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Asbestos in your HVAC Duct-work?

Removing Asbestos from Duct work before a Cleaning

Edited July 27 2021

Ok, so you may be in the process of getting a new Furnace system or Air conditioning unit with one of Ottawa’s Heating and Cooling companies, such as Reliance Home Comfort, Rick Menard Heating and cooling or one of the other reputable companies in the region and everything was going great. WAS…

All of a sudden they noticed that you have asbestos in your home and ask you to remediate the situation before they can proceed with the installation. What a pain! You may be looking at the area where the asbestos was found and think “that is nowhere near where they have to work”. You’re probably right, even. But that doesn’t negate the facts. The fact is that the HVAC technicians that will be working in your home have a right to a safe workplace. While the risk of them disturbing those boots is very low, it does still exist. You also have to remember that these Techs aren’t simply doing your job and its done. They’re doing multiple jobs a day, every day. Each one of them with the potential exposure to asbestos. So you have to see it from their point of view.

Another interesting item is that, while you and the HVAC company both know that the Technician wouldn’t be working anywhere near a particular area, the technician might choose to make an issue out of it anyway. “Why?” You ask? Well, many of these technicians are Unionized. If they detect asbestos in the workplace, they are allowed to walk off the site and still get paid 4 hours. So it’s not only in the best interest of their health but some of them look at it as a nice short workday with full pay. Of course, as a home-owner, this can be quite frustrating when you’re dying of heat and desperately need your AC.


I'm selling my home in a couple months, do I have to remove it?

Legally and contractually speaking, you must state that asbestos was found in your home and that it remains. Failure to do so could put you in a tough position with the buyers as well as OREB - the Ottawa Real Estate Board. Click here to read our article named getting your home ready for selling. It is predominantly about drywall repair, but important also.

So what does Patchboyz Asbestos removal have to do with all this? Well, the asbestos is most commonly found at the boots and bracing of the duct work. PatchBoyz is hired to come into the home and take care of the asbestos with 2 Ontario Regulation Approved methods. The first is to remove and dispose of it, when possible. When you find boards resembling drywall winched in between your boot and the wall, these are removed. The second method is through sealing. Sometimes, instead of a board, the asbestos is wet-wrapped around the boot and it’s impossible to remove the asbestos from it. You can either purchase new boots or seal the asbestos onto the existing boot, preventing anyone from being able to disturb it upon coming into contact with it.

Duct cleaning & Asbestos

You may be thinking that this is expensive for the one time you’re going to be replacing your furnace or AC and wondering if you can find a contractor that can change the unit without having the asbestos removed. Personally we wouldn’t recommend doing that. Disregarding the fact that this type of contractor is likely to be here today and gone tomorrow and won’t be able to uphold a warranty, there actually are other benefits to having the asbestos removed.

Duct cleaning is something that we really should be doing more often. We spend the majority of our livelihood in our home, where the air is recycled through the same duct work for decade after decade. All this dust, bacteria and things you don’t even want to think about hang out in the duct work. FOR DECADES! This needs to be cleaned out more often. But we’re not here to sell you on duct cleaning.

The fact is that if you go to get your ducts cleaned and you have asbestos, they won’t touch your home either! So in the end, it comes right back down to getting it removed. And the reason it’s so important with duct cleaning is that they’re blowing 300PSI of air through your duct-work. Unlike the HVAC technicians who are barely moving anything, the duct cleaning really affects all areas of the duct-work.

If you'd like to know more about PatchBoyz, click here to read an article about how patchboyz got started.

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