in mind that an amateur asbestos removal that contaminates the building is likely to result in a far greater subsequent cost to inspect, test, and clean the building of scattered asbestos dust and debris. During the peak asbestos scare I inspected a home for a buyer and observed extensive asbestos-insulated heating piping in the basement.
The owner decided he'd do the abatement himself. His wife later told me that "... he had white powdery stuff tracked literally all through the first floor of our home and even upstairs at times ...". In short, he made a horrible mess. The real estate sale stopped dead while the owners had to hire experts to then come and clean the entire home by wiping and HEPA vacuuming everything. It would have been less costly to have done the cleanup right the first time.
Questions & answers or comments about what building materials may contain asbestos, visual identification of asbestos-containing materials in buildings, and possible asbestos material identification by testing, use, age, appearance.
Try the search box just below or if you prefer, post a question or a comment in the Comments box below and we will respond promptly.
Search the InspectApedia website
HTML Comment Box is loading comments...
Technical Reviewers & References
Related Topics, found near the top of this page suggest articles closely related to this one.