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Have you ever looked at buying a house that is about 70-100 years old and in the basement It had one of the pipes from the radiator system wrapped in asbestos insulation? In general, it seems to be in good condition; however, there is one spot (a few inches wide) that has been cut or is frayed.

Then you wonder:

Is this dangerous?
Am I crazy for considering this place?

If you read up on asbestos, it is generally more dangerous if it’s removed as it can airborne the fibers, which can then be inhaled and possibly cause cancer. The cost to safely remove asbestos can run into the thousands of dollars. So you need to definitely educate yourself on this topic. If you ask most HVAC workers, they will tell you that “asbestos scare stories” are overdone. I would personally get a professional to look at it and advise me of my options.

A key thing to consider is that a house with asbestos wrapped insulation likely has asbestos in the insulation, floor tile / linoleum, ceiling tiles, plaster, etc. It also has lead paint, mercury, radon, and a host of other scary things. So, if you are a person who worries a lot, you might want to look elsewhere. Furthermore, the sale value of a house with asbestos can be negatively impacted due to the negative stigma attached due to the health concerns.

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10 COMMENTS

  1. As a kid we had asbestos tiles on the floor of our basement, asbestos ceiling tiles and my father had a pair of lineman's electrical asbestos-made gloves I played with all the time. I'm 62 and still here to talk about it. My daughter is in the process of buying a 90+ year old home that has heating pipes wrapped and in tears at the expense and process to rid of it for FHA. Ridiculous.

  2. Back in the 80s millions maybe billions, was needlessly spent removing asbestos insulation. The only time it's hazardous is when it's disturbed. If it ain't broke don't fix it.

  3. Now that the EPA, and the rest of you blind followers, have most people amply scared to death of asbestos, you should realize a couple things about it: it works; and it's fireproof. 
    I have known people who have worked around asbestos all of their working careers, be it pipe wrap, car breaks and one guy who used to play in piles of it as a kid. None of them had cancer, two of the three I knew smoked cigarettes, and all three lived well into their 80's and 1 passed away at 93. 
    The EPA nor any research agency cannot prove absolutely that asbestos "causes" cancer, but they have you believing that it will crawl out of your basement and attack you in your sleep! 
    The key to removing, or working with asbestos is to get it damp. The fibers are light and float in the air when disturbed. If you wet it down before working on it, they won't. When dampened it can safely be removed and bagged for the rubbish, or wrapped to repair splits. This is what the the "people in white suits and masks" do. 
    A little common sense goes a long way. Try using some so we can be rid of useless orgs like the EPA that use scare tactics to perpetually cost you money!

  4. it only takes one fiber to migrate into the soft tissue of the lungs to cause mesothelioma. You inhaled a couple thousand just stirring up the dust in that basement by your movement. Good Luck

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