scared_weekend_tiler

Unwittingly removed asbestos floor tiles. What's the deal?

Can someone please explain something to me? What is the deal with asbestos? Really.

I recently removed a small, 17-square ft. area of old 9X9 1960Âs VATÂs (vinyl-asbestos tiles) and didnÂt realize it until two weeks later. I used a little bit of adhesive remover and a heat gun and scraped them up. NO mask. And, in fact, while we were preparing the surface for the new floor, the scraps of VAT were sitting in a bucket and in my dry vac canister.

There was no dust.

Anyway, upon realizing what I had done, I called my doctor who said, "two weeks exposure is an extremely short exposure time, and thereÂs really no reason to worry." My daughters pediatrician said the same thing, more or less. Still, I didnÂt calm down or stop worrying because of the latency period thing. That is, I was worried that any one of the people living in my house could get sick 10 to 50 years down the road.

Now, IÂm reading about how VATÂs are no/low-risk because the asbestos is bound-up in the compound. ItÂs "part of the matrix." A piece in the SF Gate even states that vinyl floor tiles that contain asbestos pose no risk even if they are disturbed because of the way they were manufactured. Also, from what I understand, VATÂs contain a comparatively low % of asbestos, anywayÂespecially compared to other residential asbestos products.

Anyway, should I be worried? Or should I let it go? There seems to be a lot of doomsday-ish, very grim asbestos information on the web, but IÂm now wondering how many of these websites are sponsored by law firms for whom asbestos torts = $$$. I have to admit, IÂm hard pressed to find either a single instance (online) of a person ever developing a long-term illness from a popcorn ceiling, VATÂS, or any other residential asbestos products.

Comments (343)

  • PRO
    Richco Building Assoc Inc
    2 years ago

    Again, I don't know of any, but if HD has a cheap primer/sealer designed to adhere to VAT and asbestos mastic, and then bond to your choice of Top coating, then purchase it.


    On my part, I always purchase the best, proven materials for my customers projects. You can choose whatever you like.

  • Allison Cadarette
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Ok...so 2 different situations here....and lots of concern...ha....The house is old (say 1940s)

    1) Stairs- had pre-shag carpeting, when I took the carpet off, it had this padding...I wore a paper mask and scrapped it off as much as I could, then my Mom came in and scraped the rest...what if any risks? They were sanded/vanished and now look great but...ha..hindsight is 20/20

    2) Kitchen floor - green and beige 9x9 tiles- Not tested, but I would bet asbestos in the tiles...a friend of the family had been working in flooring, so I thought it would be nice to get someone I know to help out...Originally, he checked said that there was no asbestos, but looking back...I'm doubting that because he found tiles. Since he didn't think much of it, neither did I....I tossed up the idea of it, but it was shrugged off, so again, didn't think too much of it....Again, hindsight is 20/20...

    He tore up the lineoleum and the green/beige (VAT) tiles. There was this stinky asphalt adhesive, black in colour, which he sanded without using a mask....So...there was black (sometimes sticky if water touched it) sawdust everywhere...in every kitchen cupboard, every dish, up to the ceiling...I cleaned it all up (even sweeping some parts that were hard to clean by only wiping down...(sticky adhesive). I was only using a paper mask...*headshake*...Assuming there was preety significant asbestos disturbance and likely the air was running...how should I proceed now? What are potential healthy risks that I might want to be aware of??? Is the exposure risk different for the person who did the job versus myself who resides in the home? What about exposure to animals? (Poor kitten!) Should I have the air ducts cleaned immediately? Is there anyway to test for asbestos after all the renovations are done??

    In a previous post it reads: ``The danger occurs when the fibers can become air born and inhaled. But, the exposure has to be long term or very heavy as it happens(breathing in visible dust for a period of time).``...

    Considering this post, how worried should I be if I breathed (and kitten breathed) in visible dust over the course of living there and being present during renovations??

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    I need some advice! My home was built in 1870 and the upstairs hallway had plywood covered in black mastic, underneath that is hardwood. Yesterday, I took a hammer and pulled up the plywood. It came off in pieces and did create some dust. After removing everything, I just read an article about black mastic containing asbestos. I am aware that I am a moron for doing this and this is something I should’ve considered before taking renovations into my own hands. I am completely freaking out now. What is my next move?? Please help!
  • HU-420199674
    2 years ago
    I need some advice! My home was built in 1870 and the upstairs hallway had plywood covered in black mastic, underneath that is hardwood. Yesterday, I took a hammer and pulled up the plywood. It came off in pieces and did create some dust. After removing everything, I just read an article about black mastic containing asbestos. I am aware that I am a moron for doing this and this is something I should’ve considered before taking renovations into my own hands. I am completely freaking out now. What is my next move?? Please help!
  • HU-420199674
    2 years ago
    I need some advice! My home was built in 1870 and the upstairs hallway had plywood covered in black mastic, underneath that is hardwood. Yesterday, I took a hammer and pulled up the plywood. It came off in pieces and did create some dust. After removing everything, I just read an article about black mastic containing asbestos. I am aware that I am a moron for doing this and this is something I should’ve considered before taking renovations into my own hands. I am completely freaking out now. What is my next move?? Please help!
  • PRO
    Richco Building Assoc Inc
    2 years ago

    What is your goal for the finish material you want to put on the stairs?

  • HU-420199674
    2 years ago
    We were going to paint the original hardwood floor.
  • PRO
    Richco Building Assoc Inc
    2 years ago

    As a contractor, I would:

    1: Remove the wood and clean the floor with some dawn soap and warm water. Rinse off excess soap foam. 2: apply two coats of PerfectPrimer. 3; apply a high quality epoxy floor paint. Make sure to add some texture grit into the paint for slip resistance. None of this will disturb the asbestos and in fact will properly encapsulate it.

  • PRO
    M Flooring Installation Services LLC
    2 years ago

    Always use a spray bottle of water, soap when doing anything in the older houses. Use it to spray things down to help keep the dust from getting air born. Even if its just good old dust, nobody wants to breath that stuff.

  • graciemae2004
    2 years ago

    What a great thread and up to date. My question is for anyone that can give a some advice:

    Bought a 1916 home and the basement (not too big) has a furnace (heater). The Furnace duct cominG out from Furnace does have asbestos. Do you think I can remove the duct pipes and replace. At this time, the duct attached to the "furnace" is what has asbestos (not sure if this is all the way to the heating "floor vent/registers" that old homes have... Trying to upgrade the furnace and maybe put AC/Heating unit as it's only heating from the Furnace. And the furnace works great, but I would like to redo the duct work that currently exists. The duct work runs from furnace underneath the crawl space of the house (that is accessible).... I also heard from others - that the duct work can be wrapped in soaking wet towels and carefully remove so no particles are release. Also, we have been using the furane and it's perfectly fine. Nothing is blowing at the furnace/duct connection and we bought the house as such. The previous owners were living at the home for about 8 years prior to selling and they had two small kids (and he did not seem concern). But I would just like to remove and get rid of duct work and replace with something more up to date material. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. THANK YOU ALL!

  • PRO
    M Flooring Installation Services LLC
    2 years ago

    Graciemae2004,

    I just started a remodeling of a house built in 1920, just about done with the demo, its been educational to say the least. Being a Hard surface flooring installation specialist, fancy title, huh, for 20 years I have be exposed to countless amounts of flooring, glue, whatever that contained asbestos so I have come to my own feelings on the matter, so dont take anything i say, as me stating anyone else should do, or feel the same as i do.

    From what I have heard recently, in the plumbing trade, they are bringing back the use of asbestos in some products. Asbestos is in the paint on the walls, the drywall, the shirt you have on, the pipes in your house, the pipes running to your house. Needless to say, your not going to be able to avoid being exposed to everyday amounts. The reason I think it became such an issue is to some people in the right amounts, under out of the ordinary circumstances, asbestos could have been the factor that lead to them getting cancer, or sick. And since its not mom and pop companies that are using the product, its big companies with big money, not speaking on why they use it right or wrong, they come under attack from the class action law firms. Now i am all for the whole idea of a class action law suit, when its needed, and fact based. Not saying the asbestos suits are not fact based, i just think its more along the lines of shitty lawyers knowing these big companies have deep pockets, and if you annoy them enough it becomes in the big company's own best interest to just pay what i see as "hush money" meaning just pay the shitty lawyers to go away and stop wasting their time. Which happens all the time, but the shitty lawyers not only take the money, they sign NDA's which they have no problem with, since they didnt have a case away, and all they were after was the hush money. Big companies have funds set aside to settle real law suits, but they have a fund to pay the bad BS suits too, not case they are at fault, but because it in their financial best interest.

    When it comes to asbestos in your flooring or house in general you as the home owner can remove it how every you wish, I however being a professional flooring installer can get fined for doing it for you. And honestly i do not even know that to be the truth, it might just be what the big companies I spent 18 years contracting for made me to feel was the law, just to protect their big deep pockets

    No sure how old you are, but i am almost 40, and about 4-5 years ago is when i learn that as a child it was a common practice to put Mercury in the silver tooth fillings you got from the dentist. MIND BLOWING, so as i child while sitting at school being told if a thermometer breaks, dont touch it, and get away from it, due to the mercury. the whole time my parants paid good money to have that same stuff put into my mouth.

    Plus there is the whole Reefer Madness movie where they, they being the man, tried to make people think that weed was something it just isn't. and most people are now figuring that out.

    So dont trust everything you read, or are told, there is a back story or hiddle agenda that is missing from the story we are told, so we cant really know the truth. So when it comes to asbestos, here is my feeling. if you got the money, meaning spending whatever amount it cost to have the guys in ET suits come and remove it wont effect your bank account, or change your budget for the year, then sure why not do it, dont chance it. Now if you cant afford it due to the cost, then do not worry about it, if you have to pick between feeding your family or paying your bills, or getting someone to come into your house and remove something that may or may not cause any harm, feed your family, pay your bills. The only time i would say other wise would be if there are elderly people, or young kids, if thats the case i am not saying spend money you dont have, i am saying do your home work and make sure those people are not around when the work is being done, then just read how they where going to do the removal, and do that yourself, or get someone else to do it, they cant charge for it, so maybe a friend of the family type that would do you a favor. Just be sure to tip that guy a good bit for being such a friend.

    And lastly, i hope your 1900s house was taken care of better then the one im working on, if not, save the money from pro asbestos removal, you'll need it else where, trust me on that one.

  • graciemae2004
    2 years ago

    Thank you M Flooring for your feedback. Much appreicated....

  • PRO
    Richco Building Assoc Inc
    2 years ago

    Just a comment here: I largely agree with what M flooring said. Keep this in mind though: It is not that the existence of tin some glue or whatever is great health hazard per se'. The issue is that once people start grinding it, then they pulverize it and make it airborne. Now it is easily inhaled and uncontrolled as to where it goes.

    In any case, this is why removing it like this is also illegal. That all said, we properly all of that by coating it with Perfect primer, then painting or epoxy coating over it.

    The asbestos is easily encapsulated, safe and frankly this is less work and expense that scraping and grinding it off anyway.

  • HU-7693494644389402519847
    2 years ago

    Hi guys, so much fun to be joining this discussion. I also have a question: recently bought a 60's home with asbestos tile all over the basement floor. Was originally planning on just putting floating vinyl plank over the whole thing, but it's rained pretty heavily for a few days and I've got a small leak in the basement wall. That, plus how much my washing machine acts up and the drain from the water tank in the middle of the floor, I'm wondering if there's a possibility there's already damage to that floor?

    Some of the tiles when I step on them seem to crackle. So I'm concerned there might be water damage/mold growing somewhere, and if there is, can I still cover the whole thing with vinyl plank? Would it be better to just remove the asbestos flooring and start fresh (possibly tile the basement floor)?

    Any help would be appreciated. I'm also working on a fairly tight budget and all of this is pretty new to me :/

    Thanks!

  • HU-7693494644389402519847
    2 years ago

    Hi guys, so much fun to be joining this discussion. I also have a question: recently bought a 60's home with asbestos tile all over the basement floor. Was originally planning on just putting floating vinyl plank over the whole thing, but it's rained pretty heavily for a few days and I've got a small leak in the basement wall. That, plus how much my washing machine acts up and the drain from the water tank in the middle of the floor, I'm wondering if there's a possibility there's already damage to that floor?

    Some of the tiles when I step on them seem to crackle. So I'm concerned there might be water damage/mold growing somewhere, and if there is, can I still cover the whole thing with vinyl plank? Would it be better to just remove the asbestos flooring and start fresh (possibly tile the basement floor)?

    Any help would be appreciated. I'm also working on a fairly tight budget and all of this is pretty new to me :/

    Thanks!

  • HU-647164460
    2 years ago

    Hello, My house was built in 1978, I decided to renovate my small bathroom, 50 square ft, without thinking I started to remove the 41 year old linoleum, I sat on the floor with a crow bar and hammer, the linoleum fought me tooth and nail, and I pulled mostly the top layer off and in some spots the linoleum came up with some thin wood, I had no mask and wore shorts while I did this and then it dawned on me Asbestos might be in this linoleum, so now I am in a panic as to what I should do. I closed the bathroom door, I did bag up the loose vinyl and that is still sitting in my bathroom. I was going to put plywood on top and then peel and stick vinyl but now I feel nervous about what I should do!!

  • suellie
    last year
    last modified: last year





    Hello,

    i have had multiple exposures in our home now to asbestos floor tiles and glue. I redid 2 floors myself removing the tile with a tile remover and it chipped. Scraped the mastic too. I dont think I wore a mask, but I sprayed the glue but not the tile so it was dry. My father removed some as well in the hall and living room years before. Recently we had all the upstairs floor tile removed, dry chipping and a wood floor was put down. The people who did it made a huge mess and created a lot of dust, but no sanding etc, I cleaned it up first with wet paper towels and swiffers and then vacuumed.

    Then 2-3 months later we had a slab plumbing leak and plumbers came in and ripped up wood flooring and the same vinyl tile - asbestos tile and drilled the concrete and made a huge mess I covered what I could with drop cloths etc but I am worried they could have spread asbestos fibers from the damaged tiles they took up all over the place.

    Then we had a floor estimate and he wanted to test, he took a sample and then after 3 weeks of waiting and calling him, nothing. I have covered the exposed area with plastics and carpets etc. But it is still exposed and my cat sits there etc. So I finally took the tile to a local lab and both tile and mastic are positive for asbestos. I dont know the percentage yet but these are hard, 9”x9” beige tiles in a levitt house with black mastic. They were not sanded but dry chipped. Someone else says they have 15-20% asbestos.

    Am I at risk here with all of these exposures? After the flooring removal / install upstairs I have been having severe reflux and sinus drip and severe sore throats. I’m very worried. My asthma is worse.

    We are going to get an abatement company to do the removal in the tv room but I wonder if it is still better to cover it? I think there has been water damage in other areas of tthe floor. Should I move out while this is done if they remove everything? Do I have asbesto poisoning? I have developed several autoimmune diseases two the past 7 years including type 1 diabetes and hashimotos.

    I don't understand how anyone thought it was ok to use this toxic stuff in homes etc.

    in addition, a sociopath contractor ripped off and chipped tons of tile on the exterior which I’m pretty sure was asbestos tile too. We eventually had someone else put siding up and they were careful about removing the remaining tile. And cleaned up the mess of the scam artist.

    here is a pic of the tile And the Armstrong floor. The old vinyl asbestos tile is beige with acne like marks and is rigid, it is mostly covered by the glue for the wood floor here. Is it possible the glue on the wood armstrong floor has asbestos too? That was put in over 30 years ago.

  • SJ McCarthy
    last year

    With your symptoms and medical history, an abatement company will be WELL WORTH the money. I'm going to guess your sore throat, etc, has more to do with MOLD then it does the asbestos. The good news is abatement companies can EASILY deal with mold as well (same type of draping techniques are used to deal with mold...so you are saving HALF the costs just by doing both jobs at once.


    If you want a healthy home, you might want to speak with the abatement company to find out if they can test for mold as well. Then get a second quote for asbestos+mold abatement. See what they can do to make your home healthier while they are already on site (and the expensive tenting is in place).

  • Mike Parrish
    last year

    Had some flooding in my basement that is causing the vinyl tiles to come up and crack. I want to just cover it like mentionmentioned above but concerned that its it's in too bad of shape to contain. Any thoughts? Clean what I can and thethen cover? I plan to put wood paneling over it eventually (after leak is fixed)

  • SJ McCarthy
    last year
    last modified: last year

    @Mike Parrish - If you want to "just cover" disturbed tile in your basement, you will want to use a subfloor system that can be shimmed/leveled prior to the installation of flooring. Something like DriCore will work. It will add almost 1/2" of floor height. You then have to add the height of the floor (can be another 1/2" - 3/4"). This is enough to disturb door clearance, code for the stairs, baseboard trim, baseboard heaters, etc.

    Carpet is the easiest thing to lay over loose tiles.

  • PRO
    Richco Building Assoc Inc
    last year

    If you want you can remove by hand the tiles that are loose, then what we do is apply the perfectmembrane system directly onto the floor to lock it down and encapsulate the tiles permanently. Its really easy to do

  • Nicole Al-rabiah
    last year

    Good morning. I have read through most comments and have a question.

    We have asbestos tile tthroughout our basement. We are remodeling and will be laying ceramic tile. Previoulsy we have had 3 floods that loosened/cracked the asbestos tile. Can someone please tell me step by step i need to do. I do not want to have an abatement company remove. We aalalsalso have low ceilings. There are probably 10 tiles missing and others loose. We also would like to know if/how we coulf install electric heated flooring as well. So asking the process of installing new floors over exexisting loose asbestos with and without electric heated element. Thank you in advance.

  • PRO
    Richco Building Assoc Inc
    last year

    Nicole

    As a contractor, I would not want to lay a heated floor somewhere unless the source of the leak/flooding has been repaired. Can you tell me what the source of the floodwater was?

  • Nicole Al-rabiah
    last year

    Yes it was the sewer line..i have bebeen told its getting old and causing tissue and soap/greegreese build up in the trap. We will probably be breaking the floor to replace with a Y pvc to ssolve the issue..again having to remove asbestos tiles.

  • PRO
    Richco Building Assoc Inc
    last year

    Well you can't remove the floor without removing the tiles. I would speak to the plumbing company about it and see how they handle this. Generally they only have to remove a trench or so , not all the tiles.

    If your willing to forego the heated floor and have a low ceiling, I would gGlue down any loose tiles you have, then apply PerfectMembrane (by specialty solutions) over the whole floor to lock down and encapsulate the tiles. Then apply a new thin cement overly or epoxy over that.

    If you insist on a heated floor, then you can apply a new concrete floor directly over the old tiles and add the heating coils into that.

    If the ceiling is too low and you don 3ant to use the PerfectMembrane and decorative floor solution, then you have to remove and replace the existing concrete floor and tiles.


  • ZoZo
    last year
    You can’t put anything over those tile and have it last. It will fail. Remove the tile. There is no danger to removing the tile unless you grind them up into a powder. Use a floor scraper. Most States allow home owners to do the work themselves. Hire someone and it will cost you. Use a decoupling membrane such as Ditra. If you’re going to heat the floor they -Schluter- have an excellent system and it is also a decoupling membrane. You’re going to want someone that knows what they’re doing to do the electrical work. Again. Removing tile doesn’t present a danger.
  • PRO
    Richco Building Assoc Inc
    last year

    A 4" concrete slab laid onto the tile will never go anywhere. An overlay or epoxy applied directly onto the right bonding primer system as I mentioned before does last. I have been installing them for 15 years without a failure, I learned about this system from the US army corps of engineers who use it all the time to encapsulate rather than remove asbestos.

  • ZoZo
    last year
    I would put my 40 plus years and degree in Architectural Engineering against your experience. Pour a 4” slab over tile to cover tile? Dumbest thing I heard of. Pull the tile up. Cut the slab to replace the sewer line. Pour concrete in the trench and put down the floor. Bonding agents over concrete is stupid. The floor moves - your tile cracks. Use a decoupling membrane.
  • suellie
    last year
    last modified: last year

    Thanks SJ McCarthy, I am still trying to get a company to do this, it is a big hassle. One company has given an estimate with 4 different proposals which is very confusing, two of which are the same for removing furniture in the room with a different price for the same thing. I have contacted two other companies but one is too far away to given an in person estimate apparently, and the other came and seemed good and has not given us an estimate yet, over a week ago.

    I will ask about testing for mold as well. Does that need to be done before or after removing the floor and how is it done? It could be contributing to my symptoms. I have been changing my diet, treating with different medications and changing my clothes which has helped.

    The ins will be paying for the asbestos abatement since the pipe leak is covered but it still has to be negotiated with them. They have given an estimate for the new floor. I don’t know if they would pay for taking care of mold as well though? Each company said the air quality needs to be tested after the floor is removed waiting a period of 12/24 hours. I’m just wondering if that is necessary since the tile is not friable and I’m assuming no asbestos fibers are going to be released if they do it carefully.

    I will not be doing any of this myself obviously. Thank you for your advice, any other advice is welcome!

  • PRO
    Richco Building Assoc Inc
    last year

    Yes, use a decoupling membrane like the PerfectMembrane we use. Keep in mind that you are spending someone else money here. Be judicious.

  • Nicole Al-rabiah
    last year

    ThaThank you for your qquick responses. I think we will seal and tile without tthe heat element.

  • ZoZo
    last year
    Yeah. As you judiciously recommend someone pour 4” of concrete over an existing concrete floor because it has tile stuck to it that may or may not contain asbestos. You’re not helping anyone with that kind of advice. Put ceramic tile to concrete is begging for tile failure i e cracks. Concrete is guaranteed to do one thing. Crack. I gave them the best option that is way less expensive than your solution.
  • PRO
    Richco Building Assoc Inc
    last year

    A lot has changed in the last 40 years you know. Personally I use dozens of products now that didn't even exist when I went into business....like my cell phone, and a ton of new coatings. etc. Why don't you learn about PerfectMembrane and test it for yourself before making a conclusion, or even worse, damming it. I believe engineering, like contracting, is a constant process of learning and growing. Don't you?

  • ZoZo
    last year
    Dude. I still do this work. 40 years using the newest best products on the market. Dealing with asbestos in all forms. Building schools, churches and countless other projects residential and commercial. I offered a common sense solution to a problem. You offered a stupid solution. You’re an idiot quite frankly. Let it go. 4 “ slab over an existing basement floor because there may or may not be asbestos is the stupidest thing I’ve heard since a guy told me he was going to put particle board over concrete
  • Richard Barber
    last year

    I worked with asbestos tiles and ceramic tiles for 34 years from 1965 to retiring in 2010. I'm 72, and had throat cancer from breathing in asbestos/silica dust! I have had surgery and 30 rounds of radiation. I realize through articles that throat cancer is low on the list, but dusts are breathed through the nose and mouth. Any thoughts on my case for help ? Do I have a case for compensation of some sort? I have enlisted legal help with little success!

  • SJ McCarthy
    last year

    @Richard. I'm sorry this has happened to you. You are best served by reaching out to a class action attorney who has already started the process. I know that in Canada there is now a limited time to get your name on a list for the class action suits. After that time has passed, it will be too late to receive compensation. You will need to find out if your state or your industry has a time limit to file. Getting your name added to a list of an existing suit might be the only way to receive compensation.


    You will also require industry leading experts in Asbestos based cancers agree that your form of cancer is more likely then not to have been caused by your asbestos exposure. In the USA, that gets very expensive very quickly. That's why you will want to join an existing suit.

  • Brenda M
    last year

    We are taking a mobile home to the dump and the metal to recycle but discovered there is 9x9 tiles throughout the trailer underneath the other flooring. The trailer is early/mid 70's. Im sure once they see it at the dump it will be an issue. Is there anyone with ideas of how we could do this ourselves and get rid of this trailer/materials. Another one we had we just had a large machine come in and break it down and sort it. I really don't want to have to dismantle the trailer fully by hand. Any suggestions

  • PRO
    Asbestology Pty Ltd
    last year

    Hi Guys.

    Asbestology here.
    If you have any questions in regards to asbestos removal, hole cutting, carpentry or when you need a licensed contractor, what is friable & what’s not, etc, feel free to email me on the below website.

    www.asbestology.com.au

    Kind regards.
    asbestology.com.au

  • Sean McMeen
    4 months ago

    If you have questions about asbestos removal and testing you can visit our website https://abcenviroteam.com/asbestos-removal

  • HU-16014230
    last month
    last modified: last month

    My daughter's boyfriend thought he was helping and removed the tile from our basement in preparation for new flooring while we were away last weekend. MANY of them chipped as he was scraping. We came home to buckets of times that he'd removed. This morning, I was talking to a friend and she said "are you sure thise aren't asbestos tiles?" Now, I will admit, I haven't heard about asbestos in many years and never knew it was in residential floor tiles. Needless to say, nor did my daughter's 23 year old boyfriend. He had never even heard of asbestos. Today, I wet the tiles and covered the buckets, but that was a week after it happened, so it probably did no good. We have all been in and out of that room numerous times. We even swept and vacuumed the dust that was on the floor. I am concerned that we have tracked fibers all over the house. There is a couch down there that he just moved to the side as he removed the tiles. Should i throw it out. My house was built in 1959. I am VERY worried, what should I do?

  • HU-899373851
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Hi Hu,

    I would advise decontaminating all open areas & throwing out the couch, vacuum & anything else the fibres could've come into contact with. We can price this for you if you fill out our website quote form.

    If it has a paper backing then this is huge concern as that is the high percentage asbestos.

    Kind regards,

    Cole

    www.asbestology.com.au

  • PRO
    Richco Building Assoc Inc
    last month

    I agree with Cole that you need to do your best to clean the space form fibers.

    In addition, once the area has been cleaned, you need to seal over that black mastic that held the tiles in place. To do that the easiest and least expensive way to properly achieve that is to use PerfectPrimer, and then apply a top coat of paint or epoxy. I hope this helps.


    Sincerely,


    Scott Richards

    perfectprimer.com






  • bry911
    last month

    I would take most answers about asbestos with a grain of salt. It is exceedingly rare that exposure to small amounts of asbestos will have detrimental health consequences. Remember that California is covered in naturally occurring asbestos and in times of fires and drought (two things California sees on the regular) there will be a noteable amount of asbestos fibers in the air.

    Much of the crisis with asbestos was manufactured by litigation. Cancer and respiratory issues are significantly higher among people who worked with asbestos regularly in industrial or mining situations. Because of the nature of cancer, it is possible that a single exposure will lead to cancer, just as it is possible a single cigarette will, but that would be incredibly unlikely.

    I feel sure that I am going to get chastised by someone who makes their living off of that fear and I am not going to engage too far with this. Try to find some research studies on the dangers if asbestos from people who have no skin in the game.

  • Doug Herzog
    last month

    For a house built in 1990: Today I removed a roughly 135 square-foot area of my kitchen vinyl flooring. Found the original vinyl flooring underneath. Pulled that up to. Used an oscillating handtool, but did not sand. Used a shop vac to vacuum up smaller bits of glue, tile, and vinyl backing. Wore a paper mask, didn’t notice a lot of dust, but am finding film of dust on counters and tables on that floor of the house. How concerned should I be about my family and I being expose? Flooring installers will be here in two days. I stopped and will do no more without knowing risk.

  • White Serpent
    last month

    I've never actually heard of the plastic portion of sheet vinyl itself containing asbestos; it's the gray felt backing you need to worry about. That can contain a high percentage of asbestos; mine tested at 50% chrysotile (so, way worse than VAT, which gets all of the attention, but my house was built in the '60s). Sometimes you can end up with huge amounts of asbestos in the mastic, too, especially the black mastic, but I gather that trailed off after the '50s.


    If your house was built in 1990, it is exceedingly unlikely it contains asbestos adhesives or asbestos-backed sheet vinyl. I mean, sure, if someone put in old stock instead of something new, then anywhere that might ever have had asbestos could have it. If you still have samples of the felt backing of the vinyl and of the mastic, send both off somewhere like Western Analytics and have them tested.


    (Also, for those talking about 9x9 tiles, please note that the flooring manufacturers also made 12x12 VAT, though not in as many colors, at least at first. The VAT really isn't much of a risk if you heat it and slowly pry up one tile at a time because the asbestos is bound in a matrix. If you get a floor stripper and grind everything down, that's a different story, and you need to watch out for the mastic, too.)



  • HU-16014230
    last month

    I posted a while back that my daughters boyfriend removed basement floor tiles without knowledge of asbestos concerns. We had the time tested an it came back as 3% chrysolite in the tile and none detected in the mastic). I know that no amount is safe or , but how concerning is 3%? I placed a hepa air purifier in the room and we've stayed out of there pending results of the testing. My main concern is for him because he was pretty aggressive in the removal with no protective gear.

  • SJ McCarthy
    last month

    Since the event has already happened, there is nothing to be done except wait. The concern for the boyfriend is going to be 'long term wait and see'. A single exposure is HIGHLY UNLIKELY to cause illness (remember the bell curve...imagine moving as far towards NEGATIVE infinity as you can...that's the kind of 'unlikely' I'm talking about).


    The 'room' should be fine. So long as all surfaces were wet-down and then wiped clean (including ceilings...there are 6 sides to a cube) while you were wearing N95 mask and goggles you should be fine.


    The particles need to be prevented from flying up into the air (we call that 'friable') which is where the water comes in. Water keeps things from flying up into the air. Other than that...that's about all that can be done.

  • Michael M
    last month

    Agree with SJ McCarty. We should all avoid exposure, but one time is highly unlikely to cause an issue. Virtually every single person who worked / works in construction is exposed at some point. It's not worth losing sleep over, but he should take care not to repeat this mistake in the future.


    Just clarifying that I don't believe n95 masks are rated for asbestos. I believe you need P-100.

  • SJ McCarthy
    last month

    Thanks for the correction on the mask option. Got Covid on my mind (hey...I think there's a song in that!).

  • HU-16014230
    last month

    Thank you, I've had a couple of P100 masks in my Amazon cart awaiting the test results and will go ahead and purchase them so we can clean the room. The tiles are still submerged in closed buckets of water and now that i have confirmed they contain asbestos, I will contact a company to dispose of them. 2020 has been a hell of a year!!