Thursday, October 13, 2005

Gasp, Asbestos

This is a quick follow-up to my post yesterday about Grendil. A few people asked and some commented on the asbestos aspect of old ductwork.

Yes, the cream coating on Grendil is insulation fortified with asbestos. For those of you that have heard of the evils of asbestos....but never seen you have :-)

In making my decision to keep Grendil....being comfortable with the old insulation was a big factor. The word asbestos makes most people cringe, but there is a lot of misinformation out "there" that leads to a lot of unnecessary hysteria. In the end, illness attributed to exposure to asbestos by a homeowner is virtually non-existent. But, like everyone else.....I wanted to mitigate any possible hazard in my, I did a LOT of research.

The asbestos insulation on my ductwork had been painted by a previous owner in what I think was a misguided effort to encapsulate it. The paint is deteriorating because of exposure to heat, but the insulation itself is solid.

So, I decided to find a product to effectively encapsulate the asbestos fibers. I saw the "encapsulation" method mentioned in many, many publications regarding how to effectively deal with asbestos. However, not one of those publications mentioned a specific product.

Thank heavens for the internet. After much research and many phone calls, I discovered a company named TKO Coatings. They make a product called Tuffide. In the specs of this product they specifically address it's uses in encapsulating asbestos insulation. To confirm, I called the company and they allowed me to speak with one of the company chemists who confirmed that I could use the product for coating my ductwork. They also recommended a product of theirs called Bindercoat that "froze" any loose particles in place prior to coating with Tuffide. This eliminates any need to sand down or wash what could be hazardous materials. (As an aside, this is the same company that makes Krack Kote for any of you that have used this product on your plaster walls.)

Tuffide comes in a variety of colors. I chose a light grey. When you call in your order, they will tell you what colors they currently have in stock. I ordered the products and they arrived, but I have not started this project yet. I will report in full once I do.


derek said...

I wonder if BBQ paint would work? I was just going to cover mine with duct tape, where possible. I have a couple ducts that are covered with it, that would be a lot of duct tape.

StuccoHouse said...

Unfortunately, the heat resistance isn't the only factor. You need something that will remain flexible and embeds the asbestos. The Tuffide is a really thick coating that is specifically qualified as an "encapsulant." Regular paint - even heat resistant - doesn't do this. The benefit of an encapsulant besides increased safety and long lasting solution is in the future sale of your house. Regular duct tape isn't made for heat and eventually the glue fails (experience speaking here :-) also doesn't qualify as an "encapsulant." :-(

Anonymous said...

I just finished a hige encapsulation job and thought Id recommend another product as well--

Its from Childers/Foster coatings, and is called CP-11 ViCryl.

MacArthur Company in St paul, and API in Roseville have it.. it works great!

-cruddy bungalow

Christopher Busta-Peck said...

I haven't been able to find a follow up on your blog - how did it go?

I ask this as someone in the position of having to deal with a similar situation on a house that I hope to purchase.

StuccoHouse said...

Anonymous - Thanks for the tip! It's always nice to have some local suppliers.

Christopher - (hanging head) You haven't been able to find the post regarding the completed project....because I haven't gotten to it yet :-) It's now slated for this winter. It shouldn't take me more than a weekend, but my "suspected" asbestos is in good condition, so the project has been taking a back seat when other things come up. I promise I'll post about it when I get there.....really.

StuccoHouse said...

P. S. - I've been following your house hunting. Good luck!

Christopher Busta-Peck said...

I understand. The only reason why I might be making any progress on it is because the city will be making me.

I can't wait to post some pictures of the house - but I want to wait until I've made an offer and it has been accepted. At the current rate of things, it will probably be in the next month or so. Trust me, it will be worth the wait.

StuccoHouse said...

I don't blame you on keepuing details off-line until things are finalized. Just curious - it the asbestos in bad conditon? Usually a city doesn't care about it unless it is "friable."

Christopher Busta-Peck said...

I'm not sure how bad it is. It didn't really register in the walk through (given the age of the houses around here, I just assume that it's all asbestos unless explicitly told otherwise). They have it listed as a violation on the city Point of Sale inspection, but even that isn't very clear - it merely states "Properly encapsulate or remove damaged insulation on heat pipes."

StuccoHouse said...

Have you checked the laws of city/state (or municipality) where the house is located? You might want to give those a may find some clarification to your responsibilities. If you want to email me (owner-at-stuccohouse-dot-net).....I can probably hunt those down for you (job benefit). The thing about asbestos is that if it is intact, the safest route it to just leave it alone or encapsulate. You *may* be reading a comment that isn't necessarily based in law...or maybe it is. Good to know either way. It may buy you some time....and/or a bargaining chip in making an offer. I"ll be interested to hear how this works out for you.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Stucco House! I just ran across your post as I was browsing online about this very issue and wondered if you had encapsulated your asbestost and how that went.
I just moved in as a renter to a place and am noticing some issues with the asbestos insulation so want to have some info in hand when I speak to my landlord about this!

StuccoHouse said...

Mdwest - Not yet, but oddly enough I pulled out the encapsulate materials just yesterday. I'm working on insulating the joists in my basement....then comes the encapsulation (knock on wood). It's one of those projects that's not urgent, so I've been pretty good at setting it aside :)

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