Removing Asbestos Linoleum - need advice
Asbestos is dangerous because minute asbestos particles can be inhaled and then lodge in your lungs. If, however, the asbestos isn't in a form that has small, loose particles such as sprayed asbestos, you really don't have much to worry about. Just as you don't have clay particles floating around if you have ceramic tile, you won't have asbestos particles floating around with asbestos tiles. So, if your asbestos is in a similar form you likely don't have much to worry about.
That doesn't mean, though, that you shouldn't be careful. I'll be wearing a full face mask when I remove the tiles and I'll drape plastic over the doorway to minimise any concerns I might have. Also, if I were to break up the tile instead of just lifting it up whole it would be a different story.
Don't take this as encouragement to break the law or guidelines that exist in your area, but understand that many things are less dangerous than they are made out to be and many things are more dangerous than they seem. Oxygen can kill you and chlorine that's used to treat drinking water can form into carginogenics, it all depends on the form it comes in and the quantities you are exposed to.
I encourage you to find out for sure what you are dealing with and maybe talk to some neighbours who might have tackled that problem already. You might even be able to get references and a price range from them.
Mark has some good advice. You can remove it yourself but as he says, you need to 'understand' a little about asbestos.
Asbestos isn't really a respiratory problem unless it becomes airborne (as you've already read.) If this occurs, you should have already sealed the room AND be wearing a Respirator. This is why you don't want to use a Saw or do any sanding when working with any material that contains Asbestos. In short, these 'tools' will make the Asbestos airborne!
So, if you're going to do this job yourself, seal the doorways and wear protective gear. MINIMIZE or do what you can to PREVENT the asbestos from becoming airborne. 'Splitting' the material by hand will cause it to become Friable (i.e., airborne/dust.) This is why you seal the room and wear the gear. You don't need a Professional Abatement company unless your Municipality requires it.
In many cases, a Pro would recommend you simply 'encapsulate' the floor and just install a new one. I happen to opt for removal since, some day, you MAY need to disclose EVERY form of 'known' Asbestos in the house, including the floor you've encapsulated. The Seller Disclosure Laws are changing all the time. Although encapsulation is OK since the Asbestos is non-friable ('solid' so to speak and harmless), folks just conjure up ALL kinds of 'bad thoughts' when they hear the word Asbestos! Once they're educated, they'll know all the better. It's that when it comes to buying YOUR house, they may run instead of asking if it's 'harmless'.
My best to ya and hope this helps.
Jay J -Moderator
PS: Depending on who is picking up your trash you may, or may NOT, be allowed to throw it out there. AT the same time, ASSUMING you can, I'm sure there's a Size Requirement as to how 'big' the pieces can be at curb-side. Remember, NO SAWS (even hand-held ones, even cutting outside!) You need to do some homework BEFORE you dig up your floor ...
You mentioned "encapsulation" of the asbestos tile. What are the options for encapsulating? I was told by someone to trowel on flooring adhesive and just let it dry. Any thoughts? Thanks in advance.
The flooring is usually 'sealed' w/a layer of Lauan or plywood or something like that. The asbestos isn't harmful unless it becomes Friable (i.e., airborne.) Then the new flooring is installed on top.
My best to ya and hope this helps.
Jay J -Moderator
PS: God Bless America!
I have a 1968 house, lino or 9x9 tiles. I was going to install laminate, however, there is a 3/4" dip in the heavy traffic area. What to do? Any suggestions? Did you ever solve your situation?
As was discussed earler by Jay J and others, vinyl and asphalt asbestos tile is a relatively low hazard for removal, and fiber release is easily controlled using wet removal methods. You can take a sample of the tile to a local analytical lab and for about $35 have a PLM analysis done to verify whether there is asbestos or not. Regardless, you can install your project with minimal disruption of the tile.
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