My husband's whacking at the asbestos vinyl tiles!

pupwhippedFebruary 1, 2010

I just know they have to be asbestos vinyl tiles. I am livid! We have a lake home built in 1952 that we bought two years ago. This morning hubby pulled up the old carpet in the back den. Underneath it were these vinyl looking squares. I thought we would just put new carpet over these. I left to go take the dog to chemo and then I find out hubby's been whacking at these squares with a long scraper tool thing. I don't know what it's called. Anyway, these tile squares have busted into many small pieces and "stuff." I am so mad I am shaking. He didn't even have a mask on! Now, he has one on and is picking up the "stuff" and putting in a trash bag. He did talk to someone and has purchased Ardex?? I think to seal the floor. But what about all this "stuff?" The den is right off the kitchen. I don't even want to go in the place and don't know if I will ever want to again.

Please help. What should I do? Right now I'm gonna go get a glass of wine and try to calm down.

Thank you,


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In tile form, the asbestos isn't near as dangerous as it is in acoustic,(popcorn)ceilings or the old insulation pipe wrapping. For peace of mind, you can take a piece of the tile and have it tested, but basically using a decent respirator geared for fine particulates. also, a shop vac that has a fine particulates filter should get any dusts up. Wipe everything down with damp cloths ringing out often.
Breaking up those tiles isn't going to produce the dusts that some asbestos laced materials produce, such as the siding that was cementious based and contained asbestos that is similar to the fiber cement siding that you see used today,(witout the asbestos, of course).

    Bookmark   February 1, 2010 at 6:16PM
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Here's an article that might help. There are others, just search engine "removing asbestos floor tiles".

Here is a link that might be useful: removing asbestos floor tiles

    Bookmark   February 1, 2010 at 6:20PM
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What size are the tiles?

    Bookmark   February 2, 2010 at 7:58AM
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Unless you get it tested you can't be sure it is asbestos.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2010 at 8:47AM
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If it helps any, you are at basically zero risk even if they are asbestos tiles. While there are lots or rules about removal and disposal, they are mainly based on fear and not science. Your husband still needs to follow them because they are the law, but you shouldn't lose sleep over it.

Long term exposure to asbestos has been proven to be quite dangerous. By long term, I mean the guys who lived with and work with the stuff for years. Short term exposure to the relatively small amount you will disturb tearing up a floor hasn't been shown to be a significant health risk.

Basic rule of thumb - if it come out in chunks, it is pretty safe. If it produces a cloud of dust when you remove it, you should probably call in the pros.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2010 at 11:14AM
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I'm still just a mess. Thank you all so much for your responses. It's funny, I'm not the least bit of a "germaphobe." I have several dogs and likely sleep with a least one dog butt in my face every night. Dust doesn't bother me nor do I lay awake at night worrying about bed bugs or the swine flu. But this got me. I feel like everything in that house is coated with asbestos. As I said this small back den ajoins the kitchen and I figure all the dishes, items in the pantry, walls, everything is tainted. Toxic waste dump! Okay, rant over for the time being.

Vinyl tiles are 9X9 size and there's absolutely no doubt that they are the asbestos my mind anyway. Hubby whacked up about a 12X12 section of them before he got clued in. He then stopped so there are many tiles still down. Some tiles came up in tact, some were in pieces. He bagged the tiles and today he mopped down the whole area. He then spread this Ardex stuff I believe it's called on the floor to seal off the asbestos that is also in the black crap that they used to adhere the tiles. Tomorrow he is going to try to wipe down as many surfaces as he can. How do you wipe every nook and freakin cranny? What else can we/I out a therapist? Divorce court? aggghhhhhh!

Thanks for any hand holding,

    Bookmark   February 2, 2010 at 7:09PM
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This is like not being able to sleep because you smoked a cigarette. Cigarettes are dangerous but it not likely that one is going to kill you. Get some pros in to test and, if necessary, remove the tile and then move on with your life.

But don't go outside without sun block!

    Bookmark   February 2, 2010 at 9:50PM
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Feel free to lick the asbestos dust off the dishes. It won't hurt you. Asbestos is dangerous if you inhale large amounts of it over an extended periods. It is not dangerous to pick up tiles etc that may or may not contain asbestos. People lived with this stuff for decades and it was in EVERYTHING. The people who got sick were the ones who work installing it and manufacturing it and accidentally inhaled lots of the dust.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2010 at 10:43PM
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