So...tell me about old asbestos vinyl tile...and removing it.

5,102 Views | 15 Replies | Last: 8 yr ago by DerekTAMU80
KDubAg
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AG
Well the wife and I decided to pull up some carpet that we were told had concrete underneath. Turned out it was not concrete but vinyl tile. We pulled about 1/4 of the carpet up when she realized that the tile looked to be asbestos vinyl tile. So that put a hold on our project.

Went to Home Depot to see about an asbestos testing kit, didn't have any. We assume it does. House built 1959.





Wouldn't be so bad if they were intact, but the crumbled ones are the ones that bother me. We have been walking on this for about 6 years. Is this something to worry about? Dust from the crumbled pieces coming up from the carpet over time?

Also, anybody ever dealt with this and what is the best thing to do? I know I can get a professional in here, but that could be $$$. The room is about 256 square feet. Should I just suit up, seal up and get the appropriate equipment and go to town myself.

I hate to do this now as I have (had) plans this weekend already and football season kicking off next week.

I'm also the guy that post about concrete staining as well.

What do you guys think?

TIA
powerbiscuit
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I'm no expert, but what I have heard is that the danger with asbestos is if it becomes airborne and vinyl tiles are not that likely to put off airborn particles.

If they are breaking into pieces, I wouldn't worry about it. If they are putting off dust, I might check into it.
dubi
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AG
Put in a hardwood floor over it. Glue down or floating floor.
The Fife
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Those look like 9" tiles, so they're VAT (vinyl asbestos tile). IMO you shouldn't run into any problems. The asbestos is locked into the tile pretty well, and you'd have to grind the stuff up to really be exposed to anything. What I would do is pick up / scrape up the tile that isn't already loose and use a shop vac with a new filter to clean up everything else.

Since the glue possibly also contained low amounts of asbestos, and that would probably be ground up to prep for staining the concrete I'd make other plans for the room. I'm with dubi - engineered flooring in a gluedown application would be a good choice, but I'd go ahead and take up the old flooring first because it already looks very loose and you'd feel the height difference between where the tiles were still there and where they're missing.
KDubAg
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AG
Yea, wife and were talking last night and figured that concrete staining may not be an option at this point. We are going to get an estimate from an abatement company but I think they will be too high and it'll be DIY. If we do it ourselves we'll just get as much of it up as we can without causing too much mess. Anything that's not loose may just stay down and we'll do what dubi said.

This sucks. My wife was in tears last night thinking about the asbestos tiles that we (including our 2 and 4 year old) have been walking on for 6 years under the carpet as it crumbled.
Dr. Doctor
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AG
You have to get asbestos in dust form. So unless you were grinding on the carpet and making clouds of dust, you are fine.

~egon
meteorag06
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AG
What the doc said is true. But it's not going to hurt anything to put on an N95 mask just in case. You can pick those up at lowes or HD.

Also if you run into more somehow using a spray bottle to calm the dust down works just fine. Good luck.
The Fife
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quote:
We are going to get an estimate from an abatement company but I think they will be too high and it'll be DIY.

[Prepare your anus Ewok pic]

quote:
Anything that's not loose may just stay down and we'll do what dubi said.

You'll feel the height difference between where the tiles are missing and where they still remain, and whatever flooring is glued down is likely to develop squeaks later. The flooring manufacturers all have flatness requirements the subfloor needs to meet for a reason. Whatever tiles haven't already come loose can probably be taken up pretty easily with a floor scraper in order to get there. Well worth the effort IMO.
KDubAg
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AG
Any recs on a wood floor installers in Houston. Kinda of short on time to get it done. This room separates the kitchen from the rest of the house. I don't have to time to do it bc of work.
KDubAg
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AG
Fife. That's our goal, to get it all up. There's a different type of tile on the other side of the room and those seem well glued and didn't budge at all.
txags92
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AG
A few tips on removal...

Wet the tile down before trying to remove it. It will keep the fibers from becoming airborne as easily. Not talking flood the room wet...just use a spray bottle and spray each spot before you work on popping it loose.

Wear a respirator with a hepa filter. Check the fit by putting your hands over the filter openings and inhaling. If you can feel air leaking in, it doesn't fit right, adjust and try again or get a different mask.

Seal off the room you are working in by taping plastic over doorways and shutting off the ac vents to that room. If you have an air purifier with a hepa filter, run it in that room during and after the removal.

If you use a shop vac to clean up, make sure the expelled air filter is in place to catxh the fibers. Whatever clothes you wear while doing it...tyvek suit or coveralls is best...go outside and hose yourself off before removing them.

If the room has external doors or windows, open them and air out the room during and after the removal.

If you put a laminate or wood floor down afterwards, use a underlayment with a moisture barrier and you won't have to worry about what is left on the concrete after the tile is removed.

Asbestos really isn't that hazardous in tile, and as long as you take some precautions while removing it, it is nothing for your wife to be too excited about.
Bird93
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AG
Have it professionally removed or cover it up undisturbed. I agree the risk is low, but a risk absolutely exists. I watched my dad get eaten alive by mesothelioma. It's one of the most horrible things you could ever imagine. DON'T TAKE THE RISK...IT JUST ISN'T WORTH IT!
txags92
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Mesothelioma is absolutely not something that will occur from a one time exposure. It is a disease that occurs over time in response to unprotected exposure to asbestos. Asbestos in tile is not very friable. You have to grind it up to really make it friable and even then, you are not talking about the same level of exposure as you would get from transite or pipe insulation. If you are wearing a respirator and doing a one time manual removal that doesn't involve grinding the tile up, you are at a nearly zero risk of mesothelioma.

[This message has been edited by txags92 (edited 8/22/2012 6:11p).]
Sasappis
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AG
If it makes you feel better you probably could rent a commercial hepa air filter and vacuum to help in the cleanup. That along with a good respirator and the isolation steps listed above and you will be good.
KDubAg
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AG
Thanks all for the responses.
DerekTAMU80
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There is a product that has removed the black adhesive miraculously well in the past. Do not let anyone tell you that cant be cleaned well enough to stain.
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