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Small Cabin Forum / Cabin Construction / Asbestos in chinking?
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# Posted: 27 Mar 2022 08:33

Hi fellow cabiners,
I bought a fixer upper log cabin (ca. 1922) several months ago and getting to do the chinking repair now.
Several weeks back a friend suggested checking it for asbestos beforehand. I have a hard time wanting to believe theres asbestos in a log cabin but also not stupid; I know they’d have sold asbestos to the breakfast cereal industry if they could. anyhow, yesterday I began my research and I obviously can’t tell with my naked eye to 100% certainty but I swear I’m seeing fibers…so off to a lab it’s going for absolute certainty.

I guess my question is, has anyone of asbestos in chinking? I guess if they added it to plaster, why not chinking? the chinking is a mortar base. Not sure if it’s like or cement but it’s definitely a sand mix.

Just curious if anyone’s heard of this. Either way until testing comes back I’m presuming it’s asbestos positive.


# Posted: 27 Mar 2022 11:15

Asbestos used to be used in making cement (the powdery stuff like portland cement) and that means that any cement based product might contain asbestos fibers. Used from sometime in the 1900's onwards for about 70 years.

# Posted: 27 Mar 2022 13:53

Wet it down well, dont make dust, wear a mask and Dont Eat It.

# Posted: 27 Mar 2022 14:19

It's in some drywall mud and in some concrete so it is possible to be in chinking too. You cannot tell by eye if something has it or not so you were smart to send a sample off to a lab to determine if it has asbestos.

gcrank1's advice is spot on.

# Posted: 27 Mar 2022 16:08

There are ways to encapsulate it. Chinking would be prety easy to cover up I would think. Cant you just re chink over the old stuff?

# Posted: 27 Mar 2022 17:25

If it's not crumbling and becoming airborne (the term is "friable" it's not really a hazard just being there.

If you have to repair it wear a good mask and clean up well afterwards. Most of the real issues with asbestos health issues are from long term occupational exposure, not short term one time exposure.

Asbestos is often found in old roofing materials, both shingles and tar.

# Posted: 31 Mar 2022 06:06

Hi folks,
I don’t know how I didn’t see theses replies earlier. Anyhow, based on my years of experience in seeing, touching, feeling asbestos im 99% convinced the cement chinking is asbestos-laden. That said, I did overnight a sample to a lab for proper analysis because I could be totally wrong. Fingers crossed.

Anyhow, as for just covering over it, that’s not really an option. It’s not in good condition. the old chinking definitely needs to be removed and replaced. And the exterior is the same stuff and that’s what’s needed to be replaced more. The stuff is only friable/airborn as I remove it.

This isn’t my first run-in with asbestos in a house, in fact my old house had an asbestos flue pipe, siding and shingles that I stupidly just busted up and tossed. The pipe I actually wrapped up securely because i knew better by then.

Anyhow, thanks for the input. I’m fearful of asbestos but not scared. While it’s very important to use caution and proper PPE, i still can’t help but feel the hype is bigger than some of the problems. I may just try to tackle this myself with proper setup otherwise I’m covering over the log (I’ll talk to you all in my next post about that LOL.)

-Al C


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