Vinyl/linoleum asbestos


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Old 10-17-13, 08:02 PM
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Vinyl/linoleum asbestos

Hey all, I know that asbestos is a frequent topic around here.

I also know the most common advice is "cover it up!"

But here's my situation. I recently inherited the family home. The house was built by my great grandfather for my grandparents in the mid 1960s. Great-grandpa was a builder all his life and died of mesothelioma in the late 1970s. So, it's safe to say that the man worked with a lot of asbestos.

The flooring in the kitchen and laundry room of the house is clearly sheets, not tiles. I don't know if its technically vinyl or linoleum. Either way, it's there. The seams are in bad shape and have been for a while now. But since inheriting the house after my dad (unexpectedly) died this summer, I now see how bad the flooring really is.

In addition to the seams lifting up and even chipping away and various dings and scratches on the floor, there is undoubtedly damage to the subfloor beneath (it's a pier and beam house). My stepmom had evil Yorkies who made it their life's mission to pee everywhere as much as possible. Usually when no one was at home, so the urine had plenty of time to soak through the damaged flooring seams and probably right into the subfloor. That kitchen has smelled of poorly-covered up dog pee for a decade and the dogs have been dead for half that time.

So, with potential damage to the subfloor, would it still make the most sense to cover the likely-asbestos floor in plywood and put a new floor on top? Or would it be best to remove the asbestos and subfloor in one fell swoop?

I want to do things The Right Way, since for the many years my dad lived in the house after my grandparents retired to the country, things weren't always done The Right Way, they were done The Cheap Way. I don't have unlimited funds of course, but I'll save up to try to do it Right if needed.


Thoughts? Opinions?
 
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Old 10-18-13, 03:02 AM
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Welcome to the forums! There may be a possibility of asbestos in the covering. There may not be. Asbestos is only dangerous if it is released into the atmosphere in a dust type form. How rigidly is the covering adhered to the subflooring? Covering it up will still allow for the urine smells to come through, so without doing away with the offense, I don't think I would just cover it up. You don't know how much "damage" there is to the subfloor. How easily will the covering come up? Do you think you can scrape it up without chipping it into a kazillion pieces? Could you post a few pictures of the flooring so we can see what you see? May help.http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...your-post.html
 
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Old 10-18-13, 12:14 PM
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Back in the 50's and 60's, a lot of lino was not glued down, it was loose laid. Pull the 1/4 round. It may just roll up.
 
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Old 10-18-13, 06:59 PM
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I'll be at the house again in a couple of days and can post pictures of the flooring and the seams.

I already know I have to rip up the carpet and replace the subfloor in the dining room. Ugh the smell.

Thanks guys for the replies!
 
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Old 10-21-13, 07:01 PM
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This is one of the worst seams. The other photo was too large, but I'll edit it and try again.
 
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Old 10-21-13, 07:04 PM
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You can see the sheets here and the poor condition of the seams. There isn't a single seam in the kitchen or laundry room that isn't separating or cracking to one degree or another.
 
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Old 10-28-13, 07:32 PM
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Any new suggestions now that I've added some pictures? Not all of the seams are in THAT bad of shape (the laundry room is oddly fine), but all have some issues.

Des it look like asbestos?

Is there anything I can do I'm the short term to make the kitchen more livable (for instance, install vinyl self-stick tiles?)

Thanks!!
 
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Old 10-29-13, 03:14 AM
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Have you done as Sam suggested and remove the quarter round or running a scraper under one of those seams? Quite often linoleum is not glued but at strategic places and it may roll right up.
 
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Old 10-30-13, 01:29 PM
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I pulled off the 1/4 round and I can definitely tell you that the sheeting is glued, at least partially. It appears to definitely be glued at LEAST at the edges and the seams. Some parts of glue is adhered better than other parts.

I also managed to tear the flooring in at least two places because it's in even ****tier condition than I originally imagined.

Should I continue trying to rip it up since it's so god awful at the seams (i tripped on one yesterday and propelled myself into the other room) or would it be unsafe to do so?

If I do rip it up and there's adhesive residue on the subfloor should I immediately cover it up/replace it?
 
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Old 10-30-13, 03:08 PM
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What type of backing is on the sheet goods? Is it paper? I'd be surprised if it is original to the house, but you never know. If you can get the vinyl up, what color is the glue that was used to hold it down?

The offending smells most likely only penetrated at the seam and was at least in part the reason they are releasing. Given that, we may be able to treat the seam areas and then cover the rest with either 1/4" ply and new sheet goods or Cement Board and tile if other subfloor requirements are in place. Lets hope it is not particle board....
 
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Old 10-30-13, 03:41 PM
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I'm 99.9% sure that this flooring is original. Everything else in the kitchen is and the only thing my grandmother ever mentioned replacing when they lived here was carpet in the living room and the 4th bedroom (which was obvious as the rest of the house had peas and carrots shag and those 2 rooms had low-pile blue carpet). The only thing my stepmom ever did was cover up the original wallpaper with new wallpaper.

The backing appears to be paper? I'm not 100% certain. I think the glue is white, though it appears clearish in some areas (I can see what looks like a trowel outline on some areas?).


I definitely don't want to put down ceramic tiles (cost/labor), I just need a short (3 years?) term solution. Either more sheet vinyl or vinyl tiles.

My biggest concern with putting ply down over the existing subfloor (or the existing floor if it's deemed not worth ripping up), is that the dishwasher would then be trapped in its current location and at least part of an AC vent under the sink would be obscured.
 
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Old 10-30-13, 04:55 PM
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Paper type backing and white mastic are good signs. You can rent relatively cheaply an oscillating floor scraper that will help lift the sheet goods up. It is like a low slung putty knife that scrapes the flooring up from below. Black mastic is known for possibly containing asbestos so happy to hear white. Get the floor up and assess how much of the paper backing was holding the urine smell and how much was in the wood itself. Report back and we can advise further. Use a utility knife and cut into the center of the floor and see if it is glued down as well. If it is free in the middle then all you have to worry about if the edges and seams.
 
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Old 10-30-13, 10:17 PM
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Ill take a picture when I get back tomorrow of the backing and some of the glue I can see.

Just for a second (or third or fourth, etc) set of eyes to look at it.
 
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Old 10-31-13, 05:47 PM
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This was a new seam I got to after I pulled off the 1/4 round.
 
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Old 10-31-13, 06:39 PM
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I would not have a problem just taking that floor out and not worry about any issues.

However, there are moisture stains along the perimeter. Hopefully it was from mopping and not from tinkling.
 
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Old 10-31-13, 07:10 PM
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Thanks everyone for all the replies!

I'm now slightly less terrified of removing the floor...
 
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Old 11-11-13, 08:55 AM
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Need some insight as well....

I am so happy I found this forum. We recently bought an 1968 foreclosure that we are completely renovating. I never knew asbestos could live in flooring, especially linoleum. So I ripped up the floors, along with help from my two young boys. It is down to the subfloor now, with just some white paper backing still left. Last night I was watching Property Brothers and learned that this kind of flooring can contain asbestos. Freaking out....

But our backing looks similar to the backing of this floor you are referring to? Would you say it was safe?

I appreciate any input and to put my mind at ease if possible....
 
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Old 11-11-13, 03:52 PM
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Welcome to the forums! Asbestos danger emanates when you cause very small particles of it to become airborne, as in grinding it, or sanding it. Just removing the linoleum in a normal probably wouldn't cause any harm. Asbestosis occurs after years of exposure, so I would rest easy, and tell the boys to get out and get some fresh air.
 
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Old 11-12-13, 04:57 AM
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Thank you so much! I was very worried about it... I appreciate your response!
 
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Old 11-12-13, 09:20 AM
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That last picture of the lino is Corlon. It would almost definitely have asbestos.
 
 

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