Fun with asbestos flooring

Old 12-21-11, 10:39 AM
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Fun with asbestos flooring

House build 1962, floors ENTIRELY covered with linoleum (ugh. I guess you had to be there.) We know they contain asbestos because all houses on the street had them and neighbors have had to deal with them in the past. All of it's been covered up with one material or another. What I've been able to see of the stuff suggests that it's all intact, stable, well-adhered. IOW, no need to abate the stuff for its own sake. We want to replace the flooring OVER it (tile and hardwood) and I have a few questions about how best to handle removal of the current flooring as well as options and/or things to watch out for in covering it with new stuff. BTW, it appears to be glued directly to .5 inch plywood subfloor.

1. Carpets are secured via tack strips that are nailed on top of the tiles. I worry that prying them out runs the risk of breaking up tiles and otherwise releasing fibers.
2. We have an area where wood parquet flooring has been GLUED to it. I fear it would take a jackhammer to shake that stuff loose. Can anyone comment or offer suggestions on that situation?
3. Bathroom has ceramic tiles which, based on their height, I'm guessing are also applied directly on top of the linoleum. I'm thinking there's NO way of dealing with that and we'll just have to go over it.

Any input appreciated.

Our kitchen, BTW, is a whole 'nother thing, because the linoleum in that room is covered by .5+ inch of additional flooring in the form of .25 inch particle board topped by .25 inch plywood topped by a glue-down felt underlayment, topped by self-stick. We're assuming the sticky vinyl was OK because it wasn't that old (and in any event, it's already gone so there's no point in worrying about it) but that felt is DEFINITELY ACM, and at a level much worse than the ancient linoleum. That stuff is an immediate problem since it's at the top, and it's friable. We're hoping guys in the hazmat suits will be able to deal with it next week.

Old 01-09-12, 06:54 AM
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1)do you know the felts are ACM? They often are but not always. a lab test may cost you a little money but if you get good news it will save you a bunch.
2)you stated the original home was linoleum but then you refered to existing tiles. Linoleum is typically a sheet good and not a tile. Do you have the 9"x9" vinyl asbestos tile or linoleum sheet goods? Or do you actually have linoleum tiles.
3)if you have floors glued to an ACM floor then you will have difficulty getting the floor up without disturbing the ACM. If you already have an abatement contractor showing up them why not have them expand their work to include this demo. A great deal of the expense for an abatement contractor is in simply getting to the job and setting up their containment. Increasing their scope of work may not cost as much as you think.
Can not be sure of any of this without seeing for myself. Hope that helps.
Old 05-20-12, 06:40 PM
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Can't figure out how to start my own I hope you don't mind my tacking onto yours...I had a similar problem with the lino containing under felt with asbestos being fastened down to plywood...on top of that was more recent particle board nailed on and newer lino on disclosure when I bought...

Was totally ignorant until carpet installer mentioned potential of asbestos in old tile...I freaked...boyfriend said "now you've opened a can of worms" to the installer regarding my reaction.

I immediately had the floor tested at a lab and it came back negative...but also decided to get a couple of other floors tested at the same time. The one that the installer thought suspect was 'fine'...but another innocent looking piece came back 40% asbestos in the felt under the lino! Yikes!

My mistake...not knowing what to do I let the soon-to-be x-boyfriend 'handle the problem'. He said he was capable from all his past knowledge in construction. I hit the computers and researched as best I could...but I wasn't able to control him from doing it 'his way' as he just proceeded like a bull in a china shop. He hung some thin plastic up... at least wore the hepa mask and outfit I purchased for him (asbestos rated)...but he really didn't do all the best things. He opened all the windows and put my summer fan at the patio door to 'exhaust any dust' and proceed to lift of up the subfloor and tile. I kept telling him NOT TO USE THE SHOP VAC as he would spread the dust...but he got in there and did anyway!!! It all got torn apart pretty good and removed outside...but I am sure there was dust left airborne...and then he was back in there an hour later starting other work...unbelievable to me! He didn't wet it down as I advised him and didn't leave the plastic up 48 hours to let all the dust settle as I had researched...or little else I asked him to do. I took off in anger and didn't stick around to see the 'fallout'. I am not living in my own house now...I am at a friends while he works there! I am certain my entire upstairs has been contaminated with dust. The best I could do was close bedroom doors and put towels under them before leaving the house. Then I showered and got onto this post. Now what...? Besides dumping the boyfriend! Should I contact someone for professional cleanup or wait until he finishes (because he has started the drywall process and tile laying already). He said the air has cleaned it out because of the cross draft and the little fan! The lino was rolled vinyl and it was about a 10' x 10' area. It was discovered under two other layers of lino...and had the edges plastered down...obviously found by prior owners who tried to cover the problem. I am choked.

What is the best procedure? My dad says, wait til he finishes his construction...get him out of my life...dawn a mask myself, wear protective clothing...spray everything with mist with a bit of soap added to pick up any settled contaminated dust with a mop and clothes. Then he said drag my built-in vacuum hose out (which has the canister in the garage) take the filter out completely and add an exterior hose and vent it outside the garage. Then launder all of the bedding and clothes after shaking out, vacuum the couches and window coverings and remove for professional cleaning...and perhaps rent a machine to withdraw air from the house room by room...

I have this going to make the house safe again? Is there any service that will check the air quality or can I do it myself? Where can I rent exhaust fans for air removal? I don't want to shout 'asbestos' from the roof tops either...I need to sell the house...and the renos were being done to 'improve the space and make it saleable'...and now...oh my god...I don't want to scare off any potential buyers if I decide to sell. I want to remedy the problem and leave it safe for the next person! Not what the prior owners did to me...dirty dogs... If I get it all cleaned up and the asbestos is I still have to disclose... What a mess...any advice would be awesome. This scares the devil out of me... Too late to go backwards...all is removed except contamination...need to know how bad it signed MYMISTAKE
Old 05-20-12, 07:27 PM
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Don't blame the former owners. Cover the asbestos flooring was the way everyone was told to do it. I would get the air tested and dump the idiot.
Old 05-21-12, 09:37 AM
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Hi Sam floor...yes...I will get the air tested...but do I need a special type of vacuum to clean up the dust...everything has to be cleaned as the flimsy plastic he hung wasn't sealed properly and it is likely everywhere. I will throw out floor rugs and anything else that I deem unclean able and vacuum everything from top to bottom...but I need a vacuum that won't spew the stuff back into the air. My dad says put a shop vac outside the house with a long hose...but I can't get a hose long enough and that will be very awkward given the amount of clean up. Are there places that 'clean up'...after such a thing? Or any suggestions on a machine?

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