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Old 08-25-2009, 12:33 PM   #1
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Sealing Asbestos?

Hello all,

First of all: like a diligent little newbie, I did search around and googled
I'm currently looking at a house that was built in 68. Like 50% of the houses in that neighborhood, it appears it has asbestos ducts like below:

My question is: All of the vents have a yellow sealant (looks like some soft of insulation foam?) over the hairs at the end of the duct work. Is this a viable solution for sealing the asbestos? My home inspector mentioned it would most likely be 15k to gut the slab and the ductwork inside. Unfortunately, that doesn't sound like an option at this point. Thoughts?


Last edited by newbsauce; 08-25-2009 at 12:38 PM.
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Old 08-25-2009, 01:29 PM   #2
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Google: "sealing asbestos insulation" for lots of info. The only way I know of is for it to be hermetically sealed with special paint or plastic by professionals.


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Old 08-25-2009, 02:20 PM   #3
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First question: are you sure it's asbestos and not clay tile? I have seen situations where the two were confused by multiple observers, including experienced home inspectors and HVAC contractors:

Fig 1: Asbestos duct in floor slab from .

Fig 2 Clay tile duct in floor slab at one of my inspectons in a north Chicago suburb.

Fig 3 One method of clay tile identification is by photographing down a duct section through a floor register.
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Old 08-25-2009, 02:24 PM   #4
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I'm fairly sure its asbestos. I'm no professional, but my home inspector is the real deal - 65, 20 years of building experience, and pretty damn good. He only checked one vent and told me there was asbestos (we had an issue and we have to go back). I went around and checked the other vents, and they had some strange yellow insulation foam/spray around where the fibers where on this one vent. It looks like the ducts themselves MIGHT have been encapsulated, but you can tell from the fibers at the edge of this one vent that it is asbestos. I do not see fibers in the ductwork itself, but only at the edges where it mates to the vents. Looks like fiberglass almost.

I will take pictures tomorrow at noon and post from my phone.
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Old 08-26-2009, 10:19 AM   #5
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No experienced home inspector would mistake (even dirty) fiberglass for asbestos. So it probably is asbestos. Get it taken out or properly sealed as soon as you can. Sounds like someone may have had a shot at this already to prevent the fibers getting into the circulating air but they may also simply have been trying to seal air leaks at the registers.
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