I had an old boiler with asbestos in a house I bought in '93. Subject
never came up in the inspection or anything. Probably should have, i
think I was railroaded.
I personally would not mess with this. If it ever came up as an
impediment to selling the house, deal with it then. It is up there
with radon as something that people are scared of but doesn't generally
cause problems except in peoples' minds. I am a proponent of leaving
flaws in place until sale time, as long as they're not hazardous, and
not getting worse and worse like a crack in a foundation or bad
You do need to make sure the asbestos isn't flaking, etc. Also, some
of the pipes carrying hot water away from the boiler may be wrapped in
asbestos so check them too. You'll see a metal pipe with about a 3/4"
wrapping around it.
Asbestos - aside from killing a lot of miners - is a very effective
material. You have to be around it for a while to get health problems.
The poor miners that were done in by this mineral breathed it a lot
over a long time, before people knew what a problem it can be.
When they were building the World Trade Center, the bottom half of the
steel inner core was covered with asbestos to retard fire. Then
everybody freaked over asbestos, so the top half of the steel was not
coated. This is one reason the towers collapsed so quickly.