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Amos 01-29-2012 09:55 PM

encapsulating asbestos

I am currently renovating a duplex built in the 1950's and there are four (what I believe to be, haven't tested yet) asbestos vent pipes which originally were used to vent the floor furnaces (which I have since removed) Two are still in use as vent pipes for the hot water heaters on both sides. (the pipes all go from roof to foundation crawlspace, the ones with water heaters have the water heaters jut into them midway)

They all appear to be in good shape (no crumbling seen in house, attic or crawlspace) and the two without water heaters attached appear to already have been painted. All are located in the corners of their respective closets. I would like to have them removed, and am having someone from an Asbestos Removal company come Thursday, but depending on what he quotes me I may not be able to afford removal for a while (I am thinking it will be a high number as these are all 25' so probably 100' total to be removed)

What I was thinking about doing, as an intermediary measure, was framing around the pipes with 2x2's and 1/2 plywood and then putting drywall on top, so that the wall would just jut out where the pipes would be. The idea being that if someone knocked into it when in the closet it wouldn't disturb the pipe. For the water heater one I was thinking about doing the same, but detaching the water heater from it and running a new aluminum duct out through the roof. (so the duct would no longer be in use by anything)

If someone could recommend an encapsulant to use (I was thinking of perhaps using "great stuff" expanding foam) I would also put that on the duct before putting the wood and drywall up. I understand that I would have to take great care in doing this to not disturb the pipe. (as well as other precautions; hepa respirator, moon suit, poly off the area and wet down pipe, etc.) I would only be doing this for the sections of pipe inside the house; while I do go under the foundation or into the attic on occasion I don't think I would be in danger of bumping into the pipes unexpectedly. The only thing I am worried about would be if this were to make it harder in the future to have the pipes removed professionally.

What do you guys think? Is this a good idea? Can anyone recommend an encapsulant, or will great stuff work fine?

(Pictures will be posted in a second)

joecaption 01-29-2012 10:04 PM

No such thing as asbestos pipes. Now the insulation over the pipes could be if there is any.
There is no danger working around them and bumping them is not go to reliece a plume of deadly toxic fumes. It's only going to be a problum if you start cutting it all up.

Amos 01-29-2012 10:12 PM

The pipes. Ignore the discoloration on the ceiling, that was from an issue that existed from when we bought the house that has since been solved.

plummen 01-29-2012 10:20 PM

Looks like what we used to call transite(spell check) pipe to me,if it is yes theres asbestos fibers in the pipe itself.
If you can find a way to revent the water heaters id go that route with b-vent pipe,i would'nt recommend aluminum flue piping for anything other than a dryer vent myself. :)
Anyway once the pipe is no longer being used id just build a soffit around it and cover with drywall and forget about it :)

Amos 01-29-2012 10:35 PM

So it sounds like the original plan would work then? Would I need to use an encapsulant and if so would great stuff work? Also did a quick search on transite (your spelling was correct) pipe and it looks like a likely identification. The good news is apparently its among the least dangerous types of asbestos product out there, and because it has portland cement as its main component it shouldn't be prone to random breakage and release.

Here are some more pictures I took closer to where the water heater pipe enters the main pipe. I figured since they show some of the texture of the pipe clearer it might make it easier to identify.

Ironlight 01-29-2012 10:39 PM

That stuff is in pretty good shape...not friable and likely to release fibers. If you pay to have that removed it's going to be expensive ($20/ft to start) and it will essentially be money flushed down the drain.

There is not a single documented case of anyone who did not work in an occupational capacity with asbestos (i.e. shipbuilding) coming down with mesothelioma from asbestos. If it is not crumbling and likely to be dispersed in your dwelling, just leave it alone or close it up in a soffit, as suggested.

plummen 01-29-2012 10:41 PM

Believe it or not theres still areas of what we call old town bellevue ne by the base where they still have that stuff in the ground as functioning water mains! :eek:
I wouldnt worry about covering the stuff in foam,as long as its framed around and wrapped in drywall it aint going no place :)

Amos 01-29-2012 10:56 PM

Thanks for the help guys. It sounds like it's getting closed up in drywall then. And reading a bit more on the transite pipe, it sounds like replacing the water heater vents with b-vent piping was a good idea anyway, as transite has issues with blockage and heat transfer in addition to its being made with asbestos.

If I'm leaving it there, should I use an encapsulant on the sections in the crawlspace and attic? One site I saw said latex paint, but is there a better (perhaps designed for the task) product?

Funny you should mention ships Ironlight, my Grandfather was actually in the merchant marine and worked in the engine room and as a result later died from mesothelioma. That may be why I'm so paranoid about it now! But I understand your point; it probably isn't going to harm me given the limited amount of exposure I might get.

plummen 01-29-2012 11:02 PM

As long as nobody is banging around the crawl space or i wouldnt worry about it ,its the kind thats wrapped around steam lines that i would worry about :)

REP 01-30-2012 08:01 AM

Paint it,then enclose it,then forget about it.Where the metal flue pipe enters it.caulk it with high temp caulk.

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