Asbestos Pipe Insulation Removal
Asbestos is one of the most dangerous remnants of the old days. Previous generations widely used it in the past, only to find in the late 1990s that it can be carcinogenic and cause other serious health implications. Despite the fact that this issue has entered the public debate a long time ago, this common awareness of the potential risk does not always translate into the actual asbestos removal. That particular problem will not go away if it is left alone, if anything, it is going to get much worse as time goes by. Because of the fact that asbestos deteriorates with every year, it must be handled by professionals who have sizeable experience in the area and can guarantee that all the safety measures are kept in place.
One of the trickiest areas where asbestos was heavily implemented was piping and insulation and this article is meant to explain all the aspects which have to be kept in mind while dealing with these particular cases. Piping is one of these elements of our households which majority of us pay little attention to. After all, as long as there are no leaks or sink blocks, why would anyone need to ensure if everything works fine? The case of asbestos on pipes is even less known, which is a tremendous mistake that may cost the lives of a lot of people.
It very often happens that pipes are made of this material or can have insulation that, obviously, deteriorates over the years and can become friable. And this is where the situation really needs to be properly investigated. First of all, all you should verify whether the suspected elements really do consist of asbestos (it is very difficult to establish that with 100% certainty without years of experience and appropriate tools). To do that, a special surveyor should take a look at the suspected areas and give a professional opinion. Piping is especially treacherous, which is why any types of unassisted conducting examinations are highly discouraged as it can lead to the toxic fibres being released.
Insulation, in turn, was one of the most popular ways of utilizing asbestos during the majority of the twentieth century. It helped to conserve energy or soundproof rooms. Now they could be commonly found in places such as attics or in walls. Historically, asbestos was used on piping in order to prevent heat loss. While it served this purpose well, more and more reports started flooding in about the toxicity of this material. These days it is visible in a form of a coating (very often painted), that may sometimes render the identification more difficult. Experts stress that this particular type of material is a really pernicious effect on people’s health and deposit the toxic fibres in the respiratory system.
Can I legally remove asbestos myself?
It is allowed for householders, but when it comes to residential properties, DIY asbestos removal is limited. Commercial properties, however, require hiring a certified removal expert to carry a removal procedure. Please, bear in mind, that DIY removal is not advised as a lack of knowledge of how to conduct it properly may lead to disturbance of asbestos.
Cost of asbestos pipe removal
The costs of asbestos removal depend on the type of work that is required and its extent, hence it may start from £680, for a given work, but it may also cost much more for the total removal of asbestos in a 1,500 square foot home, including removing asbestos insulation, pipe lagging, flue pipes.
Is asbestos wrapped around pipes dangerous?
Asbestos is harmful when is disturbed and becomes airborne, thus, easily enters the respiratory tract. But if it is in some kind of enclosure (for example placed within the walls) and there is little probability of disturbing it, it is not very likely for it to be dangerous. However, during refurbishment or demolition, it must be kept in mind, that the risk is increasing, and there should be conducted a proper risk assessment prior to undertaking any work.
Is asbestos really that harmful?
Materials that contain asbestos are not regarded as dangerous as long as it is not disturbed, hence friable. It means that once the asbestos is crumbled, it releases tiny asbestos particles that float in the air and might effortlessly enter the lungs. Consequently, asbestos may cause cancer of the respiratory tract, mesothelioma or asbestosis, or other serious health conditions.
How to check whether a given material has asbestos in it?
To verify the presence of asbestos in a given material, a sample of the air must undergo an analysis under a microscope. The most reliable examinations are held by certified laboratories.
What is asbestos cement pipe?
Asbestos cement (AC) pipe is pipe made of a combination of asbestos, cement and water, in which cement serves as a binding factor that keeps fibres of asbestos in the firm matrix so that particles of it are not released into the air as long as it is not disturbed. It was commonly utilised in the mid-‘90s for purposes like sanitary sewers or potable water distribution network, storm drainage systems or drainage pipes, thanks to the fact that it was extremely durable (up to roughly 70 years). Though it is considered to be nonfriable, in many cases this solution is being removed from infrastructure.
Is asbestos pipe insulation hazardous?
As anything containing asbestos, the asbestos pipe insulation may also pose a threat to one’s health once the asbestos is disturbed, and hence, airborne. Sprayed-on asbestos has a high potential of releasing fibres into the air which may lead to inhaling it and depositing fibres in one’s lungs.
Does pipe insulation have asbestos?
A lot of materials and construction elements in old buildings contain asbestos, for instance, pipe insulation, as well as outdated valve insulation jackets (specifically its fabric), but also various other parts like ducts, plumbing and Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning (HVAC) component.
What to do if I have asbestos pipe insulation?
First, you should not try to get rid of it by yourself, since not thorough, DIY asbestos removal may cause disturbance of asbestos and its disintegration. As soon as you find asbestos pipe insulation in your dwelling, you shall contact a licensed contractor that will provide you with comprehensive help.
Do I have to remove asbestos pipe insulation?
It all depends on the condition of asbestos pipe insulation and its enclosure. Undoubtedly, it is recommended to remove all of the asbestos from a given place, but in some specific cases, for example, when the pipe is well-preserved, without any marks and cracking, and there are no chances of leakage, it is enough to enclose it tightly so as not allow asbestos fibres to crumble and float in the air. It also happens that householders prefer not to do anything about this issue in fear of disturbing asbestos. In cases like this one, contact us – you will have your dwelling thoroughly assessed and we will help you choose the best solution to ensure the safety of your home or workplace.