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AGE of a BUILDING - how to determine
AIR POLLUTANTS, COMMON INDOOR
ASBESTOS CEILING TILES, Asbestos-Containing
ASBESTOS CEMENT ROOFING
ASBESTOS CEMENT SIDING
ASBESTOS DUCTS, HVAC
ASBESTOS FLOORING HAZARD REDUCTION
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, INCOMPLETE
ASBESTOS REMOVAL CERTIFICATION
ASBESTOS REMOVAL, WETTING GUIDE
ASBESTOS RISK ASSESSMENT
Asbestos Under the Microscope
CATHEDRAL CEILING INSULATION
CEILING FINISHES INTERIOR
CEILINGS, DROP or SUSPENDED PANEL
CEILINGS, 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 Collapse 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.
Green links show where you are. © Copyright 2013 InspectAPedia.com, All Rights Reserved. Author Daniel Friedman.
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.
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
First, here is the US EPA's general Asbestos Advice for Homeowners, quoting from Asbestos in Your Home, U.S. EPA
Asbestos 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.
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
The following advice for disposal of vinyl-asbestos or asphalt asbestos floor tiles is adapted from the Minnesota State Department of Health:
State health departments typically recommend that all asbestos debris and waste is disposed of in a landfill that accepts asbestos-containing waste. There are three methods of disposing of asbestos waste and they are:
Watch out: if you are disposing of asbestos-containing waste yourself, you should contact your local state health department for detailed instructions. For example, while a landfill may accept asbestos-containing-material (ACM) (as the material may be buried and thence non-hazardous, special requirements may apply to protect workers and buildings from asbestos dust during collection, bagging, removal, and transportation.
- Ref: MN DPH
See FLOOR TILE HISTORY & INGREDIENTS for a discussion of the ingredients and production of asbestos-containing flooring. And see ASBESTOS FLOOR TILE IDENTIFICATION for advice on visual identification of vinyl-asbestos floor tiles or flooring products that probably do or don't contain asbestos. For a strategy for collecting building dust samples, when, where, how many samples to collect, see DUST SAMPLING PROCEDURE.
For a detailed photo guide to individual vinyl-asbestos floor tile patterns, sizes, and years of manufacture, see ASBESTOS FLOOR TILE PHOTO ID GUIDE - home
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 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
Question: Does this tile floor contain asbestos? Home Depot said they won't install new flooring over asbestos-containing floor tiles? What can I do about that?
I am trying to move into a nursing home but have to fix up my house and sell it before I can do that. I asked home depot for a price to install new linoleum in my utility room but they said they couldn't if the existing tile had asbestos.
I looked on your website to see if my tile was pictured there but didn't find an exact match. Would you look at the attached picture and let me know if you recognize this tile as having asbestos? If you don't know, I would be interested in hearing about the pro bono service your website offers for the elderly to determine if the tile has asbestos.
The tile pictured is intact but tile under the washer and dryer has come lose. Thank you - D.H.
Reply: How to confirm asbestos-containing floor tiles? How to install new flooring over asbestos-containing floor tiles
Indeed your floor tiles appear to include a cork-like pattern that, depending on flooring age, may contain asbestos. (See our asbestos floor tile photos beginning at ASBESTOS FLOOR TILE PHOTO ID GUIDE).
A lab test can conclusively identify the presence of asbestos in a floor tile sample, and typically such a test is not costly - perhaps $50. from any certified asbestos testing lab. (Sorry but our entire lab is on forensic assignment out of the U.S. until year end).
Although you report that your local Home Depot representative told you that they "could not" install a new floor over asbestos-containing flooring, it is, at least in any legal or technical sense, not correct to assert that new flooring absolutely cannot be installed over asbestos containing floor tiles. The condition of the existing flooring and the subfloor and structure below determine the prep work needed in any new floor installation procedure.
Home Depot's lawyers may have decided on their floor installation policy, or your local installer may simply prefer to lose business rather than take the risk of being blamed for creating a dusty dangerous asbestos mess if they work improperly with the material (such as grinding, sawing, or creating dusty demolition - usually demolition or removal is not necessary). And we would agree that if the floor were in bad condition so that demolition and removal of the floor is really required, then the job should be handled by a trained and competent asbestos abatement/removal company.
Example of the OPM problem: the consultant or contractor spends other people's money, sometimes unnecessarily, in order to reduce their own risk
But your photo shows an intact floor surface. So we suspet that there may also be what we call the OPM (other people's money) problem here: it is often much safer and absolutely free for a consultant or contractor to recommend to a client that s/he perform a costly procedure that may or may not be really necessary. The procedure reduces risk for the contractor at no cost to them since the client is paying for the procedure, test, or removal.
Alternatives for Installing New Flooring over Vinyl-Asbestos Floor Tiles or other Asbestos-Containing Floor Coverings
When installing new sheet vinyl or other flooring, typically the existing floor surface has to be sound and smooth. Options for proceeding range from
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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Technical Reviewers & References
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