Can flooring contain asbestos?
Flooring, including sheet vinyl, vinyl or asphalt floor tiles and any associated paper-like backing, mastic, adhesive or glue, may contain asbestos. In the past, asbestos fibers were added during the production of flooring materials to strengthen the flooring and to increase its durability.
When is the removal of flooring hazardous?
Flooring that contains asbestos, when intact and in good condition, is generally considered nonfriable and is not hazardous.
Heat, water, weathering or aging can weaken flooring to the point where it is considered friable. Friable flooring includes any material containing more than 1 percent asbestos that can be crumbled, pulverized or reduced to powder with hand pressure. This includes previously nonfriable flooring material which has been damaged to the extent that it may be crumbled, pulverized or reduced to powder by hand pressure. Flooring can also be made friable during its removal. Friable materials can release asbestos fibers into the air. Once in the air, asbestos fibers present a health hazard to people who inhale those fibers.
Can I remove asbestos flooring myself?
Removing resilient floor coverings is a common occurrence during home remodeling projects. Resilient floor coverings include linoleum or sheet vinyl and floor tiles. Options for dealing with asbestos-containing flooring include removal or installing new flooring over it.
The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) recommends using a licensed asbestos contractor to remove asbestos-containing flooring. However, the information in this document will assist the homeowner who decides to remove the asbestos-containing flooring themselves do the work in a safe manner. It is important for the health and safety of you and your family that you perform the work correctly. Using the proper equipment, preparation, removal procedures and clean up are important in reducing exposure to asbestos fibers.
What tools do I need?
The following equipment should be used when removing floor coverings:
Utility knife – for cutting polyethylene sheeting
Metal putty knife – for removing material from flat surfaces
Razor scraper – for removing material from flat surfaces
Abrasive scrub pads – for removing residual linoleum backing and adhesive.
Spray bottle/tank – for holding amended water
Amended water – make by adding 1 cup of dish soap to……..