Most homeowners are aware of the health risks associated with asbestos. While removal of the asbestos coating that insulates pipes is often preferred, removal costs may make this prohibitive. Also, the real danger of asbestos is that it will degenerate over time, allowing the toxic particles to become airborne. By covering the asbestos pipes, you can prevent the insulation from becoming airborne until you can remove the pipes and replace them.
Before doing any work on your asbestos pipes, check for any state and local laws governing your area. There may be specific requirements if your home has asbestos, especially if you have just purchased it. Of course, you can save yourself the research and contact an asbestos removal service, which will be able to advise you on how to proceed and will seal your pipes for you if they do not need to be removed. Keep in mind, however, that when the asbestos has begun to degenerate, you may need to remove, not cover up the problem.
Step 1: Locate your safety equipment and make sure it is in good working order. You will need heavy work gloves, a high quality ventilator, and eye protection.
Step 2: Mix the asbestos encapsulate together according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
TIP: Asbestos encapsulate is a liquid product used to seal asbestos pipes. It is applied just like paint, but often must be mixed like epoxy prior to application. For this reason, only mix enough to cover the pipes with a single coat of encapsulate.
Step 3: Apply the asbestos encapsulate to your pipes carefully, making sure to cover all of the asbestos. Allow the encapsulate to dry for 60 minutes.
Step 4: Mix another batch of the asbestos encapsulate and apply it to the pipes for a second coat. Allow the encapsulate to again cure for 60 minutes before proceeding.
Step 5: Wrap the asbestos covered pipes in special asbestos tape, which will further stabilize the insulation. When wrapping the pipe, allow for a ¼ inch overlap for best results.