Often white in colour with a fibrous appearance, asbestos containing duct tape usually contains high levels of asbestos and is dangerous (friable) to disturb. Generally, it’s thick compared to modern duct tape and simply peeling it off a surface can cause asbestos fibres to suspend in the air. If your home was constructed before 1990 and you can see white tape on the ductwork take caution and do not touch it(disturb it) without proper controls in place to prevent exposure. Sampling is not always required for this ACM as its homogenous characteristics make it easy to identify so please assume it contains asbestos if uncertain. Asbestos containing fibreboard was also commonly used around heat registers and electrical panels as a fire retardant and like duct tape is a thermal system insulator. Equally high in content and sometimes friable (can be crumbled by hand pressure) great caution must be exercised when working around this material. A qualified abatement contractor should complete removal before any work on your ducts, registers or furnace (if in contact with asbestos duct tape) takes place.
Asbestos Duct Tape and Fiberboard
Asbestos containing duct tape and fiberboard are high asbestos content materials that can be dangerous if disturbed. If left undisturbed the likelihood of contamination or inhalation is low. However, as years pass the condition of this material can be damaged or degrade to a point where it is falling off ductwork and potentially contaminating areas of your home. A source of asbestos fibers in your home HVAC system can spread asbestos fibers.
Safe removal of asbestos containing duct tape and fiberboard is best handled by a qualified abatement contractor who can follow WorksafeBC regulations and has the manpower to do the job following established guidelines.
Safe removal or enclosure of the material is the best line of defense against asbestos containing duct tape and fiberboard as a means to block disturbance of fibers into your ductwork or living space. Some areas of your ductwork and venting may have degraded. Lifting off a vent cover or encountering a piece of (damaged) hanging asbestos containing tape can put you at risk of exposure. Please ensure that the area is safe by consulting a qualified person to assess the risk before proceeding. Ensure that you pass any information along to new homeowners should you decide to sell the property, if the modern duct tape is inadvertently peeled off, a disturbance of the tape below will occur.
Once all material has been removed using glove bags methodology, we begin the hygiene process by both wet wiping and HEPA vacuuming all areas that have been disturbed. At this point a qualified person determines if all materials outlined in the initial scope of work have been fully abated, this is also called the supervisors inspection. If passed, tear-down of the containment may occur and a post abatement inspection report will be provided to the client for their records and, to pass along to future owners who may be concerned about the presence of asbestos.