1890s asbestos fireplace insert.. Leave alone or have removed?


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Old 03-23-14, 08:50 AM
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1890s asbestos fireplace insert.. Leave alone or have removed?

We are putting a contract on a 1890 house. It has 2 non working fireplaces in it, one is an old gas one with an asbestos fiber fuzzy thing intact in front. I will post an image of what it looks like although this isn't our exact one. My question is, do we have this insert professionally removed? Is it something we can do ourselves? Is this a danger to us? There was no cover on this fireplace. Should we cover with cardboard and duct tape up until we can have it removed? From what I've been reading it is not a danger unless disturbed and friable, this doesnt look rotten, flaky or disturbed, but scary fuzzy fibers. We have had the house inspected, and no other asbestos is obvious. A new boiler was put in 4 years ago and they did a great job per the inspector.

We have see many fireplaces that look just like this in houses we have looked at but the insert has already been removed..and I guess we would never know how it was removed, if done by an asbestos abatement company or not. Should we be panicked about this?
 
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Last edited by Carrie3060; 03-23-14 at 09:34 AM.
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Old 03-23-14, 09:28 AM
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Hi Carrie and welcome to the forum,
Anytime you deal with an older home there are certain hazards that have to be assumed until proven otherwise. This is a major investment and you want to avoid surprises. Unfortunately we live in a society that will not accept an opinion, such as, there is no other asbestos. It should be tested and removed by a professional AND documented so when the question is asked at some point in the future a definite answer is at hand.

Lead paint is assumed in a house of that age and should follow the same testing and abatement process. It is a pain, but every year they seem to tighten one rule or another so the sooner you eliminate all hazards the better.

As for a fireplace and old chimney, IMO, they detract from the value of a home due to poor efficiency and fire hazard. A modern chimney and energy efficient heat source can add to a homes value as well as reduce the energy costs.

Best,
Bud
 
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Old 03-23-14, 09:37 AM
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thank you for your response. i changed my original post to "no other asbestos is obvious" since we will need a test done. we will have an abatement company in for advice and an estimate.
 
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Old 03-23-14, 09:49 AM
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LOL, it is hard sometimes to state what must be stated, glad you took it in the correct spirit. I just audited a 1907 home and had to insist they recognize the high probability of lead paint which was used up to 1978. We want to save those old homes, but they were never built to meet modern requirements. Upgrading is possible, at a price, and the results can be a valuable asset as well as a fine home to live in.

Bud
 
 

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