Asbestos was used for property insulation and construction for many years but has been found to be quite toxic. If you have concerns about asbestos in your home or business, contact a professional immediately. Asbestos can be very dangerous, and depending on the asbestos concentration, materials and types can require a range of varying asbestos removal processes.

There are numerous different asbestos products. Some asbestos materials are known as “friable”. While many other asbestos materials are considered “non-friable”. These two different types of asbestos-containing materials can require different removal and or containment services.

Contact Western Environmental Solutions with your asbestos removal needs. We provide complete inspections, testing, and removal and disposal services. Call or email Western Environmental Solutions today for emergency or scheduled asbestos services.


What Does Friable Mean?

Friable is not a form of asbestos material or a concentration of asbestos. In regards to asbestos, friable refers to the ease of asbestos demolition or crushing.

  • Friable Asbestos – This refers to a material that is made of more than 1% asbestos and can be crushed by the force of an average human hand.
  • Non-friable Asbestos – These materials also contain more than 1% asbestos but cannot be crushed by the strength of an average hand or grip.

Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM’s) refer to the variety of potential materials that can contain some levels of asbestos. ACM’s can be represented by insulation, flooring, roofing materials, adhesives, and several other materials in your home or business.

Non-Friable Asbestos

Stronger and more solid aspects of your property represent non-friable asbestos materials. When non-friable asbestos breaks down or is damaged in any way, harmful materials can be released into the air. Non-friable asbestos is classified into two categories:

  • Category 1 – Asbestos gaskets, gaskets, resilient flooring products, and asphalt roofing products.
  • Category 2 – Any materials that cannot be crushed with hand-strength that are not covered under category 1.

Friable Asbestos

Friable asbestos materials can be sprays, loose-fill insulation, and much more. These materials are often not packed or molded like non-friable materials and can release asbestos particles without being damaged or breaking down. Friable asbestos can be contained and or encapsulated to prolong the need to remove the friable ACMs.

  • Containment – Utilize an airtight physical seal to contain the particles from spreading. This can be plastic wrapping, a new floor, cement siding, or other physical containment barriers.
  • Encapsulation – Applying a range of chemical coatings to the friable ACM can effectively encapsulate the materials.

These often delay the need for removal, though asbestos removal will be required to ensure permanent air safety within the home.

Regulated Asbestos Containing Materials (RACMs)

These are both friable and non-friable materials that can be dangerous by affecting the air quality in your property. RACMs can be represented by:

  • Friable AMCs
  • Non-Friable AMCs That Have Broken Down And Become Friable
  • Non-Friable ACMs That Will Be Ground, Cut, Or Otherwise Damaged
  • Non-Friable ACMs That Will Be Demolished Or Renovated On

Examples Of ACMs

These are some common examples of ACMs in your property. These materials can be or may become friable. They can be contained, encapsulate, or may require immediate removal.

  • Asphalt roof shingles are non-friable, do not easily become friable with damage or renovation, and should be encapsulated.
  • Roofing felts are friable, release dust during renovations, and should be removed.
  • Cement roofing shingles are non-friable and prevent the release of asbestos under almost any weather conditions.
  • Loose-fill and batt insulation is friable and can be encapsulated with plastic wrap and plywood. Future removal will be required.
  • Insulation boards are friable and can produce asbestos particles over time or in renovations. Removal is recommended.
  • Clay plumbing putty is friable, can release asbestos particles from water damage and when cut. Full removal is recommended.
  • Electrical fuse box linings are friable, can be contained but require removal when they have been damaged.
  • Vinyl floor tiles are non-friable unless the materials have broken down and blended. These can be encapsulated but will require future removal.
  • Cement pipes are non-friable, can be damaged due to impact. An encapsulation spray can help reduce the spread of particles.
  • Furnace doors can become friable easily and should be replaced to avoid the spread of asbestos.
  • Small appliances can easily become friable and should be disposed of and replaced.
  • Vinyl wall coverings are non-friable and can release asbestos particles when cut or sanded. Encapsulation can be effective but future asbestos remediation or removal services will be required.
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