09:19AM | 07/26/04
Member Since: 07/25/04
3 lifetime posts
In my foyer and kitchen there is a vinyl sheet down(which we are assuming has asbestos in it) and then masonite under that, and then hardwood under that. We would like to get to the hardwood. Our plan is to pull up the masonite with the vinyl along with it and cut the vinyl along the borders of the masonite board. Does this sound like the best way to approach this? We will be wearing masks, but what other safety measures need to be taken? Thank you so much.


10:49AM | 07/26/04
Member Since: 07/01/03
549 lifetime posts
Taking the cautious route that the vinyl may have an asbestos backer is prudent. The work methods you outlined to cut and remove in sections, causes the least disruption of the asbestos on the back of the vinyl possible. The only other suggestion would be to use a light spray of soapy water where you cut. This ties down any fiber and suppresses dust. If you want to go whole-hog, you can isolate the room from the house by hanging plastic sheeting. This also helps prevent distribution of general nuisance dusts caused by the work.

Check to see if the vinyl is completely glued down. Often it is only glued at seams and edges. If you can pull it up without causing separation of the backer, this would be easier than removing with the underlayment. This material is generally not regulated when removed by homeowners.

Not all sheet vinyl flooring has asbestos backing. To know for sure, submit a flooring sample for laboratory analysis (Polarized Light Microscopy PLM). Cost is typically $25 per sample. Laboratories are listed in the yellow pages.

Regarding respirators, only a NIOSH certified HEPA cartridge respirator (magenta) should be considered. They are available everywhere. Dust masks are useless for protection, and really don't exchange air as well anyway. Be sure to promptly wash work clothing (or use disposable tyvek) and shower after working with the material.
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