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erikgrad 07-27-2013 12:42 AM

Asbestos Tile Removal Contractor Obliterated The Tile-Now What?
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I am writing on here looking for advice on how to proceed with a mess leftover from a contractor. Our basement leaked, and the old asbestos tiles were lifting and needed to come up. I was reluctant to have the tiles pulled anyhow, as I have a 2 year old that I didn't want exposed even remotely to asbestos. I received assurances that it would be removed with great care. The restoration company did their work while I was at my work, and didn't follow the safety procedures they had outlined beforehand:furious:

What we are left with is in the pictures attached. They broke the tile out at a very fast rate, I have doubts they took a single tile out intact. There are flecks of tile here and there. There is crumbled powderlike substance that I believe was tile. There are still tile pieces on the floor that they didn't pick up. There are pieces flung up onto every single item in the basement, including the window alcoves 7' up! Other than the obvious fact that I need to talk with the contractor, does anyone have advice on what I do now? Should we get a certified abatement company out ASAP? Throw away the contents of the basement, move 3 states away to forget this mess and start over? Most importantly, am I overreacting about the safety or quality of work they did?


gregzoll 07-27-2013 03:08 AM

Believe it or not, your two year old has been exposed to more environmental hazards going outside and while in your womb, than what you are worrying about indoors, regarding this matter.

Not every tile laid had Asbestos, no matter what the Internet has told you. Only way to find out truly if it contains Asbestos, is to send it off to a lab to have it tested.

I am 46 years old, and still have no health issues after being around stuff like DDT, Asbestos, Lead Paint, etc., in both consumer and Industrial environments. Lungs come up clean every six months, along with blood draws.

You are worrying more about this matter than you need to be. If you really want to make sure you do not breathe in any mold, wear long sleeved shirts, rubber gloves, then leather gloves over them, place the tiles into contractor bags, then bag that bag into another contractor bag, then twist and tape closed, dispose.

I really doubt that there is any bit of Asbestos in that tile that you have pictured, personally. Way too recent of a tile. Tiles that were installed in the 30's through the late 60's are more to have Asbestos in them, than that sample that you are showing. The only thing you may be breathing in, is mold spores under the tile, if there was any standing water.

oh'mike 07-27-2013 05:15 AM

Was this done by a certified company? Was a permit required?

erikgrad 07-27-2013 08:01 AM


Originally Posted by oh'mike (Post 1221633)
Was this done by a certified company? Was a permit required?

No permit is required. A certified company isn't required for asbestos tile in Michigan, and they aren't. I wasn't planning to have the tile removed, so the restoration company had done it. I was more concerned with the methods used than the certification. The tile is 9x9 circa 1954; so it is in all likelihood asbestos tile.

oh'mike 07-27-2013 08:06 AM

Lousy job---Your state publishes asbestos clean up instructions---

You will want to spray the area with some water--then sweep and vacuum up the damp debris using a Heppa filter in the vacuum----

That is shameful-----the area should be clean and dust free----read up on the clean up---then do it yourself----Mike-----

Maintenance 6 07-31-2013 12:43 PM

First thing is to notify the company of the mess and ask if they had it sampled prior to demolition. If the contractor planned to use a demolition process that would cause a presumed asbestos containing material (PACM) to be broken down into a friable state (reduced to a state where particles can become airborne), then he is obligated, by law, to have it tested. Floor tiles fall into the PACM catagory. If tested positive, then they had no business using a demolition process that would cause pieces to be scattered as you describe and dust to be produced. If they did not test, then you should have it tested by a lab certified to do asbestos testing. I have seen 9x9 tiles test negative and 12x12s test positive. There is NO way to tell without a lab test. If it is positive, then you should have it cleaned up by a certified asbestos abatement company. The dust and crumbs are friable material now and easily introduced into the airstream. If they had used proper precautions to keep the material wetted during removal and been cautious to clean up any broken parts and resulting crumbs, then it could easily have been removed as the asbestos in floor tile lies within a very heavy matrix of other materials and does not typically become airborne. BUT, they obviously didn't do that. Next thing is to ignore the anecdotal stories of people who claim to have been exposed for years with no ill effects. There are a lot of time bombs walking around. Tell the resto company to prepare for the clean up bill.... or a letter from your attorney. What people fail to realize is that asbestos fibers, once they are introduced to the airstream in an enclosed building can be reintroduced over and over by just walking past them. It's your house and it's the air that you and your family are breathing.

rusty baker 08-01-2013 06:20 AM

And don't forget the adhesive. It normally had a higher asbestos content than the tile.

Maintenance 6 08-01-2013 10:21 AM

Anything that contains 1% or more asbestos is considered ACM (asbestos containing material). Materials that traditionally are known to contain asbestos, such as boiler insulation, pipe insulation, ceiling textures (popcorn) and of course flooring adhesives and materials are classified as PACM (Presumed Asbestos Containing Materials). Cut back adhesives, when they contain asbestos can contain a higher (by volume) percentage, even though it may be less in volume than the flooring. If the adhesive is flaky and loose from the floor, it can be a greater airborne hazard because it is a lighter weight material. And the color of the material is irrelevant. I've seen black and yellow/gold/brown that tested positive.

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