Latest Discussions : Miscellaneous


09:16AM | 11/13/05
Member Since: 11/12/05
6 lifetime posts
I purchased a house built in 1965 last year and the basement has leaked for the past 10-15 years on and off. As such, many of the floor tiles have become very loose and popped up off the floor. I know from neighbors that they are asbestos tiles (9x9) and since I have some ambition to renovate the 1500 sq. ft. basement, I have already started to remove some of the tiles. Because of this site, I learned and followed all the precautions discussed in previous posts to safely remove the tiles. It has gotten to the point that nearly none of the tiles break during removal.

My concern now, however, is what about the black mastic glue that is beneath the tiles. I would want to know if this is a problem as well. Someone informed me that I should cover the high traffic areas with plywood to prevent further disturbing any of the mastic that may contain asbestos as well. I was also told that as I remove the tiles, to cover the mastic asap with whatever new floor tile I decide upon. Any recommendations here?



11:52AM | 11/13/05
Member Since: 02/17/05
43 lifetime posts
You have three removal options with glue that is most likely to be asbestos:

1.) The Resilient FLoor Covering Institute ( recommends wet scraping with water--soak it down and scrape using a scraper. Though recommended, I would find this very tedious and likely to leave lots of residue.

2.) Chemical remover. Floor covering people don't like these because the chemical agents tend to leach into the concrete and make future floor mastics less likely to bond. It would get the stuff off, however, it makes a really gooey and sticky sludge that will ruin just about everything it touches (including your tools).

3.) Leave it and skim coat it. I would not recommend plywood subflooring because of the possibility of moisture/condensenation and future mold. If you really want to encapsulate it, skim coat it with some sealer. Otherwise, just leave it alone. By the time you apply a new glue and floor, any fibers are most likely going to be "permanently" bonded in there and unable to get out.

Hope this helps.

Fortress Environmental Solutions


05:52PM | 11/13/05
Member Since: 11/12/05
6 lifetime posts
I think I


11:17AM | 11/14/05
Member Since: 02/17/05
43 lifetime posts
From my standpoint as an asbestos-guy, you could use either. You would need to talk to a flooring-guy to see what he would say about adhesion of the new flooring.

Fortress Environmental Solutions


05:47PM | 11/25/05
Member Since: 11/24/05
2 lifetime posts

I have almost the exact situation as the original poster. In house, built in 1962, I have removed the tile, and the floor is black mastic. I also have a persistent odor associated with the mastic that is unpleasant - in fact, I could smell it slightly before I removed the carpet, pad, and tile.

Skim coating sounds like a great idea, but I

am concerned if the odor will remain after a skim coat. Is it possible that it would?

Any suggestions would be appreciated.



12:00PM | 11/26/05
Member Since: 02/17/05
43 lifetime posts
I've never heard of the mastic itself smelling bad. I'm not saying it can't but this is new to me. Is it a petroleum type of smell or more sour? Asbestos itself has no odor at all so it would have to be in the binders--or in the floor beneath.

If it's a sour smell, I would be inclined to think there is a mold problem rather than the mastic. If that is the case, it's ultimately a moisture issue and the floor needs to be thoroughly dried before you skim coat it (e.g. humidifier for a few days until you don't have to empty it anymore). Also, if it's mold you'll have to address the reason for the moisture problem in the first place. But you probably know this already.

Sorry I can't help you more.

Fortress Environmental Solutions


04:11PM | 12/04/05
Member Since: 11/24/05
2 lifetime posts

Thanks for your input.

The smell is hard to describe - there is some sort of pertoleum component, but it does have a sour odor also.

It looks like there has been some water issues in the room at some point in the past. Thankfully, there does not appear to be any water issue now. I think the smell is residual. I'm hoping that removing all the old material and drying the room out is going to help.

I very glad to know I don't have to try to get the mastic up and that I can seal it with paint.

Thanks again,



08:40AM | 12/08/05
Member Since: 01/30/05
360 lifetime posts
Since you have obvious moisture issues with the cement floor of your basement, coating the entirety with mastic will not work. Vapor and water will continue to "bubble up" via your concrete and "crack & pop" any mastic layer you attempt to "seal the floor" with - eventually!!!!

You'll end up with friable issues with the mastic all over again.

Best method is to:

Contract with a registered asbestos lab to test a sample of your mastic (they'll chip off a bit of your concrete surface containing mastic.

Even if the microscopic analysis is negative -- you'll need to be prepared for a more expensive BURN test. It is 80%+ likely you will have asbestos in the mastic.

The wet scraping method is your only reasonable approach in your already proven "wet issues" basement floor.

Keep in mind that until you correct for these issues any thing you do with this basement floor will most likely cause you other issues/problems (cracking, MOLD etc.). You really need to address your moisture problems before you think about throwing more finish money into the project!

The encapsulation method suggested by fort's post number 3 is obviously contra-indicated by the information the OP has already provided regards to his basement floor situation/conditions.

Its a nasty job -- but somebody needs to do it.

The odors you describe regards to the black mastic are common, especially when in an "always damp" situation, especially after having been recently disturbed by your removal of the tiles. Thinking it is also likely that at some point you either created friction during removal, and/or used the assistance of heat to help in your removal. BTW, this suggests that a slury of mineral spirits will be your likely most sucessful aid in its (mastic) removal. Also one coat of laytex paint is a class III moisture barrier.


05:05PM | 02/04/14
I know this is a really old thread, but I wanted to reply to possibly help someone who needs to remove the black mastic from their floor. I ran into a similar situation in my prewar loft conversion. Somewhere along the lines, the beautiful vintage mosaic floors were covered with black mastic then tiled over in vinyl. When the building was converted to residential, the developer removed the vinyl tiles and just carpeted over the mastic. If you do decide to remove it yourself, I found that the best way to remove the old mastic is to use a wall paper steamer and floor scraper. The moisture from the steam will help keep the friable material down (if there is asbestos) and scraping up the mastic. Of course its best to always send a sample to the lab for testing. In my case it was only $20.


01:57PM | 03/11/14
Leaving the Black mastic is not a good idea at all it can give a asbestos release when walked on. Second The new mastic's do not bind well with the old mastic and my seep through your new floor leaving you with a constant clean up off asbestos mastic seeping through. The best mastic solvent on the the market is Attack 2000 it is very low odor and after you complete the work just wash with warm water and powder laundry degenerate. You will also need a some thing to adsorb the solvent after you have used on the mastic cellulose insulation works best or saw dust.


01:29AM | 06/01/14
Alot of people are telling me to use kilz and I can paint the floors after wards.. Then I have someone telling me no will not work.. The smell I have is the carpet was very old and the padding and the tile came up very easy.. So no dust under the tile. I have bleach the floors. And trying to figure out the easy way and the right way with out spending alot of money... I did use kilz in the bedrooms and its kills the odor of the old carpet. really dont think its the Black Mastic. We have carpet over that and no problems the rest of the house were painting the floor.. Any suggestions? Thanks


08:19PM | 09/21/14
I just wanted to let anyone looking into this issue know about a product we used, it's called bean e doo. I know weird name, it's made of soy beans and it removes the black mastic keeping the asbestos non friable. I think you can search the product and watch videos of the process. We had great success removing the mastic from concrete slab. We're not sure what to do on the second floor though.
Good luck all.


10:15PM | 01/13/16
Hello, I recently purchased a house and decided to put hardwood floors in. The area had carpet so I thought it would be a quick job to pull up the carpet. After pulling up the carpet I saw there were wood tile underneath. I decided to pull that up. Now I'm wondering if its asbesto, if I've been exposed and should I seek a doctor? I was totally unaware and was not properly dressed with safety attire.

Also, how do I remove this now?

I'm so lost...Help a woman out please...
Screenshot 2016 01 13 19 27 39


07:23AM | 02/20/16
I have removed layers and layers of asbestos from my kitchen and bathroom all the way to the subfloors to add ceramic tile. Huge difference in smell for the while home it made. I have an attic that had the tiles as well on the plywood where there is tons of black mastic. It smells like tar or some kind of old odor especially when it heats up in the summer. I've tried killz paint and didn't work. I know they sell mastic removers; which I'm using in my basement to seal the floor afterward. I'm thinking of just ripping the plywood out and putting new down since it creaks when you walk on it because they used nails.


09:26PM | 04/06/16
Citristrip! Apply at least an ⅛ inch thickness of gel. Leave it for 20-24 hours. This will turn the mastic and even any remnants of carpet backing to gel. On hardwood I follow with mineral spirits and steel wire brush wash. Easy with the brush.


09:48PM | 04/06/16
Citristrip picture didn't post so trying again. Black on right is untreated.
Img 20160406 203754


01:12PM | 04/29/16
What product should be used to seal the glue?

For the scenario where someone takes off tiles and wants to just seal the glue rather than scrape it off. Then put floating floor or carpet over it.



11:40AM | 05/20/16
Does this look like it could contain asbestos? We pulled up old carpet and are redoing a house that was built in the late 50's. My husband believes it's the rubber backing that disintegrated after years of wear and tear. It's very dust like but some of it sticks to the floor but easily comes off with a sponge and water.


09:24AM | 06/09/16
I have them typical va tile with black glue to be safe assuming it's all asbestos tile comes up easily in full pieces no concern there. Then concern is there glue. Im gluing engineereed hardwood tested a spot and my new glue bonds to the mastic. My question is why can't it just lay over there black mastic


10:26PM | 06/15/16
Member Since: 06/15/16
1 lifetime posts
we are trying to get a house ready for sale but the basement was leaking so we have people jack hammer all around the inside of the basement to lay tile to got to the sump pump, we are now taking up the tile and it is kentile floor tile that is suppose to have 25% asbestos in it and i am sure the glue too. we took up the the tile. the space is approx. 500 sq ft. anyway we took up the tile and want to know if we should scrape up the old glue is there any problem, or can we cover it with a sealer and new glue with new tile. i really need a answer to we can get the work done to sell the house


07:54PM | 07/15/16
Just completed pulling up old 9" tiles from basement floor. They came up very easily using 4" scraper. Most of them broke into large chunks. Underneath on the concrete floor, is the black mastic or glue referred to in this thread. The surface of the mastic is not broken, but quite smooth. I'd rather encapsulate it with paint or polyurethane if possible. We are putting down new carpet. Can someone provide a product and/or method of doing this, if it's possible/adviseable. Thanks!
Basement floor


07:57PM | 07/15/16
hah, wrong photo obviously
Basement floor


08:26PM | 09/05/18
Did you end up figuring out if it had asbestos? If so, what did you do to remedy the problem? Thanks


08:05PM | 10/19/18
Skim coated it with what kind of sealer? Name brand would help me since I’m a DIY girl.
Thanks, Sandy


11:47PM | 11/10/18
I hired a company to remove asbestos linoleum floor. They said the mastic remover was low odor. But it smelled extremely strong to me. It's been a month & the chemical smell of the mastic remover is still very strong. We've kept the windows open everyday. The new floor hasn't been installed yet. So the subfloor is still exposed. Guess the mastic remover seeped into the concrete. I'm hoping that once the new floor gets put in, the smell will eventually go away. Is there anything we can do to speed up the process & get rid of the mastic remover smell?


11:40PM | 11/18/18
Hello everyone, I am putting new kitchen/family room flooring in the house my parents built in 1961. My situation has become much like the previous posts. The one difference is the was put on a pressboard (acts like a sponge when wet) which is still sound. I am concerned that skim coating may cause it to swell. So should I just remove the underlayment ( it has the black adhesive on it) and start over from the sub floor with new underlayment or skim coat and install my flooring? I am so overwhelmed with this whole thing. Thanks for your help.


11:43PM | 11/18/18
Oh I forgot my 3rd option...put a thin underlayment over the floor after all the tiles are removed .


02:36PM | 01/05/19
Can you seal the mastic and do a paint over it like painting a cement floor?


10:42PM | 03/26/19
I have a slightly different problem. I am needing to pull up carpet and I am wanting to lay Lifeproof vynel tounge and groove. Under the carpet someone already removed the Asbestos tile and scraped it. It seems to jave a layer of thin wood on top of the subfloor but..... the wood is white plastic on the inside and after being tested its 15% asbestos. How do I safely pull up the carpet and pad and cover it so I can lay flooring without disturbing it or the tackboard. It looks like there is still glue.


11:45AM | 06/10/19
Old floor with 9 x 9 tile. In tack. Except for a few small areas. Black glue firm... can I cover it with something until new carpet installed


08:53PM | 06/25/19
Similar issues, but after trying to strip the mastic, it got sticky but nearly impossible to scrape up. Can I skimcoat with Ardex over the sticky mastic?


04:24PM | 07/11/19
I am a contractor in NY fro over 20 years. Whenever we find black mastic on a floor,, we coat it with a material called perfectprimer It sticks tot the mastic, and then bonds to any tile, glue or epoxy customer wants to apply.

this way we don;t have to deal with asbestos, or chemicals or lead abatement issues


04:25AM | 08/15/19
Took off vinyl, then particle board. Mine looks like this...


04:27AM | 08/15/19
Not sure why I can’t post a pic. It’s black. Some on back of particle board. Looks like it was put over tile? We want to know if there’s a hardwood layer since the rest of the house is original. House was built in 1958.


01:51AM | 08/17/19
I've been searching for a way to deal with my vinyl asbestos tile (VAT) problem without the expensive of hiring a professional team to remove them. Perfect Primer says on its website that its product sticks to VAT and mastics and encapsulates them. I'm thinking of trying it. I removed tiles from a bathroom and then used Bean E Doo to get rid of the mastic. That product is made by Blue Bear, available on Amazon as 500MR.


11:31PM | 08/23/19
I have a flooring project that just hit a snag. Mastic with asbestos. It's an old house built in 1898 but the addition we're working on was added in the late 50s early 60s. Wood tile flooring on top of a concrete slab. Like most young, naive new homeowners we didn't even think of the asbestos probability even though logic would tell us it's all over this house. Anyway, encapsulating it seems like the only smart thing to do with this stuff as it tends to have a very high % of asbestos (15-85 I've read). Is this something we can do ourselves or are there possibly safety regulations in play that would require professional help?


10:57AM | 01/03/20
Hi, any way to remove the smell from post-abatement? It was in December, and it's now January in Michigan, so it's cold outside. We've had the windows open, the abatement company came back out to clean the floors afterwards, but it's still horrible smelling over a month later. Does anyone know of any way to get this smell gone?
Thank you.


04:11PM | 03/11/20

I think we may have asbestos tiles and mastic. The tiles come up very easily in one piece with the prying of a utility knife (before we knew they were asbestos). We are planning to install vinyl floating floor, so can we just do this over the top and is there a specific barrier we need to use in between? There are areas of the floor where the concrete has pieces chipping out of it so we had planned to just fill with self leveler?


05:09PM | 04/21/20
Pull up old Black rubber back carpet from my hallway. How do I get the remainder of the black residue off the hardwood floor.


08:41AM | 05/30/20
Thank you NY Contractor!!!!!


02:52PM | 07/06/20
How do you get the black stuff off the floor please help us n thank you

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