asbestos insulation... and removal

Let me preface this… I did not recommend the new owners remove this insulation themselves…

upon seeing the insulation on the old steam piping, the buyer and his father was like… “we can remove that, just wear a good respirator…” I urged them to look into it a little further and contact a qualified professional prior to attempting to remove this stuff (in very poor shape)

any other thoughts to handle this? I know it is very expensive to hirer this work out… I have heard various reports that homeowners are allowed to remove a limited amount themselves (taking precautions) and dispose of it themselves… :neutral: this question was intended for my knowledge overall vs. directing any clients to do this type of stunt!!!

thanks in advance…


All asbestos (whether it be 1" or 100 feet) must be removed by a licensed Asbestos removal contractor.

Keep in mind that if the Asbestos is not friable or flaking, it does not have to be removed. In your situation here, it requires immediate encapsulation or removal.

Here’s the information I supply my clients regarding Asbestos…

Generally, asbestos-containing materials 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.

Thanks Dave,

I agree… however I found some info on the state of maine website that allow asbestos removal on the exterior of homes… page 11/12 of this document…

I basically recommended a professional and referred the client to the State and Federal websites.

oh and read sections B on page 12/13 interesting too… leaves some room for interpertation…

ohh… check out the photos… the second one shows how friable it really is… this stuff was falling off the piping…

also… they were looking at upgrading some of the piping… old iron piping used for the old coal steam that now was pushing water from the boiler… note that a couple of radiators on second floor was cracked so they were going to repair those and upgrade some piping…

the document previously linked talked to some Licensed boiler techs that are not licensed abatement companies are allowed to remove insulatiion providing they follow procedure… ahhhh too many ways around it for me…

I stick to my guns and refer them to a licensed professional, the EPA and the state department…

Just trying to defend my stance as they fired questions after questions pertaining to they heard or was told, their friend did this or they did that… ohhh by the way… the client is from New Hampshire who may have slightly different rules and regs…


That document link is dead.

Anyways, I stay away from recommending any homeowner to fix, repair or upgrade any component within the home.

Let’s say you tell your client that it’s OK to do a certain task themself (whether MAINE regs allow it or not). They finally move in to their new home and start attacking that particular task. Then all of the sudden one of the new homeowners gets seriously hurt.

Who are they going to blame?

Trust me…(on a serious injury) they will be looking for names.

I simply stay away from giving my clients permission to attack certain projects around the home.

Always refer them to the Pro’s.

That’s why I stated…

Totally agree with David Valley;

Marcel :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

Just to clarify…

and curious as to if anyone had any other knowledge…

also link is fixed.

Good grief Jeff, there is not only the issue of removal, but also containment and disposal, once you start removing that stuff the fibers will be everywhere, definately a job for the pro’s and done under controlled conditions.



Ok… I TOLD them to seek professional help in anything they do with the asbestos insulation… I just was trying to back up my point and not to try it themselves… I was trying to dispell there stories of taking care of it themselves… and clarify some of the ambiguities within the guidelines posted on the state site…

i don’t know about you, but i’m not going to “tell” anyone that’s asbestos. did you test it? i’d mention that it looks like the type that may have asbestos.

Hey, Jeffrey.

Your link is still messed up. I think you have two “http://http://. . .”

Here it is, though:

There is a minimum $25,000 per incident for improper removal of asbestos here in Hawaii.

I highly recommend that the product be properly tested an removed by a licensed abatement contractor.

I think there was some confusion so I will start over…

The asbestos was disclosed and the client initiated conversation about sealing and or removal. I urged them to seek professional advice because I did not know what a home owner could legally and SAFELY do themselves. I left it at that other than strongly recommend further action since the material was in poor condition.

My query here was to see if anyone had any additional knowledge to the extent that homeowners were allowed to do because all info I read was vague… whether it be exterior, interior tile or heating system related there are exceptions built into the laws… I imagine every state is different.

I did not distinctly identify it as asbestos or inform them to remove themselves… these were very gung-ho clients who thought they could do everything themselves. :roll:

I want to educate myself some more as to what clients can legally and safely do before I get asked this again.

Sometimes I like to inform my client more rather than be vague and simply refer it out… the more education I can have on a particular topic the more educated I am percieved to beon the topic and more likely the client will listen and not do something stupid like ripping out the old crap with nothing more than a dust mask on :shock: … or walking away altogether because of abatement fee scares…

I wanted to be able to say more than talk to specialist… i want to give solid reasons why… state says ABC… EPA says XYZ so you should definately talke to specialist… so on… :mrgreen:

While OSHA standards probably do not apply in this case, They can be used as general guidlines. This is all assuming the material is asbestos and it is friable or not encapsulated. Below is the Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) for asbestos, bottom line is, mesothelioma and asbestosis have developed from one fiber being embeded into the lungs. If you are the photographer, it may be good to have your chest xrays monitored for the development of asbestos related problems when you get your physicals. The OSHA standard also advises employers and building owners to consider TSIs or Thermal System Insulation installed prior to 1980 as asbestos containing materiel until it is properly tested and determined otherwise. Again OSHA probably does not apply here, unless you had an employee involved.

The time-weighted average (TWA) permissible exposure limit has been reduced to 0.1 fibers per cubic centimeter. The Excursion Limit remains at 1.0 fibers per cubic centimeter averaged over 30 minutes. Both of these values are considered PELs.

Requirements for Building/Facility Owners
Most asbestos-related construction activities involve previously installed building materials. Building owners often are the only and/or best sources of information concerning them. Therefore they are assigned specific information conveying and retention duties under the new asbestos standard. Where a building/facility owner also is an employer with employees who may be exposed to asbestos-containing materials, the duties of employers also apply.

The following materials must be treated as asbestos-containing, unless specified procedures are followed to determine otherwise:

Great info regardless… thanks

not sure if it was mentioned, but “fiberous asbestos” like in that pipe insulation, can not be covered over. in a solid state, ie: siding, it can.

I think the EPA handout is a good info paper to homeowners

“heating pipe insulation is consistant with an asbestos product. Recommend evaluation and consultation with a licensed and insured industrial hygenist.”