Encapsulating asbestos pipes involves using either bridging or binding materials. Bridging materials include paints that form a case around the fibers, while binding materials penetrate the fibers and join them together. If asbestos materials remain in good condition, leave them alone.
Asbestos is a fireproof material that builders used in products installed before the late 1970s. It was popular for use around furnace pipes and as an insulator for pipes, especially around steam pipes, to prevent burns. Scientists then discovered that exposure to asbestos fibers causes lung cancer. Encapsulation is one method of preventing the material from affecting the health of family members.