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  1. #1
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    Default Asbestos or not?

    What are the chances these joints are taped with asbestos? I think it is a mastic but am not sure.

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    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Asbestos or not?

    It sure likes asbestos wrap to me, but you should confirm by testing.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Asbestos or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    It sure likes asbestos wrap to me, but you should confirm by testing.
    Being so thin and without fiber webbing embedded for strength, I didn't think it could be asbestos. Is it worth the money to have it tested? It is all in good condition and should not be a health hazard even if it does contain asbestos.

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Asbestos or not?

    I had a heating contractor call that type of tape "wheat wrap" and he said it contained asbestos.

    Having it tested is a difficult call. The EPA website basically advises that if it is in good condition, don't mess with it. However, the reality is if you don't notify them that it might contain asbestos, you could end up in a lawsuit and paying for a new furnace, kitchen, college tuition...

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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Asbestos or not?

    This is another example of something you would include in the report, yet not have a call of action. It would be included because it is information the purchaser may want to know about.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Asbestos or not?

    Age of the house would determine the likely hood of asbestos.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Asbestos or not?

    I've sampled lots of this wrap, and its always come back as asbestos.
    If I see it, I call it out as possible asbestos material, and add necessary remarks depending on the condition (damaged / loose or in good condition).

    If its all in good condition, I wouldn't bother testing. I would tell them to assume its asbestos and act accordingly, and if they ever decided to get into it, then test at that time to confirm.

    As a side note, you may want to have some tested so you know the next time you see this stuff.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Asbestos or not?

    I rarely ever see asbestos/suspected asbestos material in good shape and undisturbed.

    I would definitely call it out as possible asbestos.

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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Asbestos or not?

    looks just like the thin wrap stuff we have around here that was put on runouts in crawlspaces
    just had a crawlspace with it in really bad shape last week
    had it tested once years ago, it was the big A

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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Asbestos or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Cantrell View Post
    This is another example of something you would include in the report, yet not have a call of action. It would be included because it is information the purchaser may want to know about.
    So you would point this out to your client, but not recommend further review by a qualified contractor? Even though your state law requires you to do so?
    O.C.G.A. § 8-3-331 (2014)
    § 8-3-331. Documentation required


    Every home inspector shall provide to the person on whose behalf a home or single-family dwelling is being inspected a written document specifying:

    (1) The scope of the inspection, including those structural elements, systems, and subsystems to be inspected;

    (2) That the inspection is a visual inspection; and

    (3) That the home inspector will notify in writing the person on whose behalf such inspection is being made of any defects noted during the inspection, along with any recommendation that certain experts be retained to determine the extent and corrective action necessary for such defects.

    § 8-3-332. Criminal penalty


    Any person violating any of the provisions of this article shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.


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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Asbestos or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    So you would point this out to your client, but not recommend further review by a qualified contractor? Even though your state law requires you to do so?
    Ken
    For the most part, we are all friends on here. Maybe you don't realize it,, but instead of friendly, you sound adversarial. Like you are making an accusation or inquisition.
    Never the less I'll answer you.
    As you pointed out, Georgia law requires that defects be reported and advice given to contract/ contact the appropriate contractor. I do not see a defect. The mere presents of PACM is not a defect unless it is in poor condition. Therefore, when there is no defect, there is no requirement to recommend a contractor.
    I do think the purchaser should be notified that PACM is present, but testing or remediation is not required, and for the most part, not even advised.

    Last edited by Rick Cantrell; 08-20-2014 at 06:46 AM.
    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Asbestos or not?

    Recommendation from the EPA about undamaged asbestos.
    Protect Your Family | Asbestos | US EPA

    If building materials in your home aren’t damaged and won’t be disturbed, you do not need to have your home tested for asbestos. Material that is in good condition and will not be disturbed (by remodeling, for example) should be left alone.

    Asbestos-containing materials that aren’t damaged or disturbed are not likely to pose a health risk. Usually the best thing is to leave asbestos-containing material alone if it is in good condition.

    D
    o leave undamaged asbestos-containing materials alone.


    Ken, what would you recommend?

    Last edited by Rick Cantrell; 08-20-2014 at 07:24 AM.
    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Asbestos or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Cantrell View Post

    Ken, what would you recommend?
    When I see assumed asbestos, there is always as "call of action" as you put it. Either "leave it alone" if it is undamaged, or "further review by a qualified technician" if it is damaged. As your Georgia law states, if a deficiency is observed it must be reported along with recommendations.

    Just calling out the deficiency, as you stated you did, does not meet the requirements of the law. You claim not to believe the presence of asbestos containing material as being a deficiency. If you don't believe it to be a deficiency, then why are you telling your clients it's present?

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  14. #14
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    Default Re: Asbestos or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Cantrell View Post
    Ken
    For the most part, we are all friends on here. Maybe you don't realize it,, but instead of friendly, you sound adversarial. Like you are making an accusation or inquisition.

    Not meant to sound adversarial. I was hoping you would clarify your original response by stating that you do document the assumed asbestos in your report as a deficiency and make a recommendation to your clients on what should be done. Instead you got defensive and stated asbestos is not a deficiency. I disagree. I think any product forced out of production due to health or safety hazards is a reportable deficiency.

    I think if we polled 100 people off the street, 90 of them would agree that asbestos should be considered a deficiency. These are the same people who would be on a jury.

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  15. #15
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    Default Re: Asbestos or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    Not meant to sound adversarial......
    In another thread you said some were committing fraud, in this thread you say that I do not follow state law. To me, that is adversarial.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Asbestos or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    . I disagree. I think any product forced out of production due to health or safety hazards is a reportable deficiency.

    I think if we polled 100 people off the street, 90 of them would agree that asbestos should be considered a deficiency. These are the same people who would be on a jury.
    Asbestos is still in production and still installed in products. As long as it is not friable and air-borne, it is not a health hazard.

    Home inspectors often report items so that they are documented as a legal preventative. As pointed out earlier, it appears to be in good condition. Document as PACM, and test if client makes any modications.

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  17. #17
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    Default Re: Asbestos or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Ramsey View Post
    Asbestos is still in production and still installed in products.
    Yes, you are correct. It was banned, then a lawsuit overturned the ban. But, since we're talking about residential construction, please tell us where you see it used in new, residential construction.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Ramsey View Post
    As long as it is not friable and air-borne, it is not a health hazard.
    I know that and you know that. But, how will your clients know this unless you tell them? If you agree that you should tell them this, don't you believe it should also be written in the report?

    Last edited by Ken Rowe; 08-20-2014 at 10:29 PM.
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  18. #18
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    Default Re: Asbestos or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Cantrell View Post
    In another thread you said some were committing fraud, in this thread you say that I do not follow state law. To me, that is adversarial.
    In another thread I stated that in my opinion an inspector that saw a deficiency and elected not to inform their clients about it would be considered fraud. In fact, your home inspection laws in Georgia classifies this as a misdemeanor.

    In this thread I questioned whether or not you followed your state laws by giving follow up advice to your clients after observing a deficiency. (in this case the presence of asbestos). I never stated you do not follow your state laws. I didn't have to, you stated it yourself.

    Adversarial? Only if you believe in doing inspections without followings rules and guideline laid out by associations and / or laws and not representing the best interest of your clients.

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  19. #19
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    Default Re: Asbestos or not?

    Products today can be made with asbestos as long as it accounts for less than 1 percent of the product. Current products include brake pads, automobile clutches, roofing materials, vinyl tile, cement piping, corrugated sheeting, home insulation and some potting soils. Although products can still be made with small amounts of asbestos, the regulations that control its use and manage its removal from older buildings are very strict.

    Asbestos Products & Materials - Overview of Products Containing Asbestos


  20. #20
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    Default Re: Asbestos or not?

    Regardless of the condition of the material, and it could be in the best condition I've ever seen, I will still call it out and document it. Even though most of us probably have a disclaimer in our inspection agreement that specifically excludes asbestos from the report, it won't stop a client from getting all torqued up if you don't alert them to a condition that has the potential to cost them a sizable chunk of money.

    I'm sure many of you have had the experience where the buyer moves into the house and then has somebody come in and state, "oh, you've got toxic jibber jabber over here in the basement. Your home inspector should have told you about that". And then you get the call from the buyer who is annoyed at you because they are believing everything their handyman tells them.

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

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Asbestos or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post

    In this thread I questioned whether or not you followed your state laws by giving follow up advice to your clients after observing a deficiency. (in this case the presence of asbestos). I never stated you do not follow your state laws. I didn't have to, you stated it yourself.
    Ken,
    The issue is that unless a product is LABELLED (even by traceable part number with asbestos reference) as containing asbestos there is only a "suspected condition" of having asbestos. As long as the "suspected" asbestos material is in good condition and not damaged and friable there is NO rejectable condition in existence. It would then not be a deficency at all as an inspector can not "see" asbestos unless labelled. IF the material is in good order and performing its intended use, the inspector can only "suspect" asbestos exists, which in itself is not a deficiency when functional and un-damaged.

    Therefore the ONLY possible solution is to note that the product involved "may" be asbestos, and that it is in good condition and functioning "at this time". A note that the client can "have it tested to verify and that when replacing the system there will be additional cost if it is asbesto product" is the respoonsible solution.

    I would not want to be the inspector that delcared something as asbestos and later find it wasn't. That would be a really bad suit because it would have diminished property value.

    My house in Florida has what I believe to be asbestos siding. It has never been tested, therefore it is not a KNOWN condition. It is suspected condition. If I sell my house I do NOT have to declare that it IS asbestos siding, I don't actually KNOW that. It is functional, painted, non-friable and will last for another 100 years or more. The inspector for the next purchaser will have to state that the siding might be asbestos etc. or I could even state it "might be asbestos"

    A Seller can say something might be asbestos or can say nothing legally, until it is tested. Then it MUST declare it to be what it is. Without proof of material I would NEVER state that it IS something that it may not be, period.

    As the material was not tested and not labelled that we know of and in good working order and undamaged, there is NO requirement to refer anyone to anything other than a possible test and note the future cost issue in replacement. No defect or deficiency actually exists.


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