Latest Discussions : Flooring & Stairs


10:18AM | 10/02/02
Member Since: 10/01/02
1 lifetime posts
(Sorry for the repeat post… Because I’m not sure which forum to use, I’m placing this post on both boards.)


I’m hoping that someone will be able to relieve my conscious a bit… Just purchased a home, built approximately 1949. Up until several days ago, my wife and I were ecstatic about our first home purchase—but now we are freaking out a bit and here’s why…

I recently found out that the previous owner scraped/broke up tile throughout the basement and removed it shortly before placing the house on the market. I’m assuming it contained asbestos. There are some remnants of it in a closet—it’s the dark, hard, nine-inch square type.

Through my conversation with him it was apparent that he did not hire a professional abatement company to do the job. He did it himself with the help of some local guys—none of which (apparently) even wore masks while doing the job!

I should mention that half of the basement is finished, while the other half is the utility/laundry area and is separated by a wall.

After he removed the tile, he carpeted over the “finished” half (a very nice berber) and painted over the “utility/laundry” half (a nice job there as well).

What we’re freaking out about is this: How dangerous is it to be down there? I looked in a closet under the stairs and on the floor, it looked very dusty and had black (what I am assuming is glue) stuck to it. Also, at one end of the closet, one tile and another half broken one still remained attached to the floor.

Now, after sticking my head in there to look around—I’m even more freaked! Am I going overboard with my worry? Can someone do permanent damage from just being down there a short while and looking around? I was careful not to disturb or touch anything.

I should also mention that I am in the process of having the air tested, samples taken and the remaining material cleaned up by professionals.

Am I going overboard with my paranoia here?

If someone who is knowledgeable in this area could respond, I’d REALLY appreciate it. As stated above, my wife and I have gone from being so excited about being first time homeowners to kind of freaked out.

Thanks very much—sorry about the long-winded post!


PS – I should add that there is no other apparent signs of asbestos on pipes, etc…


02:14PM | 10/03/02
While asbestos is nothing to mess around with, what you are describing does not appear to be of great concern. Asbestos floor tiles are for the most part encapsulated. That is to say very little if any if the asbestos fibers will be free to become airborne. I have been in constriction for over 30 years and have personally worked with and around this type of tile on numerous occasions with no ill effects. Unless you are exposed to a heavy concentration of asbestos fibers or have worked around it for an extended period (years) I don’t believe you have anything to worry about. Get the remaining asbestos removed by a professional abatement contractor and rest easy. (I have even installed asbestos siding using an electric saw, and no mask, on several houses back before asbestos was known to be a health hazard.)



06:01PM | 11/30/02
Member Since: 11/29/02
12 lifetime posts
I just posted an almost exact story before I found this thread. Sorry for the duplicate post. My wife and I are in the same situation, except we have a 10 month old baby that we are freaking out about as well. From what we understand, it's not the tile that is so much the worry but the glue that holds the tile down. We wanted to make a playroom for our baby in the basement, but now we think there is now way and we have lost complete use of the room because none of us wants to spend anytime down there. Glenn, or anyone else, any help or insight would be greatly appreciated. We are going nuts. We are already spending some serious money to have some other asbestos removed and now that we found this we are really stressed. From what I have read, the fact that the previous owners carpeted over the tile in question does help, but I can feel some looseness in the tiles and I am wondering if the fibers are just getting trapped in the carpet where a baby or pet can easily inhale them.

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