Photograph of  Amateur incomplete cleaning of asbestos on a

Amateur Asbestos, Lead, Mold Cleanup Jobs: Warnings

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How to detect dangerous amateur asbestos removal jobs: this article provides photographs of amateur, incomplete, and incompetent asbestos cleanup jobs to help building owners or home buyers spot asbestos in poor or damaged condition in buildings, including identification of amateur or improper asbestos "abatement" projects that failed to properly remove materials or that left abandoned asbestos materials in place.

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Incomplete, Amateur Asbestos Removal - Asbestos on heating pipes - incomplete, amateur removal - highly suspect for contamination

Amateur incomplete cleaning of asbestos on a heating pipe

Fuzzy scraps of asbestos-suspect material left on a rusty steel heating pipe in a basement indicate that asbestos insulation was removed without cleaning and sealing the surface of the pipe.



see Asbestos Roof Power Washing for another example of amateur asbestos removal.

Where wetting of asbestos materials is needed during removal or demolition see ASBESTOS REMOVAL, Wetting Guidelines.

Amateur incomplete cleaning of asbestos on a

Shown in our photo just above is a close up of asbestos debris left on a heating pipe. The insulation was simply removed without cleaning.

Below we show another heating pipe elbow which was not cleaned of asbestos insulation. Unlike the "corrugated paper" asbestos insulation used on horizontal pipe runs, an asbestos paste was used at pipe elbows and on other irregular shapes.

Amateur incomplete cleaning of asbestos on a

Photograph of  Amateur incomplete cleaning of asbestos on a Here is a close up of asbestos insulation paste left on a pipe elbow, evidence of amateur workmanship during an asbestos insulation remediation.

The orangish fibrous material under the white covering on the straight pipe runs is fiberglass pipe insulation which has been added.

But the remaining paste on the elbow tells us that the pipes were not cleaned and washed during the remediation.

Someone installed fiberglass heating pipe insulation around the elbow but left the elbow un-cleaned.


The building owner had been told that a proper asbestos removal had been performed and that all pipes were re-insulated.

A professional asbestos abatement company with properly-trained workers and competent supervision would have washed these pipes and probably painted them with a sealant.

Finding scraps of asbestos insulation material left on heating pipes (such as in these photos) is a strong indicator that removal was done by an amateur. In such cases I recommend that the building air and settled dust on surfaces be tested for asbestos contamination since removal was by amateurs.

Any air handling equipment (such as a central air conditioning system) should also be checked for asbestos fiber contamination.

When we see evidence of short cuts and amateur workmanship in an asbestos remediation project we're worried that there may have been asbestos contamination of other site or building areas.

So the expense to "correct" this condition, if testing confirms cross-contamination of the site with asbestos fibers, could be greater than the simple cost to clean and re-insulate the piping. Professional cleaning of other building areas could be needed.

Certification & Licensing for Asbestos Abatement, Removal, & Cleanup Companies: Consumer Warning about Environmental Cleanup Contractors

Watch out: in 2010 The New York Times reported [paraphrasing from that article] that over a five year period beginning in 2001 hundreds of asbestos-removal training certificates were given to people who had completed no training whatsoever.


Continue reading at ASBESTOS REMOVAL CERTIFICATIONS or select a topic from the More Reading links shown below.


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ASBESTOS REMOVAL, INCOMPLETE at - online encyclopedia of building & environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, & problem prevention advice.

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