What were they thinking?

Update:Added the “Where is this body you want disposed of” picture.

We had a Energy Star energy audit of our house recently. One of the things the audit mentioned that there was some asbestos on one of the vent pipes in the basement, and that would have to be “abated” before they could work. Today I decided to take care of it. The pipe in question goes through “the scary room”, one of two dirt floored areas of the basement. Until today, I’ve never set foot in either one of them. There is no apparent reason why this particular pipe has been wrapped in asbestos – the portion of the pipe that is wrapped isn’t close to the furnace so it’s not very hot, nor is it in contact with insulation or something flammable. The register it serves is in the “breakfast nook”, which we suspect wasn’t part of the original build of the house.

I got advice from experts in the field who assured me that the sort of asbestos that forms into sheets isn’t the dangerous kind, but I should still take some precautions.

So armed with a tyvec painter’s coverall, dust mask, googles and rubber gloves, I entered the scary room to do battle with the evil asbestos. And that’s when I discovered that the asbestos wrap evidently held condensation or external water against the bottom of the vent, and now the vent pipe has rusted completely away on the bottom. But it’s fine at the top, which means there is a part between the bottom and the top where there are sharp edges and flakes of rust. So instead of just removing the asbestos wrapping, I ended up hacking out the whole rusty pipe, and stomping it flat to throw it away. And the sharp edges cut my gloves to ribbons, but at least I didn’t get any visible cuts in my skin. Unfortunately the unwrapped part of the pipe only had one hangar on the whole length, so it fell down without the added support on one end. And the “box” where it went into the register in the breakfast nook was also wrapped and rusty so I had to remove it as well.

It wasn’t until after I was done that I noticed the notice on the air mask that said it’s not for asbestos. Sigh.

Well, the whole thing is down now. Hopefully I didn’t do myself any damage doing it.