November 8, 2011

secure asbestos insulation

For many years, manufacturers and builders were unaware of the dangers present in products containing asbestos. Today, asbestos is known to be linked to a type of cancer known as mesothelioma. Asbestos building materials are no longer made or sold, but they are still present in many homes. It is safer, in most instances, to leave asbestos insulation in place. With a friable asbestos product, however, asbestos insulation should be secured and encapsulated to keep the immediate environment safe.

Asbestos is a material that used to be used as a fire retardant insulation for buildings, pipes, roofs and attics. It was discovered in the late 70s that those with significant asbestos exposure were more likely to get certain forms of cancer, such as Mesothelioma. Many homes have asbestos tainted materials somewhere within them. Removal is not always the best option. For small amounts of asbestos, such as asbestos pipe insulation, you can encapsulate, or seal it to reduce any health risks. Asbestos is only dangerous as it deteriorates due to the asbestos fibers that break off, spread through the air, and attach themselves to the mucus lining of your lungs and other organs. Sealing asbestos is a safe alternative. 

How to cover and secure asbestos insulation 

Secure the ventilator firmly around your mouth and nose. Tighten the straps to ensure an air-tight fit, Place a face mask over your mouth and nose to avoid breathing any loose asbestos insulation fibers. Place heavy-duty gloves on before handling the contaminated insulation. 
Mix the encapsulant by stirring or shaking (depending on the type) for 30 to 60 seconds, Cover the asbestos insulation with a firm, nonporous material such as plywood, sheetrock or plastic sheeting. Secure in place over the asbestos insulation with nails or construction staples using a hammer, nail gun or staple gun.
Dip the applicator brush into the encapsulant. Only about one-third of the brush should be dipped into the encapsulant, Wrap plastic sheeting around any asbestos insulation that is wrapped around pipes that are not exposed to high levels of moisture. Completely cover the insulation with plastic and seal all edges with duct tape.
Paint the encapsulant onto each pipe, Allow to dry for 60 minutes. It should be dry to the touch within 30 minutes, but pipes often heat and cool quickly, thus slowing the dry time of the encapsulant closest to the pipe.
Spray a water-based foam on asbestos insulation on wet water or steam pipes. Apply a penetrating or bridging encapsulant according to the instructions included with the product. Allow the product to air dry, Paint a second layer onto the pipe, Cover with asbestos sealing tape.