Asbestos in old vinyl floor
The asbestos backing in the vinyl that covers 300+ sqf of our home tested positive for 44% asbestos!
The vinyl covers our kitchen, dining area, and goes from our kitchen to the front door of the living room (covering a portion of the hardwood floor in the living room). There are some slightly damaged areas along the edges of the floor.
And I pulled up several corners to get a look at the condition of the hardwood floors underneath. I of course had no idea that there might be asbestos when I did this. I have since put the floor back down in place. (It did not peel up clean).
We have three small children and I am now very concerned about the health effects of all this asbestos in our small house.
We are considering putting down a new linoleum floor over this old floor (with a thin plywood underneath). The flooring contractor would be installing this with staples, however. I am worried that would disturb the asbestos.
Having the old vinyl professionally removed may run us 5K. I am willing to do this. I want the asbestos OUT! My husband of course is appalled. We do not want to do this ourselves, either.
Is it too risky to have a professional remove this? There would also be a lab involved to do on-site testing. How do I know I can trust these people? The house would be sealed off while they were working, so I wouldn't be able to confirm that they had properly sealed off other rooms, kitchen cabinets, etc. I know this is a DIY chatroom, but has anyone ever had flooring professionally removed?
Please help - I don't know what to do and I want my kids to live in a safe house! Thanks!
It is perfectly safe to install underlayment and new vinyl over it. In fact the EPA has recommended for years to just cover it. The staples going in will not make the material friable. And I don't know who tested it, but I know of no floor covering or adhesive that ever had that much asbestos. In fact most had only a small amount.
It was tested by an environmental lab. The vinyl itself had no measurable amount, but the backing tested at 44%. It is also considered friable - says so on our lab report. I did not expect it to have this much either! This seems like a huge amount.
Covering it does seem to be the recommended solution nearly everywhere.
But here's our issue with that. There's a 4-ft wide strip of this going across our living room. So there is 12 feet of exposed material along the side of the edge. I assume the flooring people would put down some sort of cover over that edge to transition to the original floor - but would that contain the friable backing do you think?
It is only dangerous if it's powdery and becomes airborne. A good installer will see to it that it is all covered. It's overkill, but if it would make you feel safer, the installer can cover it first with something like Ardex.
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