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Tile Removal & Asbestos

Posted by nashdesignguy (My Page) on
Mon, Jan 6, 14 at 1:35


Today I removed about 100 sq feet of tile in my entry way. I hung plastic sheets on every door. I wore a dust mask and turned off my HVAC, as there was a lot of dust and I didn't want it all over the house. I swept up every piece of lose debris possible. When I was done, I opened the front door and put two fans in the room, as to get the dust out of the house without it spreading inside.

My house was built in 1969. This tile was beneath two layers of linoleum or vinyl flooring. I had no idea why they would do this, though now I suspect it's because they were concerned about asbestos. I did not know before I started this project that asbestos is found in flooring products from that time. I would not have touched it if I had known. In hindsight I wish I wore better gear (my dust mask had no filter).

The tile was mosaic. It was not 9x9 (but larger), and the mastic was white. The tile was very tough to scrape up and because it was mosaic, and it broke apart. In fact, some of the mosaic pieces are still stuck to the floor. I have searched long and hard for pictures of tile that match mine and have also been identified as containing asbestos. I'm actually more worried about the mastic than the tiles at this point.

Given these facts, how likely is I that I came across asbestos?

My wife, toddler and newborn are coming home tomorrow from visiting her family. I will have to turn the heat back on as we are expecting record lows (0 degrees). Should I even let them sleep here? Or should I call an inspector tomorrow before they arrive and stay who them in a hotel?

I know, if there is asbestos, that I had a pretty intense exposure because of all the dust. However, I don't want to expose them or bring them in the house of it's a major risk.

What would you do?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Tile Removal & Asbestos

Had you bothered to visit here first, you'd have learned about "cutback" adhesive, which you do not have, nor have you been exposed to asbestos.

RE: Tile Removal & Asbestos

I had all layers of the flooring tested today. It does not contain any asbestos (thank goodness). Everything you read online (including some things I have read here) say that nearly every tile product from before 1990 contains it. I guess I'm one of the lucky few.

RE: Tile Removal & Asbestos

Yeah.. You’re one of the lucky among the few. Whether you tested it yourself or called any asbestos professionals? Recently we’d found some old pipes and suspected of asbestos content in it. I was afraid of testing it as I heard that little exposure to asbestos can cause chronic diseases. Asbestos specialists from Healthy Environmental, Ontario was called and test was done. The asbestos content was found and was removed by them. It is always advisable to call any asbestos professionals for handling asbestos, improper handling can cause deadly diseases.

RE: Tile Removal & Asbestos

I had pre-1990 materials analyzed also including floor tiles and they were negative too; including some black adhesive. It is not that expensive to have done. They were putting it in everything. You need to test all the lgayers of whatever you are working with.

I believe you generally need repeated exposure not just incidental. ie, occupational is at greatest risk.

The lab told me to be cautious with all building materials. Asbestos is just one getting a lot of attention. To consider them all hazardous.

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