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Old 07-21-2008, 10:21 AM   #1
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pulled up the linoleum does it have asbestos?


We pulled up our linolem or vinyl floor last night in our 5x11 bathroom. The top layer came up just fine but there is this light grey paper backing that is firmly stuck to the plywood sub floor. The house is 30 years old. I would assume the flooring is orginal.

We were told this morning that this may contain asbestos.

I'm freaking out!

Our intention was to lay a thin set motar over the ripped up floor then lay down some "hardiboard" (a water proof board for tile underlayment at Home Depot) then lay down more mortar and then tile, grout and seal. If we test positive can we stick to this plan and encase the material? And be safe? OR has the damage been done and we need to get a professional.

Again there isn't any damage or dust visable to the eye, it isn't crumbling. It is firmly stuck to the sub floor.

PLEASE HELP!

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Old 07-21-2008, 10:40 AM   #2
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pulled up the linoleum does it have asbestos?


Was the house build after 1972? If so, it's probably not asbestos but only a test can tell you that.

If it does contain asbestos, you've already disturbed it and put asbestos fibers into the air. You'd probably want an abatement company to come in and remove it and test and clean other areas in your house.

Do you see any fibers in it or does it just look like paper?

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Old 07-21-2008, 10:50 AM   #3
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pulled up the linoleum does it have asbestos?


Looks like paper really thick strong grey construction paper. The "glue" on the back side is clear/yellow like say a wood glue looks when dried. I don't notice "fibers" but I didn't look hard.

The house was built 30 years ago so we are in the time frame when this stuff may have been used.

Do you think we can continue with our plan and just cover it over with motar and backing board motar and tile and be safe???
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Old 07-21-2008, 10:51 AM   #4
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pulled up the linoleum does it have asbestos?


Hi Bonnie,

You're right that backing probably contains asbestos. But, don't freak. Unless you sand it and create lots of dust, there should be no problem. Even if you did make dust, chances are nothing will happen. The only proven problem is when you are exposed to this dust in a confined space for many years.

Your flooring should have been installed over a thin layer of underlayment, NOT direct on the subfloor. If this is the case you can remove this 1/4" thick material and then go over the subfloor.

You could also install the 1/4" HB right over this backing if the wood floor under it is not 1/4" thick. In other words if it's the subfloor and therefore not removable.

BTW, HardiBacker is NOT waterproof, and neither are any other backer boards. It's the correct thing to do though.

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Old 07-21-2008, 10:56 AM   #5
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pulled up the linoleum does it have asbestos?


KHouse,

I think you've got the time-line wrong. Asbestos was used in flooring well into the '80's, and old stock could hang around to collect dust for many years after.

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Old 07-21-2008, 11:27 AM   #6
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pulled up the linoleum does it have asbestos?


Oh....I feel betterish.

The grey paper is stuck to a "plywood" looking floor. There maybe a second layer of "plywood below this. I am not sure.

So I get this straight. You think we have two options:
1. if there is a second layer of "plywood" below this top layer with the grey paper attached, we could remove the top layer and then lay down motar, hardibacker, motar and tile
or
2. we could just do the above process over the current layer (meaning motor over the plywood with the grey paper sealing it in, then hardibacker, then motar then tile
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Old 07-21-2008, 12:04 PM   #7
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pulled up the linoleum does it have asbestos?


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The only proven problem is when you are exposed to this dust in a confined space for many years.
Sorry, but that's not true. It can take a very short exposure to asbestos to cause serious problems. Besides someone will be living in the confined house for years. It's a very very serious mistake to rip up an asbestos containing floor without taking proper abatement procedures. The fibers cannot be expelled from the lungs and tearing up/delaminating a floor can put the fibers into the air. The OP needs to get testing done on the floor. If the testing is positive they should test the whole house (especially ductwork and carpeting) to see if the entire house is now contaminated.

It is irresponsible to imply that DIYers should ignore asbestos precautions and imply that exposure during removal is essentially harmless.
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Old 07-23-2008, 05:15 PM   #8
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pulled up the linoleum does it have asbestos?


Asbestos removal is a funny thing...if we come across it on sites and the city/town asks us to remove it, we'll throw on the resperators and suits, wrap it up in 12mil's of poly and haul it to a disposal yard. If we call an abatement crew they roll up in shorts.t-shirts, wing it into a few bags and in the back of a pickup and off they go(more than a few companies). I think some crews just charge for the decal on the truck.
If you do decide to tackle removal, be sure to follow the guidelines the local authorities have in place, but before you go through the trouble(if your truly concerned), have some one take a sample...I see an average of $150 a site visit and $50 a sample.
In all honesty i think these abatement crews have a good racket going...i mean hell, America is the only place its hazardous :P
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Old 07-24-2008, 08:29 AM   #9
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pulled up the linoleum does it have asbestos?


Quote:
Sorry, but that's not true. It can take a very short exposure to asbestos to cause serious problems. Besides someone will be living in the confined house for years. It's a very very serious mistake to rip up an asbestos containing floor without taking proper abatement procedures. The fibers cannot be expelled from the lungs and tearing up/delaminating a floor can put the fibers into the air. The OP needs to get testing done on the floor. If the testing is positive they should test the whole house (especially ductwork and carpeting) to see if the entire house is now contaminated.

It is irresponsible to imply that DIYers should ignore asbestos precautions and imply that exposure during removal is essentially harmless.
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Old 07-23-2010, 04:30 PM   #10
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pulled up the linoleum does it have asbestos?


I have to say my two cents here, having a family history in the construction industry and myself being a GCÖ

My father used to always tell me how he used to work in a garage when he was a kid, replacing brake shoes that were made of 100% asbestos. Today, jokingly, he laughs and describes how they used to blow the dust out of the drums, sending the dust everywhere. Obviously inhaling it and getting the dust on his jump suits, going home and having the dust get all over the house. He used to work in construction throughout the 50s too.

My father is approaching 80yrs old. Strong as an ox, and healthy as can be.

My uncle was exposed to the same level of asbestos throughout their childhood and until the 80s when it was banned completely in construction. My uncle just passed from colon cancer, which we believe was from drinking. My grandmother passed when she was nearly ninety, obviously washing her kids clothes had no impact (asbestos dust), and she passed from a brain tumor.

Itís funny, because I just came across this page due to the fact that I just found some gray paper glued to the subfloor over linoleum. My advice, donít freak out! You can clean your place better than any crew!

Just wear some respirators, keep the dust out of the rest of the house, and donít breath it.

Also, if you keep it moist and wet you should be safe, but still wear a respirator to reduce your exposure. The method that I found best to remove this material/paper, is to get it wet, then scrap it off. Evidently the glue wasnít/isnít water resistant, and it peels right off. Iím then going to have my crew use a drum and take down the wood to have it completely restored.

The way I look at it, itís not healthy, and even dangerous. But so is drinking, smoking, and even DRIVING! Simply reduce your risk of exposure. Thatís it.
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Old 07-23-2010, 04:47 PM   #11
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pulled up the linoleum does it have asbestos?


And be aware, the government is using the same overblown tactics for lead paint that they used for asbestos.
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Old 07-23-2010, 05:00 PM   #12
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pulled up the linoleum does it have asbestos?




I agree. I saw this picture on MSNBC and couldn't believe it. Talk about a screwed up fear tactic.

"If your house was built before 1978 you're kids cereal will have lead paint poured into it!!!"

What a crock. So you can get the EPA over to your house, then from then on, they'll have the right to red tag your house, especially with the recent requirements in CA for lead paint. If you distrub any house that was painted before 1978, you have to have a special federal government, EPA, lic to test and remove the paint. WTF!!!

The CSLB is a state board. Not federal! People really need to pull their heads out and look at what's going on with our government!
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Old 07-23-2010, 05:44 PM   #13
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pulled up the linoleum does it have asbestos?


The new lead paint rule is federal, not just Calif. It will affect anyone who disturbs more than 6 sq ft of painted surface. Even flooring installers. I think the class to be certified is $300. There are a bunch of nonsense rules to follow or you can be heavily fined. http://www.nahb.org/category.aspx?sectionID=879

Expect the cost of remodeling to escalate.
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Old 07-23-2010, 05:50 PM   #14
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pulled up the linoleum does it have asbestos?


BTW - Original post is over 2 years old

I think the problem with the new laws is it may force more people to DIY due to cost
And they may not (all) do the same job as a pro
Around here most houses that are renovated they gut & strip everything down to the sheathing & studs

My existing house almost all of the outside trim has been stripped off
Inside trim around the windows was replaced
All the old wood doors were tossed & replaced w/hollow core
All the trim was stripped & repainted
I'm glad its all gone....except for the doors...maybe

That still leaves the walls....but since we just repaint I guess its OK
Bathroom & sons bedroom have new drywall
Some other areas have new drywall
2nd floor is all new drywall
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Old 07-23-2010, 09:34 PM   #15
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pulled up the linoleum does it have asbestos?


Funny thing about asbestos, it is still mined in Brazil and Canada, and it is sold all over the world. There are over a hundred different types of asbestos, some of which are quite dangerous, others not so dangerous, according to the EPA. You can STILL buy asbestos containing products in the U.S., it was never officially banned so far as I can tell.

As noted, the fibers are the danger, as long as the asbestos remains contained within flooring, insulation, roof material etc., it is thought to be harmless, so as discussed do not stir it up, no sanding, no cutting. With reasonable precautions, you should be OK, see the EPA website for a thorough discussion on proper DIY removal procedures for asbestos containing material.

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