Asbestos was used in many different ways in the peak of asbestos manufacturing, from attic insulation to durable floor tiles. However, due to both its insulating properties and high heat resistance, one of the largest markets for its use was as insulators and liners for a building’s heating system. In this blog, we’ll look at how asbestos was used to keep hot things hot and prevent damage to property and people, and how those same systems pose a threat to your health now. Make sure to check out our blog, What Parts of a Building is Asbestos Found In?, for a more general overview of asbestos locations.
Asbestos in the Basement
There are three major systems that can exist partially or completely in the basement. The biggest concern here is that with all out-of-sight, out-of-mind spaces that asbestos can be overlooked and deteriorate, especially when it acts as a wrap or lagging on systems. Heat, moisture, and time can cause parts of this insulation, such as fabric or cardboard connected *pieces?*, to fail and release asbestos into the air.
Asbestos in the Ventilation
Older heating systems commonly used asbestos as a liner for the heating system itself, as well as in ventilation duct to retain heat in the cold basement or other parts of the house. As mentioned above, the asbestos in these systems can start to break free, cause asbestos to pass throughout the building through the ventilation ducts.
Asbestos on the Hot Water Pipes
Lastly, asbestos was commonly used as both a covering for the water heater or boiler as an asbestos blanket. Hot water pipes were often wrapped in asbestos infused fabric or cardboard called laggings that could disintegrate over time. These wrapping could follow the piping all the way throughout the structure, meaning there are many points in a building where asbestos could be present.
Whether a boiler room or a home basement, if you’re looking at a building outfitted prior to the 1990’s, you may want to give your air and water heating systems a hard look. If you’re looking for assistance, contact Fiber Control, Inc. for an asbestos inspection. We can provide a free consultation, along with the staff and equipment for proper asbestos abatement. Contact us today.