A company to remove asbestos?

house mechanicals pipes ductEmily emails with follow-up -- and a question (emphasis added):

A few weeks ago, someone asked for recommendations for a reputable home inspector who specialized in old homes (they specified farmhouses). As luck would have it, a few weeks later my husband and I found ourselves needing a reputable home inspector with experience looking at old homes.
Your readers' recommendations were unbelievably spot-on. The inspector we chose (Peter Shaming of Excelsior Home Inspections if I may be specific) was incredibly thorough, knowledgable and professional. He found things that had been missed on a previous inspection and even managed to impress the two engineer team of my husband and father-in-law which is not an easy task.
Well, with all that- one of the things he found was a small amount of old asbestos wrap around some ductwork in the basement. We would like to get it professionally removed and are looking for recommendations. Your readers gave us awesome guidance the first time, does anyone have any reputable and licensed asbestos abatement contractors they would recommend?

First off, it's great to hear those earlier answers were helpful. +1 to everyone who offered a suggestion.

Now, onto Emily's question: Have a suggestion for a good company to handle this asbestos issue? Or maybe your house also had a similar asbestos situation and you found away to address it without removal? Please share.

Comments

I don't have any suggestions, but I'm looking for the same thing. I have what I believe to be asbestos wrapped pipes in my basement. I want it tested and possibly removed, but I don't even know who to ask or how much it might cost.

I'm not positive Earth Safe Environmental does asbestos, but I'm fairly certain they do

http://moldremovalalbany.com/

Try contacting someone at AHP Home (Albany County) http://ahphome.org/ or TRIP (Rensselear County) http://www.triponline.org/

They have some great resources & suggestions for homeowners in general. They may be able to direct you to someone who can help, or at least get you there.

Unless you need to do work on the duct/pipe, or the asbestos is crumbling, the best thing to do is just seal it in plastic and leave it alone. It's not a health hazard if it's solid and non friable.

If it is only a small amount of asbestos tape, you might consider simply covering it in mastic. The asbestos tape is dangerous if it is friable (you can see it coming apart / the fibers). Mastic is a resin that is often used in place of tapes to connect pipes now. The mastic will dry over the asbestos tape and prevent any of the fibers from getting into the air, and help reinforce the connection. If you are careful and wear a face mask, you should have no trouble.

Try Dan Bell at TJ Bell: asbestoscompany@yahoo.com
518-424-1582
They do small to medium jobs as well as residential lead and mold abatement.

I answered on Twitter but forgot to post here as well. I agree on calling Dan Bell. They do a good job, fully in accord with regulations.

I would also agree with Jennifer. If it's a small amount and you can wrap it, cut the pipe, and bag and dispose, there's no reason not to do it yourself. Wear a mask. Very minimal risk.

At my old Central Avenue studio, in 1990, after the landlord backed out of agreeing to remove asbestos insulation over several large water pipes, the containment solution was to spray paint the pipes with 3 coats of oil based paint, and not disturb them. The few small spots starting to crumble and the rest were turned 'rock hard', and sealed.

If you don't really plan on hanging out in the asbestos area, your best bet (and most cost effective plan) would be to let it be. It does a good job at what it was designed for and if you don't disturb it, you have nothing to worry about.

The suggestions above are correct. Unless you need to disturb it with renovations or it will be banged into, leave it alone. It does an excellent job in insulating and will not cause any harm unless it is deteriorating. Wrap it in plastic if it makes you feel better.

If it does need to be removed it is an easy job to do yourself. Wear masks, cover the floor to catch whatever falls, and spray the asbestos with water from a squirt bottle to moisten it. Double bag it and throw it away.

A contractor will charge you a fortune to do this work as they are paying a fortune to their insurance company and have to set up crazy extravagant workplace enclosures.

Asbestos does hurt people, but generally only with repeated exposure to people who are sensitive to it (esp smokers). Pictures of factories back in the day show that the asbestos dust was so thick in the air you could hardly see. People worked in that stuff 40-60 hours a week for years and the majority of them didn't die from it. Ask an older boiler technician about it - they used to have snowball fights with the stuff and their clothes were covered with it most days. Notice that they are alive and well as they are telling you the story. Most every old house in Albany Schenectady Troy has asbestos insulation covering the pipes / ducts - just leave it.

So just for folks who may be wondering, based on the above, why you would bother to remove it at all -- if you're putting in a new heating/cooling system and need/want to alter the ducts, you'll get a shock at what that will cost if it has to include touching asbestos, and you'll want to deal with that separately, either by yourself or with an independent contractor. The other scenario is if you're going to be selling your house. I'm not sure what the current disclosure requirements are, but it's definitely a bonus with older homes to not have long runs of asbestos-wrapped pipe showing.

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