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  • Asbestos Tile

    Hi everone,

    Random Q here. My new house has asbestos vinyl tiles. The previous owner had them carpeted. Unfortunately, the carpet tacks are nailed through the tile. Does anyone have experience with this? Can you just remove the carpet tacks or does that risk aerosolizing the asbestos? Do you just need to bite the bullet and remove all the tiles with negative pressure and all that jazz?

  • #2
    Assuming you aren't trying to remove the tiles, should be fine just to pull the nails. I can't see that causing much exposure

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Redemption View Post
      Hi everone,

      Random Q here. My new house has asbestos vinyl tiles. The previous owner had them carpeted. Unfortunately, the carpet tacks are nailed through the tile. Does anyone have experience with this? Can you just remove the carpet tacks or does that risk aerosolizing the asbestos? Do you just need to bite the bullet and remove all the tiles with negative pressure and all that jazz?
      Realistically, I suspect just pulling the tacks shouldn't be too big of a deal, particularly if you plan to cover it all over again with some other flooring. Not any sort of official advice, as I don't really know crap about this, but if were going that route (reflooring over the asbestos tiles) I'd probably look into some way to seal them to minimize dust escaping through the new flooring and/or through the ceiling below (if there is a room underneath) when people are walking on the floor.

      I think your real danger occurs if you decide to start removing the tiles. Then, you probably need the whole Hazmat mitigation stuff you mentioned. May not be legally required if you do the work yourself, but I'd be shocked if not required for a contractor to do the work.

      Also, if you ever sell the house, you will probably need to include the asbestos in the disclosure documentation.

      For what it's worth, I used to help my dad change the brake pads on our cars all the time when I was a kid. I'd routinely use my breath to blow all the asbestos-containing brake dust out of the drum and I'd get it all over me and inhale a bunch. So far, knock on wood, no related medical issues that I know of. I can still run a 30 minute mile!

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      • #4
        I would immediately call my local TV lawyer that advertises about asbestos exposure and then I'd pretend like I had all kinds of difficult to diagnose medical issues related to my asbestos exposure and then I'd sit back and day dream about what I'm going to do with all that money.

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        • #5
          Don't you have a button on a lanyard for this sort of thing? Help, I've asbestoed and I can't unbesto.

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          • #6
            I think you're fine to pull the nails, assuming you're going to recarpet over it.
            I've talked to several asbestos mitigation people and they say the tiles are much harder to disrupt/aerosolize than the insulation & duct tape.

            Had tile in my previous house and just carpeted over it as well.

            Plenty of tape on my 80yo duct work, it's all been taped up in the past but areas that look frayed I just drizzle some latex pain over to encapsulate it and leave it alone.

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            • #7
              I see mesothelioma cases a few times a year; every case is extensive history of brake pad manufacturing, shipyard/pipe fitting, or VA employment in past. Haven't seen any asbestos tile removal history though recent guy was a general contractor and did lots of basement work in old houses.

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              • #8
                Very likely if the tiles are undisturbed and in decent shape, removing the carpet should be fine. If the tile are crumbling, wet areas to reduce aerosols and vacuum, dispose the content properly. Wear proper PPE like N95.

                Another option would be to install a floating (not nailed), click-lock type laminate or engineered hardwood floor over the carpet, if the carpet is thin. Nowadays the planks come preinstalled with underlayment, prefinished, and waterproof surface to further reduce labor.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by CalMD View Post
                  Another option would be to install a floating (not nailed), click-lock type laminate or engineered hardwood floor over the carpet, if the carpet is thin. Nowadays the planks come preinstalled with underlayment, prefinished, and waterproof surface to further reduce labor.
                  also a good idea. the water barrier subfloors can add quite a bit of thickness but peace of mind is nice. i currently have this on my basement floor (that was likely asbestos vinyl)-- a ~5mm thick dimpled & padded barrier that could be rolled in sheets and the seams sealed with waterproof tape, with carpet overlying it. another option if the height of normal subfloors is prohibitive.

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                  • #10
                    Each to their own. I would have the tiles removed by a licensed firm that does it correctly. I would stay out of the house until they were done and had been tested. I would not do anything that even might disturb the tiles. But I am the belt and suspenders type when it comes to health.

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