What Kind of Flooring Is More Likely to Contain Asbestos?
Vinyl flooring is a popular choice when it comes to homes and commercial buildings. Whether it’s vinyl sheets or flooring tiles, building and homeowners love them because they’re resilient and cheap, long-lasting, there are more aesthetic options to them, and they withstand constant wear and tear. However, vinyl flooring products that often contain asbestos can become dangerous when the microscopic fibers are released and become airborne.
You’ll most likely see asbestos in structures that were built before 1980 because that’s when asbestos was a common material used, and can still exist in buildings today. Now, people usually assume that if they have asbestos in their building, it will be dangerous and they have to vacate the area, and that’s not always the case.
Asbestos in flooring tiles will not release toxic fibers and pose a health risk unless they are disturbed by sanding, sawing, drilling, or tearing the tiles out. If your flooring has not been disturbed, the asbestos hasn’t been either. However, if you’ve been doing some remodeling or notice water damage, or physical aging then you may want to consider having your flooring inspected and possibly replaced. This kind of damage can disrupt the asbestos and break up the tiny fibers, ultimately releasing them into the environment
How Can I Identify Asbestos In My Flooring?
There are a few ways you can identify if your floor tiles have asbestos. One of the sure-fire ways to tell if your flooring has asbestos is to have them tested. Asbestos Project Management has an at-home testing kit you can use and send in the samples. Or we can come out to your home and test the flooring ourselves.
If you’re not quite ready to test the flooring with a kit, there are a few ways you can determine if asbestos is present. One of the ways is to consider the age of your home, if it was built before 1980, there’s a good chance you could have asbestos lurking in your home.
We also suggest looking at the tiles, they can appear stained or oily. Asphalt once was the main ingredient in flooring tiles and can still be found in some flooring materials. Over time it can degrade, causing the tiles to look grimy and discolored in spots.
You may have noticed some of your tiles come off or unattached from the floor, and you notice a thick black adhesive underneath. That’s black mastic, which is also known as cutback adhesive and is commonly used to glue flooring tiles down. This black mastic adhesive was asphalt-based and most likely contains asbestos, it’s important to get this tested as well if you have the adhesive.
When we talk with homeowners, some decide to leave the asbestos in place and cover it with new flooring. While the old tiles are relatively thin, and around ⅛ of an inch thick, the new flooring can be installed on top of the asbestos tiles. There are a few types of flooring that are able to be installed, like new vinyl, laminate, hardwood, engineering floating flooring, and carpeting. If you want to go with new floor tiles, you can also install ceramic, slate, or stone tiles with a fiber-cement backer as well.
Test Your Flooring With Asbestos Project Management’s Help
Asbestos Project Management has been working all over the Chicagoland area for over 30 years, providing mold and asbestos inspection and removal services to commercial buildings and homeowners. With our at-home testing kit, you can test for the asbestos fibers yourself, however, if you would like a professional to come to your home and test, you can schedule your appointment today. Once we get the results back, we’ll contact you with the next steps and set up any follow-up work if necessary. Schedule your inspection or request your testing kit today.Back To Blog