Photograph of asbestos heating pipe insulation abandoned in a building Photo Guide to Asbestos Pipe Insulation in buildings

  • ASBESTOS PIPE-INSULATION - CONTENTS on heating pipes, water pipes, and on occasion drains - How to make a visual identification of asbestos insulation without laboratory tests. Asbestos pipe insulation, still in use or abandoned on building pipes, compared with fiberglass pipe insulation. Asbestos pipe insulation, insulated over with spray foam
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Asbestos pipe insulation in buildings - how to recognize & handle:

This article provides photographs of abandoned and partly-covered-up asbestos pipe insulation in buildings to assist in the recognition of that material. We include photos of pipe insulation that is not but might be mistaken for asbestos. We discuss the procedure and costs for removal of asbestos pipe insulation and comment on leaving the insulation in place.

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Asbestos pipe insulation in buildings

Asbestos pipe insulation, still in use or abandoned on building pipes, compared with fiberglass pipe insulation

Photograph of asbestos pipe insulation

This document assists building buyers, owners or inspectors who need to identify asbestos materials (or probable-asbestos) in buildings by simple visual inspection.

We provide photographs and descriptive text of asbestos insulation and other asbestos-containing products to permit identification of definite, probable, or possible asbestos materials in buildings.

Also see ASBESTOS DUCTS, HVAC a field identification guide to visual detection of asbestos in and on heating and cooling system ducts and flue vents.

Asbestos pipe insulation materials like the insulation shown at page top should have been removed during asbestos abatement, and so form an indication of amateur workmanship, raising the question of asbestos particle contamination in other building areas.

Don't Mistake Fiberglass Pipe Wrap Insulation for Asbestos: Images of Fiberglass Pipe Insulation Wrap

The photographs shown here assist in distinguishing between corrugated asbestos paper pipe wrap from fiberglass insulation pipe wrap.

Fiberglass insulation on heating pipes (C)

Thanks to reader JJ for the photo of fiberglass heating pipe insulation shown above. Look carefully at the end of these wrapped insulation sections (see my photo just below) to see the difference. In the photo of fiberglass pipe insulation, I peeled back a little of the white-painted outer fabric to show the yellow fiberglass interior.

Photograph of fiberglass pipe insulation

The photograph shown at the page top is some "new old stock" corrugated asbestos pipe insulation that was never used - just left in a basement ceiling.

Look closely at the photos that follow as it these are clear examples of the visual characteristics of the corrugated-paper-like asbestos wrap which was used along the lengths of heating and other plumbing pipes in buildings.

Photograph of asbestos heating pipe insulation abandoned in a building

While an expert lab test using polarized light microscopy may be needed to identify the specific type of asbestos fiber, or to identify the presence of asbestos in air or dust samples,

Asbestos pipe insulation in bad shape (C) Daniel Friedman

many asbestos-containing building products not only are obvious and easy to recognize, but since there were not other look-alike products that were not asbestos, a visual identification of this material can be virtually a certainty in many cases.

A professional asbestos removal company would not have left these un-used asbestos pipe insulation sections "stored" here.

More photographs of asbestos heating pipe insulation can be seen at ASBESTOS in GOOD CONDITION and

Watch out: as we illustrate at the ASBESTOS in POOR CONDITION article linked-to just above, you might find newer fiberglass heating pipe insulation installed over an amateur or incomplete asbestos removal job. That article shows examples of incompeltely-removed asbestos indicating an amateur or improper asbestos abatement job.

ASBESTOS Pipe Insulation FOAMED-OVER - Asbestos pipe insulation, insulated over with spray foam

Asbestos heating pipe insulation

Here's an example of an insulation retro-fit using spray foam insulation.

A professional would not have left this asbestos pipe insulation in place.

Perhaps more of this material will be found elsewhere in the building.

If a section of asbestos insulation were found to have been totally encapsulated by the new spray foam insulation, such as in a wall cavity, most experts would be expected to recommend that it be simply left alone


Continue reading at ASBESTOS in POOR CONDITION or select a topic from closely-related articles below, or see our complete INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES below.




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


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