Asbestos was used widely in building construction due to its properties as a fire retardant, insulator, and sound dampener, amount other things. While we’ve already posted an overview of asbestos building materials, this article will double down on one of the specific uses of asbestos. Much of asbestos found in home and businesses today comes in the form of insulation. Let’s go over the four basic types of insulation, their composition, and what kind of dangers that they pose.
Loose Fill Asbestos Insulation
Loose-fill insulation was an “easy in” insulation that was blown or poured into attics and crawl spaces of homes and commercial buildings. Usually lightweight and easily disrupted by air currents, dangerous types of this insulation can either be mostly made of asbestos or be made partially of vermiculite – in some cases contaminated vermiculite that shouldn’t contain asbestos at all.
Spray-On Asbestos Insulation
Another form of insulation that was made to be applied easily, many of these applications included asbestos and an adhesive designed so that the asbestos could be hosed onto walls, ceilings, and load-bearing beams. Not only did these prove a hazard while applying them: they also are easily damaged which results in a cloud of powdered asbestos.
Asbestos Insulation Wrappings
Made of fabric or cardboard infused with asbestos, these wrappings (sometimes called lagging) were coverings for hot water pipes and hot air ducts, as well as water heaters and furnaces. The asbestos cardboard, in particular, is dangerous as most of it has started to decay and release asbestos. Fabric asbestos also poses the same problem, especially around values and other places of wear and tear.
Asbestos Block Insulation
Sometimes you can find blocks of rigid or semi-rigid insulating materials, especially in older and cheaper property. This block insulation was easy to produce and install, and much of it was infused with asbestos for both its insulation and fire-resistant properties. Depending on the materials, these blocks can be made partially or almost completely with asbestos.
We hope you’ve found this article useful to learn more about how asbestos was used in building construction, especially as an insulating agent. If you have concerns about your insulation or other building materials containing asbestos, contact Fiber Control, Inc. We’re asbestos remediation specialists serving Massachusetts and New Hampshire, and we’re here to help.