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Helpmyhome 03-28-2011 06:48 PM

Asbestos in old flooring?
I recently purchased a bungalow built in 1965. The only carpeting in the house was found on the stairs. I began lifting this yesterday and found linoleum or vinyl flooring (rolled in sheets) covering the stairs and landings. Without thinking, I began to lift the flooring as well. I now have 4 stairs and a landing without carpet and partial vinyl or linoleum exposed. There is some grey backing, and some black adhesive. With some reasearch today I'm now concerned that there is asbestos in this.

Any suggestions for safe removal?

Would I be ok to stop the job, and cover this with new carpeting or new linoleum? Would I have to remove the rest or just cover it up? There is some chipping and separation, but no loose particles and it's probably not a 100% level.

Any help would be appreciated.

rusty baker 03-28-2011 06:54 PM

At the very least, the adhesive most likely contains asbestos. The lino probably does also. The only way to be sure is have it tested. Yes, you can cover it, with carpet. In fact that is probably the safest thing to do. In some places you can remove it yourself. If you were to remove it keep it wet so it doesn't become friable. I don't recommend that you remove it.

Helpmyhome 03-28-2011 06:58 PM

Thanks Rusty.

Do I need to seal it, or install a subfloor or anything overtop to keep it contained, or could it be as simple as underpadding and a new carpet?

rusty baker 03-28-2011 07:13 PM

Pad and carpet.

IceT 03-30-2011 04:14 PM

Yes you can go over it, but you can also remove it safely. The only concern you should have is to keep it from being airborne. Thus don't sand it. You can use black mastic adhesive remover (gets ya nice and high, so vent well) but that removes the need to sand if you have any left. Also you can sprinkle concrete dust over it and remove any stickyness to the adhesive that remains.

Helpmyhome 04-05-2011 05:25 PM

So I had a corner tested, and the lab confirmed it's 39% asbestos. As mentioned I removed some of the linoleum in chips from the top 3 stairs and landing. I'm now wanting to cover this however, I don't think I like the idea of maintaining's hard to vacuum on stairs. If I'm doing hard wood or linoleum do I need to seal the cracked flooring I made prior to installing a subfloor?

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