Using Dry Ice to Loosen Asphalt Floor Tiles

What You'll Need
Insulated work gloves
Gas mask
Portable exhaust fan
Dry ice sheets
Screw driver
Pair of tongs

Dry ice is made from frozen carbon dioxide, and it has a lot of uses. One of its applications is to loosen asphalt floor tiles. In fact, this is a procedure often done by contractors when they replace an old flooring materials with  new ones. Dry ice can loosen floor tiles by freezing them, thereby also causing the tiles to slightly shrink, thus their easy removal. The cold temperature of the ice also breaks the bond of the epoxy or glue that was used.  If you want to remove your asphalt floor tiles, here are the steps to do it.

Step 1 - Wear Protective Clothing First

Before starting, you need to make sure that you wear the necessary protective clothing, such as the goggles, gas mask and work gloves. It is important to take note that dry ice has a temperature of minus 109 degrees Fahrenheit, which makes it one of the coldest compounds on Earth. It is also important that you do not handle dry ice directly with your hands.

Step 2 - Use Tongs to Place Dry Ice on the Asphalt Floor Tiles

Using a pair of tongs, place several pieces of dry ice sheets at the center of the floor tiles. Wait for the tiles to become completely frosted. It should take only a few minutes before the tiles become frosted. Meanwhile, while you are waiting for the tiles to frost, make sure that you turn on a portable exhaust fan that is placed in close proximity to the tiles that you are working with. The exhaust fan will prevent carbon dioxide build up.

Step 3 - Remove the Excess Dry Ice from the Tiles

As soon as the tiles become frosted, remove the excess dry ice from the tiles. Use the tongs to pick up large pieces of dry ice, and use a flat steel spatula to remove the smaller particles of dry ice that adhered to the tiles. This step is necessary, to prevent the tiles from cracking before the glue has disintegrated.

Step 4 - Tap The Floor Tiles Lightly With A Hammer

Tap the floor tiles lightly, using a hammer, to facilitate the process of loosening the tiles. Make sure that you do this lightly, otherwise the floor tiles will crack. Check constantly to see if the tiles have loosened up, before proceeding to the next step.

Step 5 - Pry the Tiles Loose with a Flathead Screw Driver

Once the tiles have loosened up, use a flathead screw driver to pry the tiles loose. This also helps in lifting the tiles easily. Use a pair of tongs to hold the loose floor tiles, and leave them in a well-ventilated area, so that the dry ice that adhered to them will turn from solid to gas.