Understanding Asbestos in Air Ducts: Risks and Remediation

June 5, 2023
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Asbestos in Air Ducts

Air ducts are important in keeping you and your family healthy and your home clean. But sometimes, these same air ducts can become a source of sickness and unhygienic conditions. One of the main causes of this is unclean air ducts. Another major cause of air ducts being harmful to your health is asbestos. 

Asbestos was used in early air ducts to provide insulation, as they have excellent heat-resisting properties. But, scientists later found that the asbestos fibers in the air can cause serious health issues like lung cancer in humans.

The best way to prevent this from happening is to remove asbestos-lined air ducts. You can also encapsulate or enclose them if you can’t remove them. 

Take a detailed look at asbestos in air ducts, and see how you can prevent getting harmed by it.

Why is asbestos used in air ducts and why is it harmful? 

Asbestos is a mixture of various silicate minerals. It was used to line the walls of air ducts, to provide them with insulation. Since asbestos can prevent heat from leaking inside the ducts and the home, they were the perfect insulating materials. It also kept the house comfortable and energy efficient. 

But over the years, scientists have found that when the asbestos lining in the air ducts wears down, they produce fine fibers. These fibers waft in the air and are inhaled by the inhabitants of the building.

When that happens, it becomes a source of severe health problems. These problems include asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma

As a result of these studies, nowadays asbestos is no longer being used to line the insides of air ducts. 

How to deal with asbestos in air ducts?

If your air ducts are older, then you might have asbestos in them. A lot of people think cleaning air ducts with asbestos will solve the issue. But it will only worsen the problem, as rubbing the air ducts will make the asbestos release more fibers into the air. So, what should you do? Here are a few ways you can deal with this issue. 

1. Replacing the air ducts

The best way to remove asbestos around air ducts is to replace the entire duct system. Replace the air ducts in your home with ones that are not lined with asbestos. This will help you prevent further damage and health issues. It will also ensure you won’t have to live in constant fear of sickness caused by asbestos. 

But remember, no matter what, you must hire a professional air duct replacement and installation service for asbestos air duct removal.

Because these companies have experts who have the skills, tools, and experience necessary to remove your air ducts with asbestos safely. We provide premium air duct installation services for you to take advantage of. 

2. Encapsulation

If you don’t want to go through the hassle of replacing your entire ductwork, you can encapsulate your air ducts that are lined with asbestos. In this method, the materials of the air duct that contain asbestos, such as asbestos tape on air ducts are encapsulated with a sealant.

These sealants ensure that the asbestos fibers don’t get released into the air. 

This procedure is meant only for air ducts that have asbestos intact. 

3. Enclosure

So, what happens when you want to seal the asbestos air duct wrap that is deteriorated but can’t afford to remove the ducts? This is where enclosure comes in. This process involves putting an enclosed barrier around the parts containing asbestos. So, even if the asbestos in the air ducts deteriorates, it will not release any fibers into the air inside your home. 

How do you detect asbestos in the air of your home?

Now you know how to deal with the asbestos in your air ducts. But how will you find out if your home’s air has asbestos in the first place? There are no DIY methods to find out the presence of asbestos fibers in the air of a home. You need professional help with this. They have the tools and means to test the samples for the presence of asbestos. 

Final Words

No matter what preventive measures you take to deal with asbestos in air ducts, you must not do it yourself. Professionals are well-equipped to remove, encapsulate or enclose your air ducts, so call them and book a professional air duct replacement service.

FAQs:

What should I do if I suspect asbestos in my air ducts?

If you think you have asbestos in your air ducts, you should immediately call asbestos experts. They will take samples and test them in a lab. Then they will provide you with the results and expert opinions on how to deal with asbestos. 

Is it safe to clean asbestos-containing air ducts myself?

No, it is completely unsafe to clean asbestos-containing air ducts yourself. Once you start to clean air ducts, it will release asbestos fibers into the air, which will affect you greatly because of prolonged exposure. 

Is encapsulation or enclosure a permanent solution?

Although encapsulation or enclosure are not permanent solutions per se, they can be a long-term solution to the asbestos problem. To ensure that, you must maintain and check the enclosure and encapsulation systems regularly.

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