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Old 08-29-2007, 11:55 AM   #1
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asbestos problem with vinyl flooring


A floor contractor at home depo recently told me he could not tear up the vinyl floor in a kitchen because there was asbestos under it. Either I get someone else to tear it up and they could install the new vinyl, or they could 'emboss' over the old vinyl.

Is embossing a reasonable solution?

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Old 08-29-2007, 02:12 PM   #2
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asbestos problem with vinyl flooring


I believe you mean encapsulate / not "emboss".

If this HD contractor taught you this word emboss, i would question his info very carefully.

What do you believe or better yet check yourself and identify all product from your current finished floor down to the sub floor.

Do you have a 9x9 thick vinyl looking tile? Is it glued down with a black sticky mastic that is now very hard? Looks like this might have been installed in the late fifties or earlier? If you snap off a piece of the tile does it look like you see a cotton thread inside? IF YES x4 then maybe you do have asbestos. Some early sheeet goods had an asbestos backing.

You can have the tile and mastic tested. cost $ 250 to $500.

Removal & disposal requirements depend on local code authority.
http://www.des.state.nh.us/factsheets/asb/asb-6.htm

Contractors have OSHA to consider.

You can encapsulate by nailing 1/4" plywood over your existing floor.

This might be cheaper then getting it tested.

How old is your flooring? Asbestos in most products was banned in the early 70's.

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Old 08-29-2007, 10:01 PM   #3
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asbestos problem with vinyl flooring


I will inquire as to the age of the building, and inspect the floor tomorrow.

It's a pity, it looks like a simple upgrade might turn into a serious pain.
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Old 08-30-2007, 11:11 PM   #4
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asbestos problem with vinyl flooring


The building is fairly new, built in the early eighties. However I am told it does not matter when the building was built, ALL vinyl must be tested for asbestos (home depo contractor told me).

I'm told if you take in a sample and have it tested, if it is one layer (?) they can do it for $25, if it has more layers, an addition $25 for each layer.

What would be the best way to chip out a good sample for them?
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Old 08-31-2007, 09:18 AM   #5
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asbestos problem with vinyl flooring


Interesting: Where are you located?

call your local building dept. Advise age of house, find out if (Asb) testing single family residence flooring is a local requirement. Also call or visit another flooring dealer in your area.

1. $ 25 for (Asb) test? Sounds like lab rate per sample. If (Asb) testing is performed properly: certified tech reviews scope of work on site, gathers all required samples, sends samples to lab (chain of evidence procedures), Provides proper certified documented test results to client.

2. This may be the contractor CYA for OSHA and his Workers Comp & liability carrier. ( this might be a local HD requirement. {protecting their deep pockets})

3. I am 99.99999% ready to bet a kidney you do not have Asbestos in your flooring materials.

4. Give the guy $50.00 tell him to test the mastic also. If his test comes back positive, hire a lawyer ( potential class action) video tape the guy trying to sell you on encapsulating your floor. Hire a certified Asbestos testing company. Call 60 minutes & 20/20 sell the story to them. ( Don't forget to send me a %) I wonder how many folks they have scammed into an encapsulating project?

It is not to code in many area and bad practice to have three layers of flooring. Two is ok as long as 1st is adhered well and properly prepared.

Good luck. I hope you and your neighbors are being treated fairly.

" What would be the best way to chip out a good sample for them?"
(ask what size they want, Place in zip lock bag right away, fold it over and tape shut) label the bag with info removed date and time by whom, get receipt when you turn it over to someone. (Chain of evidence.)

Sheet goods? Pick a spot out of the way and use a razor knife. Pry up same as tile below.
Tile / if no lose spot use hair dryer warm up area by seam, pry with old stiff putty knife or old wide dull chisel. Apply heat as needed. Be sure you have some mastic left on the product.

This is a test tube and microscopic testing procedure.

Good luck.

Last edited by Big Bob; 08-31-2007 at 09:35 AM.
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Old 08-31-2007, 01:28 PM   #6
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asbestos problem with vinyl flooring


I contacted another contractor, and he says it's no problem for them since it is a newer building. Good news. Thanks for the advice.
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Old 08-31-2007, 01:47 PM   #7
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asbestos problem with vinyl flooring


You are most welcome.

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