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Asbestos, because of its unique properties - fire resistance, high tensile strength, poor heat and electrical conductivity proved to be well suited for construction applications. Some of the materials in which asbestos can be found are: spray applied fireproofing or decorative materials, pre-formed asbestos pipe or block insulation, corrugated paper (at left) insulation, roofing and flooring materials and many other products. The uses for asbestos construction materials extended to commercial, industrial and residential applications. The only way to determine if a product actually contains asbestos is through a laboratory analysis. Asbestos Containing Material (ACM) is defined as material containing more than 1% asbestos.


In many cases, if asbestos is found in a building or home it may be more cost effective to keep the asbestos in place rather than removing it. This decision will be dependent on several factors including the condition of the asbestos. In terms of the condition of the material, the main way of describing asbestos are friable and non-friable. If the material is more than 1% asbestos and can be crumbled, pulverized or reduced to powder by hand it is known as being friable. When asbestos is in friable condition it is thought that it may become airborne more easily. Non-friable asbestos also has the potential of becoming airborne if disturbed. If you suspect that you may have asbestos containing materials in your building you should have the material evaluated by a qualified Asbestos Hazard Evaluation Specialist licensed by the State of Ohio Department of Health. The specialist can determine if indeed the material is asbestos and if so, can help in deciding a plan to maintain it or having it removed.

Knowing that asbestos is present and having it evaluated by a qualified specialist can help to reduce the risks and liabilities involved and help to deal with it in the most cost effective fashion. An Operations & Maintenance plan can help to maintain the asbestos in place without the expense of removing it.


Asbestos In The Home

Asbestos containing materials can be found in many U.S. homes so it is not a problem that belongs exclusively to commercial and industrial buildings. Some materials in residential buildings which may contain asbestos are roofing shingles, exterior siding, pipe and boiler insulation, attic insulation and others.

The photo at the left is Zonolite Attic Insulation which is suspected of containing asbestos. This insulation was found during one of our routine home inspections.

Over the years I have inspected residential structures I have found that this type of insulation to be fairly common, especially in older homes.



Asbestos Alert: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is warning homeowners who may have Zonolite Attic Insulation in their homes to only disturb the insulation if they have hired professionals to perform the job. Zonolite Insulation was a do-it-yourself insulation material manufactured and sold between 1963 and 1984. The EPA believes Zonolite may contain unsafe levels of asbestos. Approximately 940,000 U.S. homes contain this type of insulation. Asbestos should only be removed by trained professionals. Zonolite insulation is brownish-silver and comes in accordion shaped chips. If your home contains this type of insulation, contact Closer Look Inspections« at 440-946-7191for help.


Asbestos In The Attic (Free Document for Printing)


The picture below shows some common residential areas where Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) may be discovered. This list is not all inclusive. The list of products that may contain asbestos is a lengthy one. Those listed below are some of the more common sources.

Vermiculite Insulation Assessment & Testing

The analysis includes testing of vermiculite insulation for asbestos. Vermiculite or insulation is often found in attics and crawlspaces. The vermiculite material may contain asbestos if they had been mined from areas known to contain asbestos. The need to identify the presence of asbestos fibers in the vermiculite containing materials may often be necessary prior to any alteration, remediation, or removal of such materials. The analysis separates the vermiculite material into 4 different layers based on the size and then detects for the presence of the different asbestos fibers in each of these layers. The report will express the percentage of the different asbestos fibers detected in each of the 4 different layers based upon a visual estimation and also provide a composite asbestos concentration in the whole sample.


bullet Radiographic Abnormalities and Exposure to Asbestos-Contaminated
Vermiculite in the Community of Libby, Montana, USA
bullet Vermiculite, Respiratory Disease, and Asbestos Exposure in Libby, Montana:
Update of a Cohort Mortality Study



  1. Roof coverings

  2. Attic Insulation (see above)

  3. Joint compounds and acoustical plasters

  4. Fireplace insulation

  5. Wood burning stoves

  6. Wall/floor coverings

  7. Oven insulation

  8. Pipe insulation

  9. Boiler insulation

NOTE: In Ohio, only licensed Asbestos Hazard Evaluation Specialists should inspect or sample materials to determine if they contain asbestos. The evaluation specialist will be able to determine what materials in your building or home contain asbestos and then help in creating a plan to manage the asbestos. If removal or other procedures are required to make the area safe, the specialist can guide you in contacting the proper contractors to perform the tasks in compliance with state and federal regulations.

Further Asbestos Information:

bullet Ohio Toxic Mold Asbestos Section
bullet Find a Licensed Asbestos Hazard Evaluation Specialist
bullet Asbestos News - Excellent Information on all things Asbestos
bullet Mesothelioma FYI
bullet Asbestos Legal News from Around the Web For Lawyers

If you require the assistance of a licensed Asbestos Hazard Evaluation Specialist, please contact our office at 440-946-7191. We would be happy to assist you. Al Tibbs is a State of Ohio Licensed Asbestos Hazard Evaluation Specialist #34024.

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