Cross Posting: Asbestos abatement requires demolition of original

1917bungalowJuly 3, 2013

After my husband pulled up the top layers of vinyl flooring and underlayment, we found a lovely avocado green vinyl/linoleum (not sure which it technically is) attached to the original wood floors in the kitchen. We took samples and had them tested, resulting in 30% asbestos in the flooring and 0% in the mastic.
Someone from the asbestos abatement company met DH at the house this morning, looked around and said it would cost $1700 for the abatement, cleanup and air quality test. Unfortunately, they also pull up the original wood floors during the abatement, leaving just the subfloor. He said for them to keep the floors, it would take 3 days vs. 1 day, thus tripling our cost.

Of course, I would love to keep the original wood floors but I'm not sure if it's really worth the additional cost. The kitchen area itself is approximately 175-190 sqft so it's not a ginormous area. We have to clear out the kitchen before they come in or it'll cost more. This includes moving any appliances and base cabinets as well, which we were going to do anyway.

DH is 75% determined to do this himself, taking necessary precautions - disposable coveralls, approved mask, keeping the floor wet as he removes, etc. After he's finished, he would clean up and have an air quality test done, which in and of itself is at least $400.00. Of course, he knows the risks which is why he's on the fence on whether or not to do it himself or let them take care of it.

We are not living in the house so a decision doesn't need to be made today, but we'd like to live in it as soon as possible. Our 4 year old daughter loves it over there, but of course, she can't go back in the house until all of this is taken care of.

It's funny to think of all the flooring that's been ripped up by the carpenters in mine and DH's families and they didn't think twice about it. Not a single case of asbestos related health issues, either. Don't you just love this level of fear we have in modern day society? I don't know that having all this information at my fingertips is always the best thing. ;)

Have you dealt with anything similar in your old house renovations? Did you do the work yourself, taking precautions or did you hire the abatement company to take care of it? If you did it yourself, what steps did you take?

Thank you!

PS. Any idea what type of flooring that is just in case I need to replace it?

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I'd definitely try to save the floors. We had the abatement company remove two layers of asbestos flooring and they were
Able to leave the wood floors alone - had them refinished and gorgeous!

    Bookmark   July 4, 2013 at 11:33AM
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The material is vinyl asbestos tile. The danger will be to your child. You can cover it up or have it professionally removed. I find it odd that the floor cannot be saved but I doubt it is worth saving unless it is quarter sawn oak ... It is probably clear fir and too soft for the surface to not be damaged.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2013 at 12:22PM
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The reason they gave for not saving the floors is due to the chemical they use to pull up the vinyl. They CAN save the floors but it'll take three times as long at triple the cost. :)

Thank you both for responding!

    Bookmark   July 5, 2013 at 10:40AM
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Get a second opinion.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2013 at 12:37PM
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That was my first thought as well. I'm going to call around Monday and see if I can hit the jackpot.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2013 at 10:48PM
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