Asbestos Tile under floating floor - Tricky one!

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Old 02-27-12, 07:27 AM
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Location: Pittsburg, PA
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Asbestos Tile under floating floor - Tricky one!

Hi, I'm trying to lay a floating floor (glueless) in 350 sq ft area where there is now asbestos tile under old carpet. The tile and mastic is hot. My original plan was to carefully remove the carpet, put down the floating floor cloth-like underlayment and install the floor, but I notice the tile has been breaking up in some places around the edges and so when I take the tac strip out it's sure to break more. The tile is rather brittle. I only checked a small high traffic area, but from what I can see there isn't much holding the tiles in place. Seems like the mastic has dissolved or dried out in some places. Of course it's impossible to know what I'll find once the carpet's all up.

So my next plan was to pay up and have the pros deal with it. (wife's plan, mostly). However, it's my understanding that you can't do much with the mastic other than rip the floor out. There does NOT appear to be any underlayment at all. The tiles were adhered to the 3/4" subfloor.

I'm okay with paying to have them come in and rip up the tile, but leave the mastic. But to my understanding you can't do anything with the mastic except rip out the floor. SO, my MAIN CONCERN is that AFTER the tile is gone, there might be pools of mastic making my floor too uneven for me to be able to install my floating floor. And I won't know until after they've pulled up the tile.

Any insight or suggestions?
 
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Old 03-12-12, 12:10 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: USA
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I am a new rehabber. I bought an older home with asbestos tiles in the basement. It will cost you to have a professional remove it. I did mine myself using an iron and a wet cloth. Only problem is it is time consuming and must be done right. I actually spoke to an asbestos specialist and he said that vinyl tiles do not have that much asbestos in it. I got mine tested here in NE and it was only 2%.

If you are going to hire someone and have them leave the mastic, I am going to warn you that the odor of the mastic will be unbearable and can get your family sick!! If you have the black mastic like I had, it will smell like a tar like substance. I will suggest you duct tape the air vents in the basement or if the area is not in the basement, your family should evacuate until the project is completely done.

If there are only a few pieces that are crumbling, ask the pros if there is a way to replace just those tiles. I would not pay to remove all of the tiles if it is not disturbed. It would most likely be uneven. If you do decide you remove them all, hopefully the mastic is not the black kind like the one I had in my basement. I also removed the black mastic myself and it was 10 times harder than removing the asbestos tiles! I used a green product called Bean-e-do that dissolved the black mastic but I don't recall if it could only be used on concrete. I tried many other products, but this one did the best.
 
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