Asbestos :/

SaraLowe1182February 24, 2014

Hey everyone,

I found this forum while doing a search on asbestos and wanted to know if anyone out there could help/had some advice to pass along. I've been spending so many sleepless nights and my stress level from
worrying is through the roof. Oh the joys of an older home (as many of you I'm sure can appreciate my sarcasm...)...

My husband and I live in a home built on the early '50's (1952) and have several different areas of the home that I feel are likely asbestos. We haven't had any testing done because my husband thinks it's "no big deal" and we can just deal with it ourselves. I, on the other hand, am filled with anxiety and panic.

The basement is filled with 8x8 vinyl floor tiles. Many of them are still intact; however, many are damaged (I.e. broken and a few crumbling) due to water damage over the years. There are also some decently sized grooves in some areas from dragging a dryer with metal feet across it. In the places where the tiles are now missing, there is a black material left behind on the cement that I'm guessing is mastic?

Another huge worry... The tub tiles around our bathtub faucet have come loose and below, there is a paper backing for the tile and some difficult to describe material.. Ill try to post a pic. We also have a missing tile on the bathroom wall next to the sink where the toothbrush holder used to be affixed. Underneath, there is again brown paper and what looks like some white paper... I worry that it could be asbestos?

The medicine cabinet in the bathroom has also been recently replaced and the edges of the wall are showing their several layers that they are comprised of... It looks like parts of it consists of fibers... Again, I'm terrified this could
be asbestos.

Thoughts on this anyone? Am I doomed? The worry is eating me alive. :/

Thanks so much,

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Picture of the toothbrush holder missing tile..

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 8:00PM
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Picture of the layers of the bathroom wall beside the medicine cabinet

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 8:01PM
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Forgot to mention, we also have an original cement patio, original cement front porch, and the cinder block foundation walls in the basement... All three in poor condition (I.e. patio cement crumbling, front porch crumbling, back cinder block foundation walls shifting). We have plans for all three repairs until I learned that asbestos was also used in these materials as well so now I don't know if it's safe to repair these items. Help!!!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 8:26PM
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"The basement is filled with 8x8 vinyl floor tiles"

Asbestos can be absorbed when it becomes "friable", IE. airborn and there are methods to deal with it, which are user friendly.

RE the basement floor;

Both the adhesive and the tile can contain asbestos.
There is a simple method that easily defines what you have.
Remove a portion of or a whole tile exposing the glue. Pour a small quantity of boiling water on the adhesive. If the adhesive bubbles and loosens, IT IS NOT CUTBACK, if it does not, it is, and your option become substantially narrowed.

The probability of your patio and basement walls having asbestos been used as a binder is highly unlikely, given the era of the construction.

The product in the bathroom pictured appears as normal asphalt impregnated water resistant material of that era.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 8:52PM
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My basement has some acoustical ceiling tiles. I had been slowly pulling them down when, a few weeks ago, it occurred to me that they might contain asbestos. I read online that the older they were, the more likely they were to contain asbestos. I spent $30 to have a small sample tested by Western Analytical Laboratory. The sample tested negative for asbestos, and I consider the money well spent.

Here is a link that might be useful: Western Analytical Laboratory

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 9:14PM
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Out of everything you listed and took pictures of, the basement tiles are likely the only candidates to have asbestos. IMO your best option is to remove by hand only the loose ones and to cover it with flooring of some other type.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 9:38AM
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Thank you so much for all of your input!!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 2:50PM
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We have tiles that we know are asbestos because dh found the box they came in with some extra in the cellar, They are a kind of faux marble look. We don't know what we are going to do with that floor eventually, but as long as they aren't falling apart I don't think they are a problem.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 8:21PM
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According to Mesothelioma Resource Online, until the 1980s, asbestos was a major component of all mortar, bricks and concrete blocks and was used in many other building products, including clapboard sidings, roof felt, asphalt shingles, acoustic tiles, vinyl flooring, tiles and mastic.

Exactly the items I was gleefully tearing up for years while renovating homes. Now that I cough like a lifelong smoker, though I never smoked in my life, I wonder too. Too late. Don't take chances. Tomorrow does come.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 1:29AM
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