Asbestos in Attic
December 1, 2014 9:10 AM   Subscribe

Previous owner worked on duct work. Left asbestos in attic


We bought a small bungalow that we are planning to rebuild and expand.

During the house inspection we found out that the previous owner had some work done on the duct work in the attic. The handy man left a few bags with asbestos in the attic. There is also still some asbestos "tape" left on some of the ducts and vent openings. Initially we had planned to have the duct work redone to remove this tape. Now a the asbestos removal company claims (not arguing with their conclusion) that the insulation needs to be removed as well.

We are going to gut the place entirely within the next 4 years. Now I am wandering if it makes sensed to have al the insulation removed and replaced for this short time span.

Assuming we don't go into the attic how much risk are we exposed to?

Smiles across the wires,

posted by Mac-Expert to Home & Garden (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
In general, asbestos is okay if not disturbed, except in this case it clearly was. The only question is whether that was limited to the attic, or whether asbestos fibers were introduced inside the ducts through sloppy work. An asbestos mitigation company can do a test (microvacuum sampling) where they vacuum up some settled dust near the vent openings and check for asbestos fibers. It should run you a couple hundred bucks and may help you decide whether this is something that needs to be addressed immediately.
posted by Behemoth at 9:38 AM on December 1, 2014 [6 favorites]

Seconding that a test is worth doing, but assuming it is asbestos vermiculite, if you basically seal up the attic and stay out of it, you should be fine for that period of time. That's the approach recommended by the US EPA.
posted by beagle at 10:32 AM on December 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

Rather than a company that stands to gain by saying the sky is falling, consider an independent testing laboratory.
posted by rudd135 at 4:17 PM on December 1, 2014

Response by poster: Thanks, I spoke to our contractor who asked his usual asbestos company. Turns out this sub was recently bought by a nation wide organization ;-/ We are getting a 2nd opinion.
Any suggestions on a independant asbestos testing lab in the CA 93022 area. I found some online but want to make sure they are not connected to a asbestos remediation company..
posted by Mac-Expert at 11:23 PM on December 1, 2014

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