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Old 01-09-2012, 03:50 PM   #1
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VAT Tiles in basement...Leave it or Remove it?


My wife and I are remodeling the basement into an entertainment space. We plan on adding a bathroom and a bar and such.

Little did I realize that the tiles that cover the ENTIRE basement are Vinyl Asbestos Tiles or (VAT) for short.

I have done much reading about these tiles, but cannot decide which is the best course of action. I have asked at Home Depot and Lowes and both places have told me just to leave them alone and go right over top of them. The floor is in decent enough condition to do that I think. By that I mean it is not coming up or cracking or anything (just outdated and ugly). On the other hand I also think I could remove them without much effort as well, as there are already some missing from the laundry room.

My main concern is the busting up of the concrete to install the plumbing for the new bath/shower/toilet. The old mastic or adhesive will be left behind causing everything to go airborne, which is where the danger lies.

I have no idea what to do here.

HELP!

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Old 01-09-2012, 04:14 PM   #2
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VAT Tiles in basement...Leave it or Remove it?


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Originally Posted by jdtox View Post
I have asked.. and ... told me just to leave them alone and go right over top of them. The floor is in decent enough condition to do that I think.
Then you're done.

Quote:
The old mastic or adhesive will be left behind causing everything to go airborne, which is where the danger lies.
Er... not so much. Really.

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Old 01-10-2012, 09:09 AM   #3
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VAT Tiles in basement...Leave it or Remove it?


What I meant was the mastic will be left behind and will get airborne when busting out the concrete to install the plumbing for the new bathroom. I guess its going to happen anyways whether I remove the tile or not though.

I havent decided on the flooring yet other than it will not be ceramic tile, most likely vinyl resilient or vinyl adhesive tiles.

I just know some people want that stuff out of their house. Personally I'd like to start from the cement itself, but there are so many tiles. Having to do them each one by one and then having to dispose of them properly doesn't sound exciting. However, if its something I NEED or SHOULD do, I would. I was just looking for other opinions, not just trusting the $12/hr guy at HD.
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Old 01-10-2012, 09:31 AM   #4
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VAT Tiles in basement...Leave it or Remove it?


There is 0 need to remove any more then you have to get to the area where your going to cut the floor out.
http://www.greenbuildingsupply.com/u.../?objectID=317
This product will seal and remove the old mastic safely.
As stated if it's not cut into, chopped up, there's no way for the fibers to become air borne. Once covered over with new flooring there's 0 chance of it being of any danger.
Seems strange people tend to flip out at the first sign of aspastos, but do not hesatate to cut into pressure treated lumber, lay fiberglass insulation, blow insulation in an attic even though they also have warning labels on them and you know the fibers are going to be air born.
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Old 01-10-2012, 09:39 AM   #5
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VAT Tiles in basement...Leave it or Remove it?


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Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
There is 0 need to remove any more then you have to get to the area where your going to cut the floor out.
http://www.greenbuildingsupply.com/u.../?objectID=317
This product will seal and remove the old mastic safely.
As stated if it's not cut into, chopped up, there's no way for the fibers to become air borne. Once covered over with new flooring there's 0 chance of it being of any danger.
Seems strange people tend to flip out at the first sign of aspastos, but do not hesatate to cut into pressure treated lumber, lay fiberglass insulation, blow insulation in an attic even though they also have warning labels on them and you know the fibers are going to be air born.
Thanks for the link. I will probably pick some of that up. And your right, while I always wear a respirator or mask for insulation, never really thought about cutting pressure treated lumber, not even once. Honestly if an old box of the tile weren't in the basement that clearly said vinyl asbestos tile. I wouldn't have even thought about it. I would have bought a big scraper and went to town not even thinking twice.
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Old 01-10-2012, 10:18 AM   #6
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VAT Tiles in basement...Leave it or Remove it?


There are over 120 minerals that are classified as "asbestosform". Curiously, the word "asbestos" itself is poorly defined, as it does NOT refer to a specific mineral or fiber type. Another thing to bear in mind is that contrary to urban legend, asbestos is not banned in the United States, due to the EPA having lost an important case on their ability to regulate it. And our good friends to the north (Canada) continue to mine it and export it, including some I believe to the U.S.

All that said, your tiles may be labeled asbestos vinyl tile, but you have no idea what type of asbestos fiber is in them unless you get it checked. Different types of asbestos minerals are more dangerous when airborne than others, if you send your tile to a reputable lab they can tell you exactly what mineral you have, and they should be able to inform you about necessary precautions you need to take when removing the tile and/or mastic. And you are permitted to remove your own asbestos material without a special license, see the EPA website for directions on how to do so. Disposal on the other hand, at least in theory the VAT needs to go to a licensed facility.
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Old 01-10-2012, 11:02 AM   #7
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VAT Tiles in basement...Leave it or Remove it?


JD,
when you go to remove some of the tiles where you are going to bust up the concrete, just take a spray bottle with water and mist the floor tiles. Keep it damp and you won't get it airborn.
Mike Hawkins

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