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  1. #1
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    Default asbestos around register

    found this asbestos around heating register but nothing on duct. How can I address to buyer? Is it serious?

    Thank you

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: asbestos around register

    "Material noted around HVAC register at floor level in _______ room that appears to possibly be asbestos. Recommend having material tested and removed if proven to be asbestos."

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  3. #3
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    Default Re: asbestos around register

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    ... Recommend having material tested and removed if proven to be asbestos
    IMO, it's safest to leave it to the Industrial Hygienist or the asbestos remediation company to specify the required remediation.

    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

  4. #4
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    Default Re: asbestos around register

    You can say it looks like asbestos and do what Nick and Michael suggest. I wouldn't say it is because that puts you in a trick bag.
    As we know, asbestos is a problem when airborne so the location could be a real problem.
    If its at the register, then I would be thinking that its old oversized gravity feed cuts in the house. Are any ducts visible, what are duct sizes, do they look abnormally large, what type of heater is installed, original old unit or newer high E? You can have real air distribution problems if old gravity feed ducts are left as is with a newer high E unit. Not enough static pressure to get air to rooms. I would suggest thinking about this a bit.

    www.aic-chicago.com
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    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

  5. #5
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    Default Re: asbestos around register

    "Possible Asbestos Containing Material(s)" PACM.

    Suspected Asbestos Containing Material - higher level of expertise and identification.

    Without specialized training, suggest using "Possible Asbestos Containing Material".

    Describe the material and location. All I can make out is some fiberous material, may or may not be a board product. You can always refer to a professional to sample and identify. Such generally involves a microscopic examination under polarized light, if negative, a confirmatory negative burn test (and examination of the residual). The licensed consultant and laboratory can and generally will afford remediation suggestions/precautions should there be an affirmative test result.

    You might also mention the condition of the material surface, broken, cracked, frayed, damaged, etc.

    Do not disturb, poke, move, scrape, sample PACM without special training, license, etc. if the PACM does not belong to you.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 02-03-2011 at 11:46 AM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: asbestos around register

    It is common in older homes here, and it is quite likely to be asbestos cloth cut in strips and wrapped around the duct where it contacts the wood subfloor. They thought that duct would get hot enough to burn the wood? Maybe it was just a handy way to provide an airtight seal. Anyway, it is common, so there are people who are familiar with dealing with it. I have seen it encapsulated with a grey paint-like product. Also can be covered with foil tape.

    That particular vent you have there needs more than just a bit of tape, though.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  7. #7
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    Default Re: asbestos around register

    this is on the registers of medium efficiency forced air furnace. When I followed my mentors, it was commonly found on houses before 1970 in vancouver area.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: asbestos around register

    Hello Peter,
    Write it up as register insulation similar to ACM (asbestos containing material) and recommend testing by a licensed accredited laboratory.
    The key factor is what condition the material is in.
    If it's in a torn, damaged or ripped condition then it is in a friable condition, which is one that is capable of releasing fibers into the air and that makes it a possible safety health hazard.
    The only way asbestos will hurt you is by breathing or ingesting it. The fibers are sometimes invisible to to the eye and have been known to hover in the air for up to 72 hours. Latency period is sometimes10 or more years.
    Best thing to do is not to disturb it, or spray water on it to keep the fibers from floating in the air.
    "Similar to A.C.M., recommend testing by accredited lab and removal by licensed contractor if results are positive."
    I know a little about asbestos cause I'm licensed in Illinois as a asbestos supervisor besides being a H.I.

    Best Wishes,
    Joe Diaz
    HomeCourt Inspections
    Chicago, IL.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: asbestos around register

    Removal is not the only option. There is also encapsulation.

    By the way, "friable" is a description of the TYPE of material, not a "condition".

    There is FRIABLE, and NON FRIABLE asbestos building material (as a material description)
    Then there is DAMAGED and UNDAMAGED (as a CONDITION of the material observed).

    Asbestos was used in many construction applications and materials, and not all applications had anything to do with heat.


  10. #10
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    Red face Re: asbestos around register

    I disagree. Removal is the ONLY option in my experience. Encapsulation usually involves painting over the asbestos, however, this can only be done for the accessible areas. What about the underlying material??? Asbestos wraps around ductwork can fray and fibers can be released inside the ductwork in the airstream (spray painting the ouside doesn't do crap for that)!
    It's better to advise your client just to have it removed. Installation of new duct boots isn't going to be all that expensive (unless you have to call in the Asbestos Removal guys).
    While were on this subject sometimes you find the asbestos wrap around boiler pipes. Here I don't see it as a big concern (unless the wrap in deteriorating badly) since the pipes are generally heavy wall galvanized steel piping (with fluid flowng thru).

    RJDalga
    http://homeanalysts.com
    Kalamazoo, MI

  11. #11
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    Default Re: asbestos around register

    I rarely see suspected asbestos on pipe or ducts in good undisturbed condition. It nearly always looks frayed or disturbed.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  12. #12
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    Default Re: asbestos around register

    I was not saying that encapsulation was the solution for this particular case. All I was saying was that encapsulation IS an option, and in many cases a much better (and less expensive) resolution to a problem.

    I started doing asbestos work in the early 80's and have sampled a huge amount of material, and also have overseen many asbestos management projects. Many involved removal, but a lot of them used encapsulation methods.

    I was shredding a bunch of old files and came across the Doctors report for when I had to get an OK to wear a respirator. Also found the documentation for my respirator fit test (yes I passed even with facial hair). I'm glad that I will never have to suit up to go into one of those removal sites again. Not much fun in Los Angeles summers.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: asbestos around register

    Encapsulation is just covering the ACM with a mastic sealer. The ACM is still there and now becomes the future problem of the new home owner.
    Taking a respirator fit test with facial hair is ludicrous and a joke. I'm glad you were not project manager of any abatement jobs I've been on.


  14. #14
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    Default Re: asbestos around register

    Joe,
    It just shows how much you don't know. First of all, you have no idea how much facial hair I had when I passed the test. Second, you should know that you can't fake the respirator fit test (not with that nasty gas they use). Third, you have no idea of how long I kept the facial hair when I was doing asbestos work. Fourth, you should know there are many different methods and materials for encapsulation.
    By obviously, you don't know as much as you think.

    I got my EPA certification in the early 80's, when did you get yours? :-)


  15. #15
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    Default Re: asbestos around register

    78 - Chill out Jack, take a deep breath. Enough of your pettiness.


  16. #16
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    Default Re: asbestos around register

    Friability (or friable) is the ability of a solid substance to be reduced to smaller pieces with little effort. The opposite of friable is indurated.

    Not a condition? Really? Wanna re-think that? So malleable is not a condition? How about ductile?

    If they're not conditions then I think, in the vernacular, we can refer to them as tendencies or properties. In any event it's splitting hairs and adds little if anything to the discussion.

    I would consider 9x9 or 8x8 floor tile as PCAMs in an indurate condition and loose, hanging steam pipe as being in a friable condition.

    No?

    Dan Cullen
    www.domicileconsulting.com
    Chicago IL

  17. #17
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    Default Re: asbestos around register

    X ASBESTOS DUCT TAPE The heating duct joints are taped with an asbestos-like material. Areas of this material are damaged and exposed to the flow of conditioned air. This could result in asbestos fibers being released. Further evaluation by a licensed and competent environmental remediation contractor is recommended in order to assess any possible health risk posed by this condition.

    Our boilerplate on this issue. Fire at will.....glad my name's not Will!

    Dan Cullen
    www.domicileconsulting.com
    Chicago IL

  18. #18
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    Default Re: asbestos around register

    Dan,
    I was talking about the way that EPA classifies asbestos in the Friable and Non Friable types. It then defines the "condition" of that type as undamaged, damaged, severely damaged, etc.

    Of course there are other definitions of friable. I was just talking about how EPA classified asbestos types.


  19. #19
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    Default Re: asbestos around register

    Thanks for the clarification Jack. There are young and impressionable minds on the forum after all!

    Dan

    Dan Cullen
    www.domicileconsulting.com
    Chicago IL

  20. #20
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    Default Re: asbestos around register

    Regarding the discussion of "friable" vs "non-friable". This is from Asbestos.com

    Friable vs. Non-Friable Asbestos

    The legal definitions of "friable" and "non-friable" asbestos clearly depicts the differences between dangerous and safe asbestos-containing materials (ACMs).

    * Friable ACM is any material that contains more than one percent asbestos by weight or area, depending on whether it is a bulk or sheet material and can be crumbled, pulverized, or reduced to powder by the pressure of an ordinary human hand.
    * Non-friable ACM is any material that contains more than one percent asbestos, but cannot be pulverized under hand pressure.

    Materials are slightly more confusing within the classification of non-friable ACM:

    * Category I non-friable includes asbestos packings, gaskets, resilient floor covering, and asphalt roofing products.
    * Category II is any non-friable ACM not included in Category I.

    The difference is which non-friable asbestos materials are "Regulated Asbestos Containing Materials" (RACMs). The legal definition covers:

    * All friable ACMs,
    * Including category I non-friable asbestos materials that have become friable as the other materials in them have broken down with age and weather.
    * Category I non-friable asbestos materials that will be, or have been, subjected to sanding, grinding, cutting, or abrading.
    * Category II non-friable asbestos materials that have a high probability of becoming or have become crumbled, pulverized, or powdered by the forces expected to act on the material in the course of demolition or renovation operations.

    Any asbestos-containing material can become friable and fall under federal regulation. A material falls under federal regulation when the level of danger becomes too high for someone to be around it. (italics and bold were added for emphasis by me)


  21. #21
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    Default Re: asbestos around register

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Louis View Post
    found this asbestos around heating register but nothing on duct. How can I address to buyer? Is it serious?

    Thank you
    I hope we DIY/homeowner types are allowed to post in repsonse to these posts. If not, let me know and I guess I'll post this in the homeowner question section.

    Gosh, I hope this isnt' a big problem. When I bought my house about 6 months ago two or three of my inspectors told me that there were damaged HVAC ducts with damaged coatings that appeared to be asbestos (there wasn't really any doubt in either inspector's mind). The seller tested to confirm that it was asbestos and hired a remediation company to remove all the ductwork and an HVAC company to replace the ducts. The registers were not replaced.

    At the time, I thought that was because they didn't have exposed asbestos. When I felt cold drafts coming from the registers because of gaps around them and looked inside, what I saw was almost exactly like this picture, although the coating of asbestos wasn't quite as thick. I had white fibrous material wrapped around almost all of my registers. I'm just going to call it asbestos, since it's pretty obviously the same stuff that was wrapped around my ducts. Around that, there was a nice big gap between the asbestos wrap and the oversized holes in the floors and walls for the registers.

    At this point I was a bit frustrated. I'd hired inspectors who had warned me of the issue and I'd forced the sellers to hire a reputable abatement firm to clean it up and here was loose (I may not be an expert, but I can see when something easily crumbles) apparent asbestos in the air stream that I wasn't expecting. I convinced myself that probably meant that the abatement folks had made some sort of assessment that this was not a big risk and I did a home cure of slathering everything betwen the wood and the inside of the ducts with a nice thick layer of siliconized caulk. I didn't think I was doing a professional-level job of encapsulating the asbestos, but I was working under the assumption that this had already been determined to be a minimal risk, so my ammatuer encapsulation was a second level of protection.

    It sounds like I should call the abatement company for an explanation and seriously consider hiring a different abatement firm to come out, remove my caulk from at least one register and opine as to whether the registers need to be replaced. What a pain.

    This is one of two problems that my inspectors allerted me too that I thought presented a real danger. In both cases, I got the problem fixed. In neither case is the fix satisfactory. Live and learn. Now that I'm moved in, I guess when I hire contractors, no matter who recommends them, I'll have to make sure I know exactly what is and is not being done and why. Trust is overrated.


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