Asbestos was used in the past decades for making flooring materials to strengthen it. When the asbestos in the flooring is intact, it is considered non-friable and it is not hazardous. But with age, the flooring can become weak and the asbestos contained in it can become friable (release fibers) which can be inhaled, and then this poses a danger to health.
During home renovations or remodeling, it is common to remove floor coverings. If you have flooring that contains asbestos, you have the option of asbestos flooring removal or you can install new flooring over the old one.
If you opt for asbestos flooring removal, use the services of a licensed contractor. You can choose to remove it yourself if you follow the prescribed guidelines for asbestos flooring removal carefully. You have to use the correct preparation, appliances, cleaning, and removal procedures to reduce exposure.
Guidelines for asbestos flooring removal:
- You will require a respirator and protective clothing while engaged in the work of asbestos flooring removal.
- Remove all objects that can be moved; cover the ones that you cannot move with poly sheets and seal them. Isolate the area by switching off the air conditioning and heating; vents have to be covered and sealed. Doorways should be sealed with poly sheets.
- You have to begin the process of asbestos flooring removal by wetting the floor tile or linoleum before removing or cutting anything. Remove the floor tiles at the edges with the help of a putty knife and hammer. Pop up the tiles gently and try not to break the material so that you are not exposed to the asbestos fibers.
- To remove linoleum, first cut the material into more manageable sections of about 6″ width. Peel back the material from the edges. Scrape the underside of the material with a putty knife or scraper. Keep on wetting the material while you are scraping and pulling it up. If there is any residue, wet it thoroughly and then scrub it with a rough pad.
- Place the floor tiles in boxes lined with poly; wrap up the linoleum in poly sheets and seal with tape; remove all waste material.
- The cleaning up process after removing the asbestos-containing material should be done with care. Use a damp cloth to wipe the entire surface of the area. The equipment used for the removal work should also be thoroughly cleaned and removed from the area.
- Place your disposable clothing along with the other waste into sealed bags. Wash thoroughly or take a shower to get rid of any asbestos fibers from your body.
- All the debris should be sent to a landfill that accepts this particular type of waste. You can contact your local waste remover for a special asbestos flooring removal pick-up; contact a licensed contractor who does asbestos flooring removal for picking it up and disposing of it, or dispose of the waste yourself.