Asbestos. Remove or wrap?

posted 3 years ago in Home
Post # 2
Member
6000 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

I’ll be honest and say that I don’t really know what “wrapping” means but asbestos is some serious shit and I’d want it completely out of my house. That’s not really something I’d take a chance on. But maybe wrapping is 100% safe and I just have no idea haha

Post # 3
Member
679 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

My FI bought a foreclosure last year that had asbestos.

I had never heard of “wrapping” as a way to deal with it.  FI decided to have it removed because he never wanted to deal with it again.  I wasn’t living with him at the time.  We weren’t allowed to watch it but we were told the guys “wet” the asbestos to weigh it down, then wrap it so the asbestos doesn’t become airborne, then somehow remove it.  They took air samples before and after removal to make sure everything was OK.  FI was not living at the house at the time either but they told us to stay out of the house for a day at least; in his case it was a 2 day process.

 

Post # 4
Member
2114 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

From what I’ve seen on home improvement shows, absestos remediation is a pretty intensive process.  Asbestos is really only harmful if it becomes airborne – like you’re doing renovations or anything that will disturb it, or if a ceiling tile that contains asbestos is cracked.

From a website on asbestos:

The most common way for asbestos fibers to enter the body is through breathing. In fact, 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. Many of the fibers will become trapped in the mucous membranes of the nose and throat where they can then be removed, but some may pass deep into the lungs, or, if swallowed, into the digestive tract. Once they are trapped in the body, the fibers can cause health problems.

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. Sprayed on asbestos insulation is highly friable. Asbestos floor tile is not.

Asbestos-containing ceiling tiles, floor tiles, undamaged laboratory cabinet tops, shingles, fire doors, siding shingles, etc. will not release asbestos fibers unless they are disturbed or damaged in some way. If an asbestos ceiling tile is drilled or broken, for example, it may release fibers into the air. If it is left alone and not disturbed, it will not.

Post # 5
Member
2873 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

It is really expensive to remove.  That said, once it is removed, you never, ever have to deal with it again.  Wrapping offers the benefit of not having it break off easily.  It is much cheaper, but not 100% effective.  But not 100%, I mean not 100% in the way a condom is 99.9% affective if used the right way. 

If you ever plan on doing any work to your home, most contractors will not touch a house with asbestos.  It’s too much of a liablity for them.  You are also going to get a higher resale value with it gone instead of wrapped, as a lot of people (myself included) wouldn’t even bid on a home with asbestos.  Removing it now I think is the best way to plan for the future. 

Post # 6
Hostess
9907 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2014

I would personally have it removed, it could affect resale in the future.

The best thing to do is get an expert in to tell you what you’re dealing with and how much your options will cost 🙂

Post # 7
Member
1491 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

Depends on what kind of asbestos you have in your home. Are we talking about asbestos-containing floor tiles?   Probably easier and more cost-effective (and safe!!) to just encapsulate them with a different flooring material.   Is this an old furnace in the basement that has asbestos covered “arms” that are cracking?  Definite removal.  It can be costly too, depending on how much asbestos is in the home and the condition of it currently.   I had quotes for one item (old octopus furnace) for $900, but I think that was a super low end.  I imagine it goes much much higher.  

 It is definitely a job for a specialized asbestos removal company and should never be undertaken as a DIY job by the homeowner.  I would contact a few places, explain your situation and then see what the estimates would be.  

Post # 8
Member
4901 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 2010

Definitely a matter for professionals only.  Asbestos is lethal.  It takes years to kill, but kill you, it will if you aren’t careful.

Post # 9
Member
3280 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

My dad owns an astebos removal company. It is an fairly expensive, instensive process, but wrapping is definitely not an option that would ever be suggested and I’ve never heard of this being done. Also if you ever want to change carpet, get it professionally painted, etc no professional company will come near a place they find out that has asbestos, wrapped or otherwise. Like others said, if it ever becomes airborn, intentionally or accidentally it can be very dangerous. Just remove it so you don’t have to worry about it. 

Post # 10
Member
297 posts
Helper bee

I would always remove asbestos, it is some seriously dangerous stuff. I think it would even stop me from buying my absolute dream home. 

Post # 11
Member
2684 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 1996

We had asbestos in our home (in the basement) when we bought it, and we had it removed. It took a whole day, and then another company had to come in and test the air to make sure it had been done properly (??) – it was pricey but it had to be done. I never heard about “wrapping” it. I think you should just have it removed now, otherwise you might still have to have it removed in the future.

Post # 12
Member
4216 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I would have it removed. 

Post # 13
Member
1016 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

I feel like some people are overreacting a bit, haha. Even back in the day when asbestos miners were exposed to heavy asbestos without protection beyond a dust mask for years – decades even -, the vast majority of them never developed asbestosis or any pulmonary problems. That’s not to say it’s completely innocuous, but it’s far less of a hazard than say, the off-gasing from new carpeting or radon gas that continuously seeps into your basement. 

It really depends what it is, how effectively it can be sealed, and if you think you might want to renovate in the future plus how soon/if you think you will want to sell. Flooring? I would usually just install on top of it. Pipes? They’re easily and safely encapsulated and do not need removal. Drywall? Yeh I’d probably get rid of that pretty soon. The ceiling? Have it sprayed with an acrylic coating and be done with it, unless again you want to renovate to the point of knocking down walls. 

Asbestos is not going to kill you just by being there, don’t worry. It’s also very unlikely that casual exposure will come back to haunt you one day. And lots contractors will come work on your house if it contains asbestos, they will just not handle whatever it is that has the asbestos. 

 

Post # 14
Member
441 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

I’ve always heard wrapping is every bit as safe because the only way asbestos is dangerous is if it becomes broken/airborne… and it will be safe inside the wrapping. When you start removing it, then there’s a much bigger risk of it getting into the air. I say leave it be and keep it protected!

Post # 15
Hostess
15072 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

Have it removed if possible, but if it’s cost prohibited, abate it. If you have it abated you will have to disclose that if you sell in the future, which will affect the price. Don’t try to do either yourself! One particle of asbestos is potentially deadly, it isn’t worth the risk. Dh has been exposed several times at work and the medical tests he has to go through every year because of it suck. 

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