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asbestos on hardwood or vinyl? how to tell?

3072 Views 9 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  DangerMouse
I've lived in this same house for 30 years and my mom and I always had carpet in it. We purchased a carpet maybe 11 years ago, and then a new one a few months ago. We weren't feeling good with the new carpet at all. Started getting weird pains (and rashes!) that we never had before.

Under 95% of the house, is hardwood (in pretty good condition that I can tell). I tried pulling up the carpet myself, but it was hard so we are getting someone to come help later today.

Since the new carpet was put in in April, there doesn't seem to be much dust under the carpet we have now.

The problem is, we are going to get laminate flooring and probably won't get it installed until late next week. But, we want this carpet removed by today (Saturday).

I am a little concerned about asbestos. Like I said, 95% of the house is wood flooring, but I know right next to the front door, there is really old viynl (from the 70's).. Is it best to get something like this removed? Do I need to get it tested for asbestos and then remove it? I'm not sure how that's done.

Is it safe to stay in a house after we have removed all the carpet? The wood underneith seems really strong and in good shape. But, I don't know how to tell if there might be asbestos anywhere in the house.

Thanks for your help
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Ugh, Ok so I started looking up "Laminate Flooring" and some websites say it is not good with people who are chemically sensitive. I kept finding this sentence "Laminate flooring is often made of melamine resin, a compound made with formaldehyde. There has been increasing concern about indoor air quality from releases of volatile organic compounds from building materials made with formaldehyde. "

This really worries me because we already don't feel good after the carpet that was put in back in April. My mom and I can't handle another chemical (formaldehyde). I've read that it takes 2-4 months to completely air out.. HELP!

I am so scared about putting this in now... I bought one box of the GLUELESS (Trafficmaster) Laminate Flooring, but again I am worried about getting sick.

I know this is probably the only option we have unless we want to pay more than double for tile. But, I am worried.

I purchased the one box I bought at Home Depot, and they said if they do the job I need to have all the boxes at home about 3 days ahead of time... Do you suggest I try and have them in a unused room for like a week or two (in the box maybe) and air them out?
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Thanks for answering DM... Yeah, I thought LONG and hard about getting a new carpet, we did everything trying to get rid of the odor, air it out, steam clean, baking soda, plants, etc.. Even when it stopped smelling we still didn't feel good.

So, knowing that carpets outgass, we get it that we need to get rid of it. But, we are worried about laminate flooring having the same type of outgassing.. I've read they are made with resin and outgass formaldehyde. I have also read that laminate flooring is good for allergies, but some people mix up allergies with chemical sensativity. I don't really have allergies, not allergic to animals, I don't sneeze.

So, my main concern is the outgassing of any chemicals in laminate flooring.
Ok, so we may need to just use the existing hard wood floors.. We will need to see how they look. Thank you for your help.

But, you had asked about the plans on removing vinyl.. We have always had carpet over the vinyl (which was put in by the previous owner in the 70's). Do you think it is safe to remove the vinyl ourselves or should it be tested for asbestos before being removed?

I do not know a lot about asbestos, but my main concern is pulling up the carpet from the entire house and unknowingly have asbestos somewhere. Is is something you can clearly see? The house was built in the 60's.
oops, make that SOLID hardwood flooring (lots cheaper too!) and finish with low VOC and no formaldehyde finish.

Great idea!! If we already have the original hard wood floor (which seems REALLY strong), is it safe to put a finish on that? Granted how old the wood is, it probably isn't the most healthy thing to breathe, but may be better for us than something new with a lot of chemicals.. A finishing with low VOC sounds good... and no formaldehyde.

Thank you for the link you sent, I will check it out.
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