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MLMIB 03-31-2011 04:52 PM

removing asbestos tiles with a heat gun
I recently had a contractor over to get a quote to remove asbestos tiles (9 inch square asphalt tiles) from my basement. He suggested I just use a heat gun to loosen the adhesive and do it myself since he figured I was a DIY'er. I've read a bit online about it and some places seem to suggest only doing it for small area's (1-3 tiles) but I need to do ~1000 sqft, is there a reason to not do a large section with just a heat gun, other then time? I'm debating between heat gun and flooding the basement, but I can't flood it that well because of the wooden steps that I don't want to ruin and the utility room is in the basement, so I can't just put down an inch of water.


iminaquagmire 03-31-2011 06:08 PM

The chances of you releasing a non-negligible amount of asbestos fibers from the tile or the cutback are virtually nonexistent. Its not friable like pipe and duct insulation is. That said its up to you to decide how cautiously you want to proceed. I would personally seal off any ducting and doorways, wear a N95 mask, and wet as I go with a garden sprayer with soapy water. Heat may help for stubborn tiles, but with a good scraper, you should be good for most if not all the tiles. Just try to break them as little as possible.

Bud Cline 03-31-2011 07:03 PM

A heat gun for 1000 square feet would be needless to say very labor intensive.

I'll tell you how we have done it in grocery stores and malls and hospitals and it is quick and easy for the most part.

Use a propane torch. Heat the floor tile while a helper uses a long handled scraper to peel up the tiles. Two guys can easily remove about four hundred square feet per hour.:)

Here's a picture of the torch. You can buy one at Lowe's or Home Depot or any Farm Store.

Ron6519 03-31-2011 07:51 PM

So you'll get the tiles up by flooding the basement?:no:
Why do you need to remove the tiles? It's easier to just cover them up.

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