I tested samples at a local asbestos certified lab and all came back 100% clear of asbestos. Thank you all for your advice.

I’m new here and a new home owner. Just purchased a condo in a two family unit. The condo was converted in 2005 and the home was build in 1923.

As I’ve been cleaning up and doing odds and ends and I've noticed some things that need to be cared for. Two of these places however I am questioning whether to leave it alone and get it tested for asbestos.

The first is my chimney portion that is inside my attic. It looks like the mortar is starting to decay and fall on the floor. I will need a chimney company in here at some point but until then I was about to sweep it up but figured I would leave it alone. Could the chimney mortar contain asbestos?

The second questionable place in my home is the basement. The ceiling has plaster. In one part of the basement the ceiling is soft and needs some repair. However, before I call someone in and they rip it down I was wondering about asbestos in this material.

I included photos of the chimney and the ceiling. I did not include the sagging part but did include where there are current holes for better viewing.

Any advice would be appreciated. With two little kids just don’t want to be careless.

Thanks in advance,

Jamerica chimney mortar and ceilingenter image description hereenter image description hereenter image description here

Thank you so much to those who responded. Much appreciated.

As for the asbestos report,I don’t think my state had one. They do however have a lead report.

I will definitely just send to a lab to be on the safe side.

Thanks again.


Thanks all. I think I’ll test both areas. So long as
I spray, anyone see a reason why I should call a company to test? And if not, does anyone see a reason to go to the extremes of this person?



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2 Answers 2


You should have received an asbestos report when you purchased also lead paint. I have not seen asbestos in refractory cement or mortar , many times if needed the asbestos looked like thick white layers of cardboard, I see what looks like horse hair in the plaster, I have not found asbestos in horse hair plaster and lath but have heard that it was used so it would be a good idea to send a chunk of that plaster in for testing, but I would not be concerned about the mortar.

  • I'd guess the age of the house strongly indicates a lead paint problem.
    – MaxW
    Commented Dec 5, 2019 at 0:51
  • Why would the builder use two different sorts of fibre (asbestos + horse-hair) in the plaster? It's not something I've heard of (this may be a US/UK difference). Commented Dec 5, 2019 at 16:27
  • Actually there are closer to 8 or 10 different types of asbestos laden materials in homes of this age from pipe insulation, heat shields in attics around the flue, tile and linoleum , siding , popcorn ceilings. But as I said that looks like horse hair and I had not seen asbestos in that type of plaster but have heard of it so, since I cannot examine it to prove to myself it is “horse hair” I suggest having it checked.
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Dec 5, 2019 at 20:17
  • 1
    Good idea to get it tested
    – JACK
    Commented Dec 5, 2019 at 20:50

I've bricked a few steel heat treating furnaces with asbestos bricks but never heard of asbestos mortar so I'd guess your safe there. It's crumbling a bit because it wasn't finished off correctly because it was in the attic. As far as the plaster, doesn't hurt to have it checked.

  • I agree better safe than sorry .
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Dec 5, 2019 at 20:18

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