What is the best way to remove asbestos tiles? [on hold]


Good afternoon Paula and Len,

Welcome to the community, we are glad you are here.

Asbestos tiles, as you may have read already here on this thread, is dangerous when the particles become airborne. Therefore, if you removed them or broke any tiles, that would be a health hazard in that instance.

If the tiles are in good shape, and the floor is level, then you can go directly over the tiles with peel and stick, as well as other vinyl flooring of your choice.

I generally have reservations at least with peel and stick vinyl of your existing floor, due to the fact that if you ever want to remove them in the future, you could remove any layers of asbestos tile underneath as well.

The best vinyl in your situation to use is a floating system, such as Allure, Allure Ultra, or even glue-free sheet vinyl linoleum. These systems work by not using adhesives directly on your existing asbestos tile floor, but rather float and/or use very little tape to achieve...

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Hey there ryanhill10,

Thanks for joining us on the community!~

Tom is not in today, but I can certainly give you a hand with this.

I apologize that you've had a difficult time with the measuring process. Working with asbestos tiles is a bit of a tricky area, but we train our measure technicians to have a keen eye for it so that we can make sure we finish all our installation jobs safely.

The representative you spoke with was correct in advising that you speak with an abatement company however. Since not all tiles that seem to be asbestos actually are, it becomes a bit of a gray area. We, however, prefer to air on the side of caution and ask that it be tested first by a properly certified abatement company. If it turns out to not be asbestos, then we can certainly work on finishing the installation work for you. If it tests positive however, then it would have to be removed by the abatement company. Our technicians won't be able to do this sort of job for...

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There are four recommended ways to dispose of asbestos. These methods include dry stripping, controlled wet stripping, high pressured water removal, and hot stripping. While all of these methods are effective, removal of asbestos is actually not necessary. In fact, removing asbestos can be more dangerous than allowing this material to remain as it currently is.

Contrary to popular belief, asbestos in its natural form is not dangerous. In fact, asbestos was once used for all kinds of commercial and industrial applications from boat construction to building construction. Asbestos can withstand high temperatures, it is not affected by abrasion, and it does not react to alkaline or acid solutions. For all of these reasons, contractors and developers used to prefer asbestos to any other material.

The problem is that asbestos can be highly toxic when it has been disturbed. When asbestos has been handled by human hands, crushed, sawed, chiseled, or moved in any other manner,...

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By Lee Wallender

Question: Can I Remove Asbestos Mastic From Under Tile?

I just bought my first home. It was a HUD home built in 1972. In the 850 sq ft downstairs area we found that there were old tiles come up. They looked like linoleum made to look like stones or rocks probably VAT tiles or resilient about 9" or 12" sq.

We have to DIY everything due to very restricted budget so we ventilated the area and wet them down, and with respirators and full gear removed them knowing this 70's stuff might have asbestos though we don't know for sure. Under the tiles we found this black stuff/adhesive - maybe cutback or black mastic (black molly). We read quite a bit on this but I am still not sure how to remove it. We cannot afford any contractors or pricey renovations. We just want to make it safe for cheap.

What is the best way to handle this black mastic stuff? We have this area of the house shut down and sealed off for now. I assume walking around on the...

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Even though undertaking home improvement tasks can cut extra household expenses, there are certain tasks which should be left for professional contractors. So before you get on with this project, I want you think about it few more times and then make your decision. Now you must be wondering why am I saying all this. I don't mean to scare you or anything but asbestos is a dangerous substance to be dealing with. This substance was used extensively because it used to cost less to its manufacturers and is fire resistant. So houses which were built before the year 1989 have these tiles installed. Although these tiles are durable, removing them becomes very important. And if you have made a decision and want to learn how to safely remove asbestos floor tiles, then keep reading.

When Should You Remove Asbestos Tiles?

We've established the fact that removing asbestos tiles is important, but the "why" is still unclear. What happens is that when tiles are exposed to heat and...

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Call the building department in your municipality. Many jurisdictions (state, local, etc.) have significant restrictions on who can be licensed to remove asbestos siding, how it can be done, permitting, and disposal. To start, you should familiar yourself with the regulations, and find a disposal site and plan. Failure to comply with asbestos regulations can bring truly significant penalty, and permitting can often only be done through a professional, or can be done far more expediently through a professional.


Determine how many pieces will need to be replaced, and how to best access them. Is a roof or ladder an option? Are they close enough to be reached from the ground?


After determining how many tiles to replace, decide how many tiles will need to be modified to work in place of those that are being replaced.


Find either replacement tiles, such as those from GAF, or tiles from an older building. Many times...

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Asbestos ceiling tiles were commonly used in homes and buildings before the 1970s. Asbestos is a fiber that was once used in "acoustic" ceilings which were also called "drop" or "suspended" ceilings. Before the carcinogenic affects of asbestos were known; many people were unfortunately exposed to these fibers since they were often used in numerous different materials including roofing and ceiling products.

Asbestos is only dangerous if the material is airborne; therefore, contaminated ceiling tiles are only harmful if damaged. If you would like to remove these tiles from your ceiling, it is best to have a licensed contractor complete the job for you. If you decide to remove the tiles yourself, you will need to proceed with extreme care and...

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General Information

Q.What is asbestos?

Asbestos is a group of naturally occurring fibrous minerals. It is mined and milled from rock and is thin and strong. Chrysotile (white asbestos), Amosite (brown asbestos), and Crocidolite (blue asbestos), are the most common types of asbestos used in manufacturing. Rarer forms are Tremolite, Anthophyllite, and Actinolite. When viewed under a microscope, Chrysotile fibers are pliable and cylindrical and are often arranged in bundles, whereas Amosite and Chrocidolite fibers appear to look like tiny needles.

Q. Is one type of asbestos more dangerous than another?

There have been more cases of Mesotheliomaand cancer found in people working with Crocidolite than any other type of asbestos. However, all forms of asbestos, except Chrysotile, are of the same mineralogical family called Amphiboles. Even though there appear to be fewer incidences of disease in workers who deal only with Chrysotile, all asbestos...

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1. Is using a heat gun or iron safe with this material? Is using dry ice for the opposite effect better? If I can't seal the remaining 20 tiles what is the best way to get them up? It seems like using a heat gun won't work well with wetting the tiles down.

Heat increses the resiliancy of the tile and prevents fracturing. This binds dusts and minimizes contamination. Cold breaks the adhesive bond by causing the surface to contract relative to the substrate. Tiles tend to pop off whole. Whatever works is your solution.

2. Considering all I was exposed to before I realized they were asbestos, should I just finish this last part or should I call a contractor? Does the fact I now have a newborn matter? (I send him out when I work on this stuff, but he has to return to the house sometime)

Your exposure theroetically increases lifetime risks for mesotheleoma only. This risk cannot be quantified for low (non-occupational) exposures. Due to latency (long period of...

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From reading past posts, I understand that it is important to remove asbestos mastic under the asbestos VCT tiles for preparing to install new tiles or linoleum. What about for glueing down engineering bamboo? The installer has removed the carpet and the VCT tiles, and scraped as much mastic as possible, but there are still stubborn black mastic on the slab. He instended to leave the mastic down and glue the bamoo on top of it using urethane adhesive (Bostik Best), saying that the mastic would have no negative effect on the glue and actually could act as a moisture vapor barrier. Should I believe him?

I need advice quickly, so that I can stop him before too...

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Non-friable asbestos products have been compounded using asbestos mixed with cement or other hard bonding materials. This section of the guidelines recommends precautions to be taken when working with non-friable asbestos products.

These products include, but are not limited to:

flat or corrugated compressed asbestos cement sheeting; asbestos cement pipes for water, drainage and flue gases; roofing shingles; floor or wall coverings; asbestos gaskets; pump and valve packings; asbestos bonded into bituminous products; and flexible building boards such as villa board, hardiflex, flexiboard.

Figure 17: Damaged and exposed asbestos cement pipes

Figure 17 displays a photo of a shallow trench where pipes made from asbestos have been uncovered. The pipes are damaged.

While new fibre cement products no longer contain asbestos (it was replaced by non-asbestos fibres such as cellulose in the 1980s), crocidolite (blue) and amosite (brown) asbestos were...

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For the record, I am no closer to a decision than I was last timeI checked into this thread! I look at my house now as everything being a danger, everything having asbestos. We spackled and sanded every wall before we moved in- dust everywhere ... There is asbestos in drywall mud. We want to tear it to studs - does that mean we cant for fear of asbestos? There are 3 layers of regular vinyl floors in my kitchen - asbestos can be in the mastic of those types of tile as well, even if not against VAT tiles. So does that mean I have to go over 3! layers of flooring and add a 4th layer of what I want over it? It's getting ridiculous.

At some point the hysteria of asbestos has to be resolved. We have all spent lots of time in areas where lots of asbestos has been airborne. Crossing a busy highway every day? Break pads being hit on each of those cars releases asbestos. Neighbors getting a new roof? Asbestos. Everyone I take the subway with - do they have asbestos fibers floating on...

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Questions about floor cleaning?

Besides their phenomenal beauty and versatility, porcelain tile floors have the advantage of being very low-maintenance. Ceramics are made of natural particles that are shaped and fired in a kiln at very high temperatures.

This process creates a durability and resiliency that is unmatched by most other flooring surfaces. When glazed, they also have a protective barrier from dirt, water, stains, and chemicals, making them even more impervious to the elements. Even while easy to maintain, there are some steps to take to ensure that it remains in optimal condition.

How should you clean your tile floor?

One of the most important aspects of cleaning your tile floor is making sure dirt and spills do not have a chance to get comfortable.

These things happen; instead of banning everyone but yourself from walking on your floor, clean up spills or tracks as soon as possible.
This is easy enough to do with a...

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Our discovery and concern mirrors that of poster lucija on Sun, Mar 1, 09 at 11:07 almost precisely: quite a number of 9 x 9 tiles in a basement room have crumbled to finger-size or smaller slivers underfoot around the washer and dryer, except that it has occurred over perhaps a 40 year period. As the tiles have disintegrated or popped up, about 35 to 40 tiles in the largest area plus a few others elsewhere, we've just thrown them away, exposing a black, hard, residue on top of the concrete. The home is a 1930s Mid-Atlantic-situated USA house.

My questions are:

What should we do about it?

Should we have any testing done?

These missing tiles represent less than 20 percent of the entirety in this room, perhaps 80 percent remain. And in another, larger basement room, most all tiles remain on the floor. Pulling up the remainder would certainly be quite a job.

If we leave them down, should we refasten the remaining loose ones (which can be pulled up...

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To test for asbestos, people typically take a small sample of the material that they think contains this substance. The sample is sent to a laboratory, which uses highly sensitive equipment to detect asbestos fibers. Because asbestos can be very dangerous, many safety organizations recommend that people turn to professionals to extract samples for testing. In a situation where testing is required, a professional is also familiar with the paperwork and procedures necessary to make the test legal.

Asbestos is a type of fibrous mineral that happens to be very fire resistant. It was widely used in construction until the late 1980s, when it began to be recognized as a health risk. In an inert form, asbestos is not harmful, but when a product which contains asbestos is disturbed, it can release small fibers that are extremely dangerous to inhale. Asbestos can be found in insulation, flooring, pipe lining, and other products with increased with resistance. A test can reveal very...

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I am a new homeowner who discovered vinyl asbestos tile beneath some carpeting in a few bedrooms in my house. I did the removal myself and wanted to share my experience. The long and short of it is, if the tiles are in relatively good condition, you should leave them alone. If you have/really want to remove them, you probably can do the abatement yourself (so long as state and local regs allow it) and save some money. But unless you are on a really tight budget, the cost savings do not justify the time and effort you have to put into the abatement; you're better off just coughing up the extra money to have a professional do it. It will cost you, but it will save you time and give you peace of mind.

If you decide to abate and your considering DIY, check the state and local regs to make sure you're allowed to do it yourself. Under federal law, a homeowner can remove asbestos from a single-family home that they live in, but some states and localities are more strict and require...

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Vinyl floor tiles were once the go-to inexpensive kitchen and bath flooring. Today, you'll find many more options that have a high-end look and the same durability and price-point as vinyl. Should you choose to replace your vinyl floor tiles with a more aesthetically-pleasing option, you should remove all of the old vinyl flooring. With the right tools and techniques, you can clean all of the old vinyl and adhesive from the underlying sub-floor in preparation for the new flooring.

Remove all of the quarter-round or baseboard from the perimeter of the vinyl floor, by tapping a flat pry bar behind the trim board with a hammer and prying it out. If any nails or other fasteners remain behind after pulling the trim, pull out and discard the fasteners.

Cut a long strip down the middle of the vinyl floor using a sharp utility knife. Slip the flat edge of your pry bar through the middle of the cut and under one side of the vinyl flooring and lift up to create enough space to...

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This is my first post here and I don't know if this is the proper forum for a question about ceilings, so if not please let me know and I'll take it elsewhere.

We moved into our 3-story 1929 Tudor in June 2007 and it was in great shape. Exterior walls are concrete up to top of 2nd floor and exterior covered in stucco. Fairly new roof. Gumwood everywhere interior, stained nicely and not painted in most rooms.

We have taken on the remodeling of the bedrooms one at a time. Wallpaper off, paint on - directly on the sealed concrete interior walls. We're now tackling the master bedroom. Again, wallpaper will come off, and I think we'll have the painting under control.

But this room (unlike any of the other bedrooms) has ceiling tiles. The rest of the second floor rooms have what appears to me (the untrained eye) painted drywall. In the master, the ceiling level is a few inches below the rest of the rooms, and is covered by some aging white ceiling tiles. I'm...

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in case you did not know, you can make dry ice at home very easily. all you need is a C O 2 tank(full of CO2 of coarse), or a C O 2 fire extinguisher, a pillow case & some strong duct tape.

put the pillow case over the nozzle of the tank, or extinguisher, wrap tape around the end of the pillow case to attach it to the nozzle; then after that put on some heavy winter gloves, & turn the nozzle on or squeeze the trigger. It only takes about 10 - 20 seconds to make dry ice...the longer you have the nozzle open, the more dry ice you get. And that is all there is to it.

PLEASE, please use caution, because if you touch dry ice with your bare hands, it will cause frost bite almost immediately....

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Removing asbestos from the pipes in your home is certainly something that should be on your "must do" list. Whether or not you should do it yourself, however, is not such a given. In most states you can legally remove asbestos from your home yourself, as long as it's inside the home. If you're considering removing it from any pipes that are on the exterior of your home, you'll need to hire a professional. But, even though it may be legal to remove the asbestos yourself, the question still remains: should you? Hiring a professional is highly recommended for any kind of asbestos removal. If it's something though that you feel strongly that you can do on your own, our steps below will show you how to do it in as safe a way as possible.

Before you move ahead with this as a DIY project, know that there is no safe level of asbestos contamination, therefore, it's extremely important that you are as diligent as possible in following the steps below in their entirety.

Step 1...

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Yea, if you are really concerned. The moon suit approach has lost favor in recent years and the scare is minimized.

First off - Asbestos is only a concern if its airborne. Second, its not a certainty that this tile contains asbestos. Even if it did contain asbestos it would be hard to make it airborne. If it is asbestos in the tile (or mastic) its encapsulated in the tile. Wear a dust mask, put a fan in a window. If your really concerned wear a respirator instead of a .99c mask.

Bottom line - keep it simple - Tile over the concrete. Thats the right thing to do. No use discussing other options that might work. There is no question that the tile will stick to the concrete w/o doing anything...

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