Out of all the home products that contain asbestos, the vinyl asbestos floor tile is perhaps the safest. That is, until it sustains any damage or when you attempt to remove it from your home.
Vinyl has long been the preferred choice of plastic for floor sheets and tiles. Due to its sturdiness, asbestos-containing vinyl products gained widespread acceptance among contractors and renovators in the US until their harmful effects came to light.
In this blog, we take a look at whether DIY removal of asbestos floor tiles is safe or if it should be left to the professionals.
How is Asbestos Flooring Dangerous?
Asbestos is a naturally occurring, toxic mineral that was utilized by most American manufacturers as a construction material during the mid to late twentieth century. It’s a fibrous substance (turns into a wooly, soft material when pulled apart) that was once considered a “miracle material” due to its strengthening and heat-resistant properties. It was later found out that, when disturbed, asbestos flooring releases deadly dust that affects people in different ways.
The microscopic fibers are non-digestible and remain in the body for years on end. Asbestos eventually builds up and leads to serious diseases such as mesothelioma and lung cancer. Although fatalities resulting from exposure to asbestos have drastically declined, thousands of people have died over the years due to its deadly effects on human health.
The threat posited by asbestos flooring depends on what state it’s in. If the flooring is damaged to the point where the fibers become undone and it turns into a friable material, then the risk of inhaling toxic dust becomes very high, as the substances can become airborne. However, if the flooring is still intact, then it would be considered non-friable, in which case the threat is contained.
The danger arises when the flooring sustains major damage due to breaking, sanding, or scraping. It’s highly recommended to add an additional layer on top of asbestos flooring to prevent it from sustaining damage. An example is sealing it with epoxy floor paint.
The Removal Process
Technically speaking, you could remove asbestos flooring yourself, but doing so would place you and your families’ health at risk of contracting deadly diseases. It’ best left to the professionals. Most laws forbid carrying out the removal process without the necessary qualifications. The cleaning steps are as follows:
- Isolate the Area:Ensure the windows, doors, cupboards, and vents are all sealed tight.
- Wear Protective Gear:This includes coveralls, goggles, gloves, dust mask, and boots.
- Cut the floor:Use a utility knife to cut the asbestos into small, manageable pieces and place them into leak-resistant bags. Make sure the bags are labeled for asbestos and properly removed.
- Clean up:Use dry and wet towels to clean up the remaining glue and dust. Use liquid detergent and thoroughly mop the area multiple times.
- Dispose of the Debris:Do not throw the remaining debris into landfills. Consult the local authorities on how to best dispose of the harmful material.
In conclusion, we would strongly recommend calling in the professionals to get rid of asbestos flooring. We offer quick and effective asbestos removal services in Pennsylvania to help you get rid of any and all hazardous materials in your home. We also offer removal services for mold and lead substances. Contact us today for more information.