Asbestos Pipe Lagging Removal should only be carried out by a licensed removal company, as the material used to insulate the pipework was made using a hazardous form of asbestos mineral. The material is extremely friable, meaning that the asbestos fibres are easily broken and released into the surrounding atmosphere. If inhaled, these fibres may result in lung diseases in later life.
Unfortunately it’s not always easy to know if pipe lagging contains carcinogenic asbestos minerals and the materials can vary in appearance. Some of the insulation can look like rope, some looks similar to a plaster cast and another looks similar to cotton, so it’s important not to remove the material unless you know exactly what you’re doing.
Why was Asbestos Pipe Lagging used?
Asbestos pipe lagging was used to insulate pipes, either to keep heat within them (for heating systems) or to prevent water inside from freezing and then causing pipes to split. It is extremely common in boiler rooms and pipework under floorboards. It can also be found in loft areas and occasionally on external pipework.
The product was chosen for its ease of use and excellent thermal properties, but it would later be discovered that the material had a deadly secret.
Does pipe lagging need to be removed?
This will depend on the type and condition of the material. Once you have established that the material is actually asbestos by employing a company to carry our asbestos testing, you should then consider the condition of it. If it is in good order, not damage and not flaking, it may be safe to leave the material in situ. However, if you plan to carry out any works which may disturb or damage the lagging you should look to have it removed by a professional contractor. Asbestos containing materials can degrade over time – especially if they are subjected to constant changes in temperature – so it’s important to ensure that you monitor the condition of the products on regular occasions. If you discover that the pipe lagging is in a poor condition (or if it becomes damaged) seal off the area and seek professional advice from a licensed asbestos contractor.
You may also need to have asbestos pipe lagging removed if you’re carrying our any home improvements, have an industrial boiler replaced or if pipework has burst.
How is Asbestos Pipe Lagging Removed?
Asbestos pipe lagging is removed under what are referred to ‘fully controlled conditions’. This means that the material is removed within custom-built airlocks under a negative pressure environment, along with the proper air filtration systems. Operatives must be fully trained in the removal of this product and hold relevant qualifications. There are a number of methods which can be used to remove the pipe lagging and this will be discussed with the client prior to any works commencing.
What About Hessian Pipe Lagging?