Latest Discussions : Miscellaneous


12:53PM | 10/27/04
Member Since: 07/30/04
11 lifetime posts
We just bought a house near Chicago and are planning to redo part of the basement rec room which was built in 1970. (The house was built in the early 50s.)

After pulling up the old wall-to-wall carpeting and old padding, we noticed a black covering that was glued to the floor. Someone at ********** told us it might be a vapor barrier.

My husband started scraping it away until I freaked out and told him there could be asbestos in it. It's pretty easy to scrape off -- kind of powdery. This black stuff is also on the stairs under the carpeting going up to the first floor. It is in such bad shape, it has turned into a black powder that has fallen through the cracks of the stairs and has made little piles underneath.

Any idea what this stuff is? I have hidden all scrapers from my husband until I have a little more info.




11:23AM | 10/28/04
Member Since: 07/01/03
549 lifetime posts
The material sounds like mastic, and it may be the adhesive from a previously removed tile installation that has been covered by carpet. To find out if it contains asbestos, simply collect a small sample in a zip loc bag or film cannister and take it to a lab. You can find a laboratory that does polarized light microsocpy (PLM) in the yellow pages under "laboratory, analytical".

If the material contains asbestos there are still relatively safe methods of removal using wet methods, but first find out if you have a cause to be concerned. It will cost about $25 for the analysis.

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