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Question DetailsAsked on 9/21/2016

asbestos pipe wrap removal cost

about 15 feet of pipe wrap

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1 Answer


Depends of course on accessibility - also on whether in a utility area or a living space or food prep area as cleanup standards are different in those cases (though does not make a dramatic % difference in cost except in food prep or medical care areas). Biggest difference in cost is whether it is "shell" insulation (basically pre-formed slit-edge tube insulation similar in design to modern foam pipe insulation, clam-shelled around the pipe with external cement or duct tape but not glued to pipe), or glued-on loose asbestos (rare on pipes unless VERY old - usually pre-WWII) or asbestos sheet wrapped around the pipe soaked in cement or cement-dipped wrap much like paper mache.

The former can be cut and removed with "glove bags" quite easily and quickly, the latter can require sawing and chiseling as well as a lot of work removing the part adhered to the pipe with glue and also takes more dust cleanup in surrounding area afterwards. With the latter (and sometimes with the former), given decent accessibility and the ability to take it out of service for a while, it is common to just cut the pipe and remove the insulated portion and replace with new pipe - FAR cheaper and cleaner than trying to strip glued or cemented-on asbestos off the pipe.

If in food prep/serving or medical room, cost can quickly double or triple the above.

Cost for the asbestos removal could be as little as about $300-500 in the simplest case (unbonded wrap around pipe or cut pipe and remove whole thing with insulation attached in just a couple of lengths), if glued on and has to be removed from the pipe for some reason I would expect to see more like $500-1000 range. Ditto if immediate area needs to be decontaminated because of dusting from the insulation over the years if not bonded or cement-covered - or if cement covering was asbestos type itself, as cfommonly was before about mid-1950's. Bad news part though - some asbestos contractors have a thousand or two $ job minimum charge, though usually not too tough to find one who will use a $500 or so minimum for a pipe removal job only - as opposed to asbestos wall insulation or such which requires the room be isolated and fanwith HEPA filter be used to contain the fibers and suchm which is generally not necessary with pipe removal.

One alternative if you want - instead of removing the insulation, putting protective covering over it - probably about $250-350 cost by an asbestos remediation contractor to do that (can also DIY yourself using encapsulation coating but you will not have a certificate for the treatment so might not be "recognized" come sale time - and buyers may want it removed regardless even if encapsulated, and of course if there is a leak in that section of pipe in the future results in a possibly several day delay in getting it fixed if the asbestos is still on there, so generally recommended to remove it when economic and feasible. Note above price would be for the encapsulation ONLY - not any cleanup of the immediate area of asbestos that might be on the room surfaces.

Plus of course if pipe was cut, given fair access, probably a couple to three hundred $ for a Plumber to replace it.

In some (not all) states, and depending on asbestos disposal requirements and difficulty in your area (have to be licensed to dispose of even if DIY removed in some states), removing the wrap-around clamshell type or cutting the pipe into a couple of pieces and removing it with a cutter-wheel type pipe cutter can legally be a DIY job - you would want proper personal protective gear (assuming in a utility room, not bedroom, kitchen, etc) and read up on pre-wetting with dust inhibitor or coating with encapsulator and pre-wrapping in plastic sheet and how to cut and remove without spreading dust all over. Stripping glued or cemented-on insulation off pipes is not a DIY type job, though cutting out the insulated section and cutting or bending into handleable lengths for proper bagging and disposal is not too tough. Then do proper HEPA filter shopvac cleanup and wipedown of potentially contaminated area of course.

One issue with DIY removal - if a buyer or buyer's inspector gets wind that there may have once been asbestos there and finds out you did a DIY job so, even if legal to do so, don't have an abatement and post-remediation test certification, they may demand an asbestos abatement contractor be brought in to clean the area again - so DIY can be risky.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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