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ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS - INSPECT, TEST, REMEDY
AGE of a BUILDING - how to determine
AIR POLLUTANTS, COMMON INDOOR
ASBESTOS CEILING TILES, Asbestos-Containing
ASBESTOS & FIBER CEMENT ROOFING
ASBESTOS CEMENT SIDING
ASBESTOS DUCTS, HVAC
ASBESTOS FLOOR TILE IDENTIFICATION
ASBESTOS FLOORING HAZARD REDUCTION
ASBESTOS FLOOR TILE IDENTIFICATION
ASBESTOS FLOORING REMOVAL GUIDE
ASBESTOS-FREE INSULATION MATERIALS
ASBESTOS IDENTIFICATION IN BUILDINGS
ASBESTOS LIST of PRODUCTS
ASBESTOS MATERIAL REGULATIONS
ASBESTOS PHOTO GUIDE to MATERIALS
ASBESTOS REMOVAL CERTIFICATION
ASBESTOS REMOVAL, INCOMPLETE
ASBESTOS REMOVAL, WETTING GUIDE
ASBESTOS RISK ASSESSMENT
ASBESTOS TESTING LAB LIST
ASBESTOS UNDER the MICROSCOPE
CATHEDRAL CEILING INSULATION
CEILING FINISHES INTERIOR
CEILINGS, DROP or SUSPENDED PANEL
CEILINGS & WALLS, PLASTER TYPES
CERAMIC TILE, ASBESTOS in?
FLOOR TILE HISTORY & INGREDIENTS
FLOOR TILES ASBESTOS
INDOOR AIR QUALITY IMPROVEMENT GUIDE
INSULATION IDENTIFICATION GUIDE
METAL LATH, PLASTER & STUCCO
PLASTER TYPE IDENTIFICATION
SAFETY HAZARDS & INSPECTIONS
WORLD TRADE CENTER 9-11 DUST PHOTOS
How to Remove Asbestos Containing Floor Tiles or Sheet Flooring:
This article describes the proper procedure for removing vinyl-asbestos floor tiles. We also discuss leaving good-condition vinyl asbestos tile (VAT) in place, cleaning it and treating the surface with a clear coat sealant or flooring restorer/rejuvenator. This document series assists building buyers, owners or occupants in reducing the risk of asbestos exposure from flooring that contains or is suspected to contain asbestos.
We provide photographs and descriptive text of asbestos insulation and other asbestos-containing products to permit identification of definite, probable, or possible asbestos materials in buildings.
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Guidelines for Removing Asbestos-Containing Floor Tile (Vinyl-Asbestos Tile / Asphalt-Asbestos Tile)
Asbestos is safe and legal to remain in homes or public buildings as long as the asbestos materials are in good condition and the asbestos can not be released into the air.
[Click to enlarge any image]
We begin by suggesting that you should not remove asbestos-containing floor tile unless it is really necessary. As with asbestos-containing products in general, the asbestos hazard at a building may be greater from disturbing asbestos-containing materials (ACM) than if they were left alone or covered up.
But in some cases, particularly during certain building renovations or when asbestos-containing flooring is in poor condition and cannot easily be left in place, removal may be necessary.
As we point out at ASBESTOS FLOOR TILE IDENTIFICATION, the US EPA points out in Adequately Wet Guidance, EPA340/1-90-019 that asbestos-containing floor tiles are considered non-friable materials but the materials can become friable with age or by grinding, sanding, demolition, etc.
Here is what the University of Minnesota has to say about the hazards of this type of asbestos-containing floor tiles:
the US EPA points out in Adequately Wet Guidance, EPA340/1-90-019
Advice on Leaving Asbestos-Containing Flooring in Place in a Building
Leaving old ACM or PACM flooring in place in a building is the first choice approach where that flooring is itself no longer serviceable. Leaving the material in place will generally be the lowest-risk approach as it is the disturbance (by removal) of asbestos containing material that significantly increases the risk of airborne asbestos in buildings.
Where loose floor tiles or damaged sections of sheet flooring have left shallow holes, uneven surfaces, or depressions in the original tile or sheet resilient floor covering there are these approaches to producing a suitably smooth surface over which new non-asbestos sheet or tile floor coverings can be installed atop the old flooring:
Assumption of asbestos content: unless you know from specific test or other certain data that [in our opinion pre-1985] resilient floor tile or sheet flooring, floor backing, adhesives, and underlayment are free of asbestos, for safety, assume that the material contains asbestos - treat the material as Presumed Asbestos Containing Material (PACM) or as Asbestos Containing Material (ACM) if that is known.
No mechanical disturbance: do not bead-blast, chip, drill, dry-scrape, mechanically chip, pulverize, or saw (or use any other mechanically disruptive method) on any resilient flooring (tile, sheet flooring, underlayments, subflooring), floor backing, felt linings or underlayments, or on (generally black) asphalt-based cutback adhesives or other adhesives (some tan adhesives contained asbestos as well). - adapted from RFCI (2011).
Here is the US EPA's general Asbestos Advice for Homeowners, quoting from Asbestos in Your Home, U.S. EPA with minor additions of explanation and adaptation from additional sources.
Asbestos Containing Flooring Do's And Don'ts for the Homeowner
Major repairs must be done only by a professional trained in methods for safely handling asbestos.
Minor repairs should also be done by professionals since there is always a risk of exposure to fibers when asbestos is disturbed.
Doing minor repairs yourself is not recommended since improper handling of asbestos materials can create a hazard where none existed.
Removing Asbestos-Containing Floor Tiles Should Be Considered a Last Resort
Removal is usually the most expensive method and, unless required by state or local regulations, should be the last option considered in most situations. This is because removal poses the greatest risk of fiber release. However, removal may be required when remodeling or making major changes to your home that will disturb asbestos material.
Also, removal may be called for if asbestos material is damaged extensively and cannot be otherwise repaired. Removal is complex and must be done only by a contractor with special training. Improper removal may actually increase the health risks to you and your family.
Managing Asbestos in Place: A Building Owner's Guide to Operations and Maintenance Programs ("Green Book"), web search 08/11/2010, original source: http://www.epa.gov/asbestos/pubs/management_in_place.html
Reader Question: does this floor I'm demolishing contain asbestos?
Jared, no one can say for sure what a material contains from just a photo, but the image indeed looks like a 1960's vintage asphalt or vinyl asbestos floor installation, possibly a Kentile floor as those used many pattern inserts.
Watch out: t looks as if the breakup is making a dusty mess - something to be avoided in any case.
If you are facing a costly demolition then it would make sense to confirm asbestos content using a certified asbesto test lab - ASBESTOS TESTING LAB LIST
Else it makes sense to treat the material as "presumed asbestos containing" or "PACM" flooring based on age and appearance.
Continue reading at ASBESTOS REMOVAL, WETTING GUIDE or select a topic from the More Reading links shown below.
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Questions & Answers on procedures for removing asbestos-containing floor tiles or other floor coverings, or on the use of floor rejuvenators and restorative sealants on vinyl-asbestos floor tiles.
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