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Asbestos Recognition for
Homeowners
Learn to recognize possible forms of asbestos
in your home before repair or remodeling
www.Tri-TechTesting.com (MI)
www.DIYSampleTesting.com (US)
The Nasty Stuff
•High percentage asbestos
•Friable/bare fibrous material
•Typically unsealed
•Requires specialized containment for work
•Homeowners discouraged from disturbing
•Usually a State notification is required for
removal or repair
fortunately this stuff is relatively rare in the U.S. due to the
availability of fiberglass and wool batting
blown-in attic insulation
vermiculite insulation
most commonly poured in attics,
more common in some regions than others
sometimes found inside drywall or
cinderblock walls as shown spilling out at the
bottom of the wall here
EPA suggests on their
website that homeowners do not
test their vermiculite insulation. I disagree.
I believe their recommendation is based on their
embarrassment over the regulatory status of
this stuff rather than concerns over the
validity of the analyses.
often exposed in the basement
if no drop ceiling
duct insulation/tape
risers are typically
hidden inside walls
spray-on
acoustic
plaster
thin popcorn-type,
thicker sprayed forms
are obviously more
dangerous
pipe insulation
photo credit: Asbestorama
ceiling tile/light heat shields
acoustical drop ceiling panels
Less Dangerous Stuff
 does not necessarily stigmatize a home and
decrease its value if in good condition
 can be covered up or patched rather than
removed
rigid siding/roofing shingles
flooring
“seamless linoleum”
9x9 floor tile
flooring underlayment
1970s linoleum
floor underlayment
Hard plaster and
drywall joint mud
Examples of
Uncommon/
Lower Risk Stuff
faux chimney brick mastic
mud joist packings for
electrical wires
plumbing hatch (asbestos
cementboard found in a
building of 1980
construction)
sweat tape
rigid cove base/mastic
lower exterior risk materials
roofing felt
foundation damp-proofing
roof sealant/patch
exterior foundation window glazing
Unknowns…
DAP 33
Window Putty MSDS
Are non-fibrous and
quasi-fibrous forms of
asbestos safe(r)?
Probably, but we
don’t know for sure.
Repair or removal of high risk materials should always be left to the pros
Tri-Tech Building Hygiene Services can provide guidance to
homeowners for repair or removal of low-risk forms of asbestos
Tri-Tech Building Hygiene Services
Joseph Burley, Principal Consultant
8751 Troy Street
Oak Park, Michigan 48237
248-721-8574
Freelance.enviro.tech@gmail.com
For more information on homeowner sample analyses please visit:
www.Tri-techTesting.com (Michigan)
www.DIYSampleTesting.com (Nationwide)
Important note: This is not intended to represent all
forms of asbestos found in homes. Only a certified
Building Inspector is qualified to determine whether a
building material could contain asbestos.

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Asbestos in Homes-Guidance for Homeowners

  • 1. Asbestos Recognition for Homeowners Learn to recognize possible forms of asbestos in your home before repair or remodeling www.Tri-TechTesting.com (MI) www.DIYSampleTesting.com (US)
  • 2. The Nasty Stuff •High percentage asbestos •Friable/bare fibrous material •Typically unsealed •Requires specialized containment for work •Homeowners discouraged from disturbing •Usually a State notification is required for removal or repair
  • 3. fortunately this stuff is relatively rare in the U.S. due to the availability of fiberglass and wool batting blown-in attic insulation
  • 4. vermiculite insulation most commonly poured in attics, more common in some regions than others sometimes found inside drywall or cinderblock walls as shown spilling out at the bottom of the wall here EPA suggests on their website that homeowners do not test their vermiculite insulation. I disagree. I believe their recommendation is based on their embarrassment over the regulatory status of this stuff rather than concerns over the validity of the analyses.
  • 5. often exposed in the basement if no drop ceiling duct insulation/tape risers are typically hidden inside walls
  • 10. Less Dangerous Stuff  does not necessarily stigmatize a home and decrease its value if in good condition  can be covered up or patched rather than removed
  • 12. flooring “seamless linoleum” 9x9 floor tile flooring underlayment 1970s linoleum floor underlayment
  • 14. Examples of Uncommon/ Lower Risk Stuff faux chimney brick mastic mud joist packings for electrical wires plumbing hatch (asbestos cementboard found in a building of 1980 construction) sweat tape rigid cove base/mastic
  • 15. lower exterior risk materials roofing felt foundation damp-proofing roof sealant/patch exterior foundation window glazing
  • 16. Unknowns… DAP 33 Window Putty MSDS Are non-fibrous and quasi-fibrous forms of asbestos safe(r)? Probably, but we don’t know for sure.
  • 17. Repair or removal of high risk materials should always be left to the pros Tri-Tech Building Hygiene Services can provide guidance to homeowners for repair or removal of low-risk forms of asbestos
  • 18. Tri-Tech Building Hygiene Services Joseph Burley, Principal Consultant 8751 Troy Street Oak Park, Michigan 48237 248-721-8574 Freelance.enviro.tech@gmail.com For more information on homeowner sample analyses please visit: www.Tri-techTesting.com (Michigan) www.DIYSampleTesting.com (Nationwide) Important note: This is not intended to represent all forms of asbestos found in homes. Only a certified Building Inspector is qualified to determine whether a building material could contain asbestos.