asbestos insulation on boiler

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Old 05-21-12, 04:58 PM
J
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asbestos insulation on boiler

Hi guys,

New to the house and just want to confirm that this beast in the background is indeed covered with asbestos insulation:

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-J...0/DSC01692.JPG

My plan is to get rid of it right away, replacing it with something much more efficient. The place is a duplex; I plan to rent it out and don't like the liability issue. Plus heat will be included so I have an incentive to minimize the bill. That said, I'm worried about the cost of getting that stuff taken off. Can't say I would feel comfortable doing it myself.

Also, the partially finished attic has radiator supply lines running all over it. What is the best way to protect these? I imagine that running them through the knee-wall is a bad idea, given the risk of freezing, but they are sure in the way where they are.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Q...2/DSC01683.JPG

Thanks in advance!
 
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Old 05-21-12, 06:53 PM
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Yes, that is asbestos. Get your checkbook out to have it removed and buy a big pen.
The pipes can be moved and if you think there is a chance of freezing you can have antifreeze installed in the system.
Get a heat loss done to maximize your savings and tighten up the home first. New doors, windows and added insulation would be a one time investment.
For more info about the importance of properly sizing boilers see this link.
http://comfort-calc.net/faq.html
 
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Old 05-21-12, 07:12 PM
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That 'partially finished attic' ... no no no ... never EVER insulate the underside of the roof deck!

You absolutely WILL rot out the roof deck board by trapping condensation between the insulation and the cold roof surface. You will first have a huge MOLD problem, followed by the rot.

If you think it's going to cost a bundle to get that asbestos removed, wait until you get the bill for the roof repairs!


image courtesy tedstips

In SOME cases, it is possible to use the correct type of SPRAY FOAM insulation for this application, but then, how would you ever know you had a roof leak? Right back where you started, rotten roof.

I know this is a boiler forum, but you need to know this!

Attics aren't living space, and if they are to be converted, they must be done properly. There's a real science behind this!
 
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Old 05-21-12, 08:04 PM
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thanks to both of you for the advice.

re: the attic "finishing" effort. not my work, but i appreciate the heads up.

so if not batts and if not spray foam, what is the correct way to finish an attic space such as this one? i feel like i'm in deep with it, given that they have punched a big hole between the stories and put in a proper set of stairs, etc. so going back in time wouldn't be as easy as pulling out the batts and blowing in cellulose...
 
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Old 05-22-12, 03:41 PM
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Yeah, I kinda know the rock and the hard place you are between right now!

The problem is trapping moisture. It's a tough call... but batts are definitely out.

Spray foam ( CLOSED CELL ONLY! ) acts as an insulator AND a vapor barrier, but you still would have issues with the rafters themselves, they wouldn't be insulated at all and you would end up with 'stripes' on the finished wall surface because they would transmit the cold right through. And then, there's still the problem of a roof leak going unnoticed for years and years because you would never see the leak on the inside.

You need ventilation between the underside of the roof deck and the top of the insulation. A free flow of air. Todays construction often uses 'ridge vents' to allow the humid air to escape at the roof ridge. This combined with 'soffit vents' allows a free flow of air across the roof deck and out the top. Your home is probably 'balloon framed' and likely does not have any soffit venting at all.

I really can't say what your solution will be but I guarantee that if you put the batts in you will ultimately have problems. It seems there was some attempt at a vapor barrier, i.e. that plastic sheeting, and that MAY be a solution, but it has to be 100% CONTINUOUS... all seams have to be taped and 100% of the air flow STOPPED. Then guess what? You are back to where you started with undetectable roof leaks...

We can't really continue this discussion here in the boiler forum, but you really need to understand what you will be up against... maybe give Mike Holmes a call?
 
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Old 05-22-12, 04:47 PM
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I don't mean to continue this off topic post. You should take your particular issue over to the insulation forum if you want more comments about it. I'll throw my comments at it for sure. Just for a taste, I'm all about closed cell spray foam.
 
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