Asbestos was used in thousands of building materials and associated products until 1978, and latter, but particularly prior to the 1960`s. Asbestos is not just wrapped around old heating pipes and in floor tiles. After horse hair was no longer available at high volume asbestos was mixed into plaster for strength from the 1930`s until the 1970`s. Also joint compounds contained asbestos. Construction adhesives for floor tile, wall paper adhesives, caulk and all sorts of products contained some asbestos. Some products were produced into the 1980`s. It is a very strong, fire proof mineral that can last for years in construction. However it is very hazardous when disturbed enough to cause asbestos particles and/or dust in the air.
Is that asbestos wrapped around those pipes? Only a test sample can determine that. The old canvas covering also had asbestos in it. When the canvas deteriorates and frays, it leaves fibers in the air and exposed the soft asbestos insulation. This insulation can then crack and break leaving asbestos deposits below. Asbestos fibers can stay airborne for over two days when disturbed, removed. and/or repaired and simple face masks do not stop the fibers
If you are planning major remodeling on an older home or building, Asbestos (and lead) should be a major concern for workers and residents. Lancaster Environmental Testing offers pre construction asbestos (and Lead) testing so certified contractors can be made aware of the presence prior to the work starting. Also, residents of the home or building need to be protected from asbestos fibers in with dust during and after construction or remodeling. Remember, the asbestos fibers can stay in the air for a couple days after being disturbed, especially during removal and improper containment. We also offer "Post Mitigation" testing to make sure a proper clean up has been done after work is completed. An improper clean up also can allow asbestos fibers to settle throughout the building and be tracked around throughout the structure.