Need help - small hold from leaking roof vent pipe is turning into $$$$

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Jun 2, 2018
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I posted this in another forum, but thought I would post as a new thread too. So, my roof vent pipe leaked and caused moisture in the bathroom/closet wall - it is only about a foot big... I called in a water damage company to check the wall
to see if it was still wet after fixing the vent pipe and the water damage company said that in order to repair the wall and floor, they would have to seal off the door, use an "air scrubber" and have the wall tested for asbestos/lead??
Has anyone ever heard of this? Is this required everytime you repair plaster in an older home? They are quoting like 3 - 5 thousand dollars!!!! I personally can spray bleach and kill the tiny bit of mold that the moisture caused...

Anyone heard of this nightmare situation I am in?



Feb 9, 2021
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United states
I’d find someone else to do the job. It’s a little water damage, don’t let them blow it up into a big insurance claim and make a big deal out of it.

I know several people in the water damage business and their objective is to get your insurance involved so they can charge big $$$$$$. Same with a couple contractors I know, if insurance isn’t involved then they don’t want the job, not enough money.


Well-Known Member
Oct 16, 2019
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North Carolina
OK, @Azflower1 you have NOT been sold "a bill of goods" and it's unlikely anyone is trying to rip you off, or make a mountain out of a molehill.

Here's the bottom line from a licensed home inspector: homes of your vintage were in all likelihood built with drywall and drywall compounds that can possibly contain asbestos. While it was more common in commercial than residential, nonetheless the possibility exists. Similarly, homes of your vintage were painted with lead paint. These two materials--lead and asbestos--when disturbed can be toxic. When left alone they can be OK.

Since you have a hole, and that hold needs repair, you have exposed both painted surfaces and drywall and drywall compound. This is DISTURBED and the materials are now either "friable" as they say for asbestos, and the paint can turn into lead-bearing dust during finishing. This is very different than a similar home or other parts of your home not disturbed.

The ONLY way to make the determinations is by testing. Here's some information about how to do this:

Any contractor mentioning these items to you is protecting themselves against lawsuits, following the rules of their insurance company, and usually following the rules of their state licensing agency if so licensed, and also following best practices and industry protocols.

I've had a home I formerly owned completely abated from asbestos as that's what the lender and insurance company required. It was in "pipe wrap" though, not on wallboard.

Take a look at those links, and you can probably handle the self testing on your own.

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