Asbestos Tape

Just curious, how do you guys usually write up asbestos tape that is on distribution/return lines?


Tommy Kirby



Did you test the tape

Suspect tape is on distribution/return lines, could be asbestos .
Recommend testing and removal by qualified person if it is asbestos .

I won’t say its asbestos without knowing for sure… so best way is how Roy put it.

No have not sent a sample off. … that is why I use the word “may” and “likely”. :slight_smile: I have inspected 4 other houses within 2 blocks of this house and did send off samples of the same material. All came back asbestos. This is what I put:

"Visible portions of the return and distribution lines was tapped with a material which had a strong possibility of containing asbestos, some of which is coming loose. Although asbestos is considered to be a known carcinogen, it is not considered to be a health hazard unless it is in a form in which it can be inhaled.
Asbestos used in the tape to seal ductwork is fragile and can become airborne because of all the air movement in and around the ducts. This is often referred to as “friable asbestos.”
When the furnace fan is on, the return ducts will be under a negative pressure and air can be pulled into the ducts at the seams that are covered with asbestos tape. Some of the asbestos fiber will most likely be pulled into the ducts as well and distributed to the whole house. The supply ducts that send air to the registers are under a positive pressure, which may blow asbestos fibers into the air at the joints and seams.
Inspector recommends further evaluation by a qualified asbestos remediation contractor. "


Asbestos containing material is not generally considered to be harmful unless it is releasing dust or fibers into the air where they can be inhaled or ingested.

Asbestos is most hazardous when it is friable. The term “friable” means that the asbestos is easily crumbled by hand, releasing fibers into the air.

Yes but most people do not want it in their home .
Also can cost many dollars to remove in the future.
I always made sure my client was made aware of this.

Even if they decide to leave it and cover it with aluminum tape it can become an issue when they decide to sell. We need to let them know this as well. On the Alberta disclosure form it is one of the questions. If they know about it they need to have it on the form.

I agree Roy sometimes the homeowner for buyer hears the word and panicks right away. If it is an older home without many upgrades or things done to it chances are it has it. most understanding this and realize it comes with the house they’re looking at that is just one of the narratives I use and also let them know there is a big cost to have it removed if they decide to do work on the house

Follow up:

Three different contractors said the same thing. Due to the wide-spread, (very) friable tape, all contractors recommended complete removal of all trunk/distribution lines. Removal, new lines, wall repair $20-28k.

The ones inside the ductwork are a big concern & I would also recommend removal.