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Attic insulation

Attic insulation pre-1980s often contains high asbestos levels. It's friable, easily releasing fibers when disturbed. Certified abatement pros should remove it due to the high exposure risk. When in the attic, wearing a dust mask is strongly advised.

Interior Walls

In older homes pre-1980s, asbestos might be in interior walls, but it's not visible. Certified testing is needed to identify it accurately. Caution is advised to avoid disturbing potentially asbestos-containing walls. Only proceed with remodeling after professional abatement of asbestos products.

Window Putty

Old window putty may contain asbestos for added strength and heat resistance. Over time, it can become friable due to aging and weathering, increasing exposure risks. For window replacement, hire professionals for safe disposal. Avoid activities that raise exposure risks, like using tools to remove putty or heating it to soften.


Asbestos was added to drywall manufacturing to improve resistance and sound absorption. Drywall poses a significant exposure risk during remodeling, with even sanding releasing many particles into the air. It's strongly recommended not to disturb asbestos-containing drywall and consider replacing it with a safer alternative, if feasible.

Cement Siding

Cement siding made prior to the 1980s may contain asbestos, added for durability and fireproofing. Stucco, initially made with sand, water, and lime, started incorporating asbestos in the 1920s for added strength. While undisturbed, these materials are not a significant threat. However, as they age, they can become friable, requiring professional removal for safe disposal.

Heating Ducts

Asbestos insulation was commonly used to fireproof heating ducts before the 1980s. It also covered air handler vibration dampers, and asbestos-containing cement, known as transite cement, was used around heating ducts. While the risk of exposure is generally low, it's crucial to avoid disturbing these materials. If cleaning heating ducts, wear a dust mask and coveralls to prevent exposure. Hiring a professional is preferable for this task.

Water Heaters

Water heater tank jackets may contain asbestos insulation, designed to retain high water temperatures and save energy. These jackets were often lined with white asbestos from Libby, Montana. While the risk of exposure is generally low, old insulation can become friable and should be handled only by professionals. Avoid disturbing asbestos-containing tank jackets to prevent fiber release.

Floor Coverings

Several flooring components can contain asbestos, such as vinyl floor tiles, sheet flooring, and asphalt floor tiles. Vinyl flooring with asbestos has been used since the 1950s due to its affordability and ease of installation. The risk of exposure is low if these products are undisturbed. Avoid cutting, sanding, or removing asbestos floor tiles.came a very convenient choice for numerous home owners, as they were inexpensive and easy to install. The risk of exposure is relatively low as long as you do not disturb the products. You should not cut, sand or remove asbestos floor tiles.

Pipe Insulation

Insulation materials used from the 1860s to the 1980s often contained asbestos. Piping systems, exposed to extreme temperatures, frequently used asbestos insulation for protection. If your house was built during this period, it's likely your piping system has asbestos insulation. While the risk is low if undisturbed, old insulation can become brittle, potentially releasing toxic particles. Wear a dust mask if near asbestos-lined pipes to minimize exposure.

Internal and External Ventilators

Old houses often contain asbestos in their ventilation systems, including paper heating duct wraps, vibration dampers, and the ventilation ducts themselves. Asbestos was commonly used to strengthen cement in ducts before the mid-1980s due to its excellent thermal resistance. It may also be present in insulation around reheating banks or coils within the ductwork. Asbestos in ventilation systems poses a significant risk because the air circulation can easily release asbestos fibers, turning it into a health hazard.

Roof Covering

Asbestos was commonly used in roofing products during the last century, and many buildings constructed before the 1980s may still have asbestos-containing roofing materials. These include shingles, patching compounds, flatsheet, asphalt impregnated felt, and corrugated sheets. When undisturbed, the risk of exposure is relatively low. However, if you intend to remove any of these materials, it's highly advisable to hire a certified company, as fibers are likely to become airborne during the procedure.


Asbestos insulation was commonly used in boilers, like water heaters, for fire prevention and energy efficiency. Removing this insulation on your own is strongly discouraged due to the high risk of contamination. If you suspect your boiler insulation contains asbestos, it's advisable to send a sample for analysis rather than attempting removal.

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Asbestos FAQ's

Attic insulation pre-1980s often contains high asbestos levels. It's friable, easily releasing fibers when disturbed.

Gear up with the right protective equipment, wield your trusty tools, and adhere to the best practices for handling and storing samples.

Several flooring components can contain asbestos, such as vinyl floor tiles, sheet flooring, and asphalt floor tiles.