I'm in the process of purchasing a home, and was just informed that the drywall likely contains asbestos. However, this asbestos is non-friable.

One room needs a lot of sanding/patching/repainting, most others can just be painted and called good. I'm guessing I need to be pretty careful with that room -- likely have a professional handle it, or perhaps even replace the drywall entirely.

Do I have anything to worry about for the other rooms? Sounds like I can just put a new coat of paint on them and call them good?

I've seen other questions on here about asbestos, but none of them refer to the non-friable kind.

What dangers are there with disturbed asbestos drywall?

This is all new to me, so I need some help. Also, please mention your credentials in your answer... i.e. why I should trust your response.

  • I'm not an asbestos expert, but wouldn't friable asbestos in your joint compound be an issue? Also, what happens when someone wants to hang a shelf on the wall and they drill a hole into that asbestos drywall? Seems like it would get airborne pretty easily, but maybe "friable" has a more exact definition.
    – JPhi1618
    Commented Nov 20, 2017 at 19:36
  • 1
    fwiw, it takes a LOT of asbestos to cause meso. not just repeated exposure, continued exposure for years. it's by far mostly miners who suffered, along with some office workers in shaky buildings with poorly-made ceiling tiles that rained down dust all day. unlike VOC outgasing, it's a solid particulate that's relatively easy to physically barricade. in short: wear a respirator when sanding, but don't think that you're in a huge amount of day-to-day danger from your drywall.
    – dandavis
    Commented Nov 20, 2017 at 19:40
  • I haven't heard of asbestos drywall , I did read the linked page, have you had it tested? What year was the home built? If pre 70' s and there are popcorn ceilings those are usually full of asbestos but sheetrock?
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Nov 20, 2017 at 19:52
  • If you buy without removing all the asbestos, you’d better declare this information when you sell.
    – Lee Sam
    Commented Nov 21, 2017 at 5:55
  • 1
    "non-friable" implies "locked-into" a material, i.e. like gravel in concrete or ink in a tattoo, as in not likely to become airborne, if the support media is broken apart. While asbestos has been a component of drywall in the past, this would most definitely, NOT be one of its qualities. Consulting a professional would be your wisest choice.
    – tahwos
    Commented Nov 22, 2017 at 3:07


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