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Identifying Asbestos Floor Tiles

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
How can you identify them??

I've got about 15-20 9x9 floor tiles covered by a small area rug in my basement. I didn't put them down and don't know the make/model of them. I'm concerned is b/c the kids toys are relatively close to the tiles. I can post a picture tonight if necessary.

Thanks in advance!!
post #2 of 19
Do you know how old the tiles are?
post #3 of 19
I do asbestos-containing material ACM surveys and monitor abatement and remediation work all the time at work.

Generally I don't even sample 9x9 floor tiles. I always assume them to be asbestos-containing. Due to the matrix of the tile they can be prone to false negatives unless you opt for more expensive tests and I have never had one come back as non-ACM. The mastic beneath them is also a suspect ACM. I would treat both materials as ACM.

As far as toys coming into contact, so long as the tiles aren't chipping, cracking, or generating dust there is no risk of exposure. The percentage of the tile which is actually asbestos is probably 2-5 percent. Breakage or sanding would create dust but even then risk of exposure is unlikely. If you ever do see broken pieces clean them up immediately.

CJ
post #4 of 19
I have performed my fair share of asbestos work in my career. CJS hit the nail on the head with the tiles.

If you are concerned about the tiles, you can lay new 12" x 12" tiles over the existing 9" x 9" tiles. If you are really concerned about the tiles, you can wet the existing 9" x 9" tiles with water and they should pop up with a hand scraper, then replace the area with 12" x 12' tiles. Place the tiles in a small box and then in a plastic bag and throw away.
post #5 of 19
CJS & Junkfish right right on the mark with good advice - assume 9X9 always have it along with the mastic (adhesieve) that holds them down - Dry ice works great for removal too - sit it on top and watch and listen as they pucker up and pop from the cold
post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GetDaGaff View Post
Do you know how old the tiles are?


Unfortunately, I don't. The house is almost 100 years old

Quote:
Originally Posted by CJS View Post
I do asbestos-containing material ACM surveys and monitor abatement and remediation work all the time at work.

Generally I don't even sample 9x9 floor tiles. I always assume them to be asbestos-containing. Due to the matrix of the tile they can be prone to false negatives unless you opt for more expensive tests and I have never had one come back as non-ACM. The mastic beneath them is also a suspect ACM. I would treat both materials as ACM.

As far as toys coming into contact, so long as the tiles aren't chipping, cracking, or generating dust there is no risk of exposure. The percentage of the tile which is actually asbestos is probably 2-5 percent. Breakage or sanding would create dust but even then risk of exposure is unlikely. If you ever do see broken pieces clean them up immediately.

CJ


Quote:
Originally Posted by junkfish View Post
I have performed my fair share of asbestos work in my career. CJS hit the nail on the head with the tiles.

If you are concerned about the tiles, you can lay new 12" x 12" tiles over the existing 9" x 9" tiles. If you are really concerned about the tiles, you can wet the existing 9" x 9" tiles with water and they should pop up with a hand scraper, then replace the area with 12" x 12' tiles. Place the tiles in a small box and then in a plastic bag and throw away.


Quote:
Originally Posted by irwin1951 View Post
CJS & Junkfish right right on the mark with good advice - assume 9X9 always have it along with the mastic (adhesieve) that holds them down - Dry ice works great for removal too - sit it on top and watch and listen as they pucker up and pop from the cold


Thank you for your post CJ, Junkfish and Irwin 1951!!! Recently, some of the tiles have cracked/chipped and I my wife covered them up with the rug.

For piece of mind, I'll probably wet the tiles and remove them one by one. Thanks again guys!
post #7 of 19
Don't use your vacuum to suck up the dust either, or everytime you vacuum you will be blowing asbestos fibers all over the house.

Take your time and try to keep the pieces intact. Irwin1951 is right dry ice works great and makes it much easier to remove them whole.
post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CJS View Post
Don't use your vacuum to suck up the dust either, or everytime you vacuum you will be blowing asbestos fibers all over the house.

Take your time and try to keep the pieces intact. Irwin1951 is right dry ice works great and makes it much easier to remove them whole.



Great tips guys! Thank you very much!!
post #9 of 19
my house had them. i was told by an insulator/asbestos worker to always assume the 9x9 are asbestos, but as said very low percentage. when they put them in my house they put them on lauan, i was lucky and able to pull up the sheets of lauan with tales attached. we have one room left with them and they were covered by such an old rug it was probably more hazzardous to out health. my wife opted to remove the rug and make do with the tile till i get around to dealing with it.
post #10 of 19
Good tips above, I also am a RI/MA licensed asbestos monitor/inspector. Like the fellas said, if they are in good condition leave them be or go over them with new vinyl floor tile. If you choose to remove them, try each method a tile at a time to see which works best, wetting/dry ice/prying tools. You can also use a heat gun to loosen the mastic, usually the easiest way to go. Chances are your tile is in decent shape and 20-30 years old, asbestos is an excellent building material.

I have never worked in NJ, but in RI and MA, any disturbing of an ACM, asbestos containing material, requires a notification to the state, and only a licensed asbestos contractor can perform the work. Everything must be properly containerized and disposed of at an approved facility as well, can't just dump into your local landfill. That said, many people do the work themselves since hiring someone to do a survey, get the materials analyzed, then hire an asbestos contractor costs big dough. Not really dangerous with tile and mastic provided the materials don't break or shatter during removal, but other friable materials should really not be messed with.
post #11 of 19
Hopefully you guys are still reading this thread..

Wonder if it would be safe to drive fasteners through the asbestos containing tile to the concrete under them? I was thinking of trying to cover ours by putting down tile on a cement board underlayment, and securing the cement board down in place with a powder actuated nail gun. Thoughts? Would there be a risk of the asbestos powder to fly around or come up through the fastener holes?
post #12 of 19
You don't need to install backer board. If the tiles are not loose you can tile right over them. You will need to use the proper thinset adhesive and you might also want to use a product like Ditra which is a membrane that holds everything together and prevents cracks.
post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by speedracer View Post
You don't need to install backer board. If the tiles are not loose you can tile right over them. You will need to use the proper thinset adhesive and you might also want to use a product like Ditra which is a membrane that holds everything together and prevents cracks.







You might also try Nobelseal TS aka DalSeal @ DaTile. The tiles underneath need to be firmly affixed.



post #14 of 19
Thanks! I will consider that for sure.

The thing is that some of the tiles have already come lose/are missing, and I suspect some of the others may not be that well set either (I'll have to check; we are in the process of buying the house and have not had a chance to really look into it carefully).

So, assuming that the old tile is not terribly well set (and barring just removing them altoghether), would nailing through a cement board through the tile pose any risk of the asbestos becoming airborne?
post #15 of 19
I wouldn't recommend using a PAF to affix.CBU to the floor. It might work but might turn into a boondoggle.



If you won't remove the tiles and some are missing, loose, whatever- traditional mud over paper and lath is the best option. The only downside being you'll have to redo the stairs as the mud will raise the floor over an inch.The upside being you'll have a flat and level tile ready surface.



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