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I hope it is not a bother to bring another issue that came out.

I am in the process of buying a house. I am at high risk of Lung cancer, so trying to avoid unnecessary risks. The inspection today showed asbestos tile and mastic in the utility room in the basement, next to HVAC and laundry. Please see attached. Most likely this is non-friable but it can become with friction.

Two questions:

What is the best course of action? I think removal is risky and very expensive. Leaving it as is, is an uncomfortable things due to risks. So it boils down, i feel, to covering it. WITH WHAT? There must be some tricks to do that neatly and minimal risk.

Second question: now I can't sleep well thinking what if there is airborne asbestos in the place. I am thinking of an indoor air quality test to check for asbestos. Is that ok? am I going overboard?

Any other tests I should do if I am concerned about health risks?

Thank you

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A good wax has been shown to work fine. That said.....

Covering it used to be the recommendation, but some installers are getting tagged in 3rd, 4th, and 5th party lawsuits alleging their installation over the tile created a hazard. While ridiculous, that doesn't mean installers don't have to deal with the hassle.

It's a can of worms, unfortunately. Reasonable prudent measures are wilting under the possibility of legal action. Removal is where everyone seems to go, although that's a bad, or silly, idea imho.

I don't know how it works in your neighborhood.

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Gently fill the low spots where tiles are missing with leveling compound. Once that hardens, glue vinyl flooring down. That does not create dust.

Did your inspector mention drywall plaster? Old plaster may contain asbestos. Just a precaution if you need to repair walls or ceilings. Painted surfaces are perfectly safe.

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OK I finish with something and something else comes up. So are you telling me that drywalls can have asbestos in them? what can I do in this case? I can't put a nail in the wall? This is crazy. How do people live in old homes. DC is full of old homes where rich people live in.

Tomorrow an inspector will come in and give me an estimate for removal. I decided on this since the tiles are broken and any remediation is messy. I just hope they do a clean job since the HVAC is in that utility room. don't want things to get into the HVAC if it is not there already.

Anyone would advise for me to do an air quality test (for asbestos) before I finalize the contract, just in case airbone asbestos is too high for my liking? (removal will not help with that). I am not sure why would that be the case...

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Asbestos was used in >3000 building products for over a century. It can be in just about anything. USG has been Chapter bankruptcy proceedings for >35 years over asbestos in nearly all of it's products. It can be in old plaster, and often is. I've even found it in paint. Several times.

If we're talking reasonable, prudent, and satisfactory, encapsulation with Jif Set and laying vinyl over it is better than removal. Much better. I'm only providing some of the obstacles to what's reasonable and prudent that derive from the nearly trillion dollars worth of asbestos litigation currently being waged.

Any asbestos air test can turn up asbestos. The testing done as part of a removal is only to show that conditions were not made worse; it's not to see if it's better. IOW, one usually finds some before and after. I've read that asbestos fibers have been found in small concentrations on the polar ice caps; it's a component of the atmosphere at this point.

You're asking good questions without good answers. How bad is it really? There's approximately 187 microfibers alleged to be as bad as asbestos, and what's happening in China now is effecting world air quality levels, and the stuff is bad.

I'm not sure how you calibrate this to satisfy your personal concerns. Any reasonable effort at encapsulation should be just fine for you. That said, there's no good definition of what reasonable means.

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Final question. I am really bothered by the fact that it turns out that not only the utility room has asbestos but the whole recreation room below the carpet (and office below new tiles, but I don't worry about the latter). Carpet is NOT an appropriate encapsulation especially if the tiles below are chipped. They installed a new carpet and god knows what happened to the tiles 50 years after construction.

I have decided to either walk away or ask for price of COMPLETE asbestos removal from under the carpet and the utility room. A space of around 600sqft.

Am I guaranteed that after removal/remediation/cleaning I would be able to go down to levels of asbestos in the air between 0.0002 and 0.003 f/cc (which is the level of ambiant air and non contaminated buildings, respectively)... ? Is that something I can ask the removal company to achieve.

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