textured paper behind wall = asbestos???

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  #1  
Old 02-24-12, 09:25 PM
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textured paper behind wall = asbestos???

My wife and I are first time homeowners. Just moved in a 1912 house. When building our new bathroom, our contractor freaked out because he discovered what he thought to be asbestos behind the plaster wall. He showed me that textured sheet of paper, from floor to ceiling, located between the wall and exterior siding that he identified as asbestos. Now, I see this paper everywhere in the house: as shim under hardware for the pocket doors, in the attic as a barrier holding sawdust insulation, even under the hardwood floor in a closet, etc. My neighbor, who has almost exactly the same house as ours and who is a also contractor told me he didn't think this textured paper was made of asbestos (he thinks it could simply be a thick paper material meant to help monitor humidity). But I am still worried. Anyone knows what I am talking about? Could this actually be asbestos? Because if so, it means that asbestos is everywhere in my house. I'm quite worried about the house we just bought now. Any knowledgeable comments would help. Thanks!
 
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Old 02-25-12, 05:28 AM
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Welcome to the forums and congratulations on becoming a homeowner!

I doubt there is a surefire way to determine if there is asbestos without having it tested. If you do an online search you should be able to find where to send a sample for testing.

That said, asbestos is only hazardous in dry dust form [when it can be inhaled] As long as it is painted over there shouldn't be any health issues. If it turns out to be asbestos [and you want/need to remove it] keeping it wet during removal should keep any health risks to a minimum. Back in the 70's I sprayed a good bit of asbestos texture, didn't wear a mask and would be covered in wet asbestos texture by the end of the day - and have had no health problems because of it I'm not trying to minimize the dangers of asbestos in dry powder form - just that it isn't dangerous when wet or unable to get in the air.
 
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Old 02-25-12, 10:08 AM
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Can you supply a picture?
 
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Old 02-28-12, 07:39 AM
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Thank you both for your reply. I have pictures that were taken with my iphone. I need to find a way to upload them. As soon as I can do that, I will upload the pictures. I have also found a company that does sample testing in the city where I live. Better safe than sorry. The textured paper sheet covering the wall between the plaster and exterior siding is brownish/yellowish, whereas the other similar paper I find elsewhere in the house appears more gray (probably because it has not been in contact with humidity the way that the 'brownish'/yellowish paper has). Any ideas what it could be?
 
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Old 02-28-12, 03:28 PM
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Old 02-28-12, 08:48 PM
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Here is a picture. Do you think that the brownish/yellowish paper covering the wall could be asbestos?

Thank you for your insights.
 
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Old 02-29-12, 05:11 AM
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I don't know but perhaps someone else might
 
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Old 02-29-12, 04:22 PM
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How about a close up so we can actually see it.

Getting the test is the best way to find out, but I don't think it's asbestos eiter. Not that I am an expert or can see it. Just based on stuff I have seen. Like you said, it's usually gray in color when it's in a paper form that would find in the walls or around pipes. Check out inspectapedia.com
 
  #9  
Old 03-04-12, 05:33 PM
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Thank for your reply. As you mentioned, the best way is to have it tested. I just sent a sample of that paper (along with samples from popcorn ceiling) to confirm that it is or isn't asbestos. From the research I have made, I can't find any occurrence of builders using asbestos paper as a product to insulate walls. So my hope is that my contractor was ill-informed and that it isn't, indeed, asbestos. Let's wait and see. I appreciate the help and the feedback.
 
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