Removing Asbestos Ceiling Tiles Removing Asbestos Ceiling Tiles

Asbestos ceiling tiles were a common building material of the 60s and 70s. However, asbestos and its fibers have more recently been linked to lung cancers and other pulmonary diseases, caused by inhaling the fibers. Many who were exposed to asbestos, during fitting or in subsequent removal, have gone on to develop carcinomas and serious illnesses. Read on to learn how to locate these potentially dangerous tiles and to safely remove them.

Finding Asbestos

If you are unlucky enough to live in a house which was built before the end of the 1970s, and which features an acoustic or drop-down ceiling, then you may still have asbestos in your home. The product is only dangerous once the fibers are free, so ceiling tiles are only dangerous if they become damaged during removal. However, once asbestos is found in your ceiling, you will need to remove it using building code guidelines.

Dressing Properly

The first thing you will have to do is get the proper clothing and accessories for the removal. You will need:

  • A Tyvek suit - a white cotton-like suit which you can obtain from a specialist shop or online
  • Safety gloves
  • Safety glasses
  • A respirator approved for use in removing asbestos tiles
  • Asbestos bags for disposal
  • Drop cloths
  • Duct tape


Step 1 - Turn Off the AC

Before you remove any of the tiles, take care to turn off the air conditioning or heating unit. This circulates air, which will cause any fibers loosened during removal to travel through the room, into the air conditioning vents, and mean that you can inhale these fibers long after you have removed the tiles associated with them.

Step 2 - Soak the Tiles

Once all these preparations are complete, you can then soak the tiles by mixing a small amount of detergent into a gallon or so of water. Using a spray bottle, soak the ceiling tiles. This detergent and water combination will help to form an adhesive which will keep the asbestos fibers in place even if the tiles are damaged.

Step 3 - Remove the Tiles

You should now begin removing the tiles. Do so very carefully, ensuring that your respirator is never directly underneath the tile you are moving. You will have to be sure not to break, tear or otherwise damage the tile, as this will cause the asbestos fibers to become loose, and then airborne. Once each tile is fully remove, place them into your asbestos bags. Don't drop them in, but place carefully. When the bag is full, seal the end with duct tape, then put into a larger rubbish bag.

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