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Community and Q&A

Cover damaged asbestos sheet flooring or remove it?

rmrossi | Posted in General Questions on

I am working on a repair project. My clients had a pipe burst causing damage to a wall, ceiling and floor in their living room. Currently, the room is carpeted. Under the carpet (adhered directly to the beautiful 1 1/2″ original oak flooring) someone laid sheet vinyl. We wondered if this 60’s era vinyl might contain asbestos and had it tested – the backing does contain asbestos. Our option seem to be: 1. Have a certified asbestos removal company remove the entire floor (oak and all) and start from scratch or 2. Have a certified company install a new substrate over the vinyl and re-floor the area. Given the vinyl is already damaged (currently covered, but cracked and flaking after the flooding), I am hesitant to recover it. Has anyone had experience with a similar situation? Any recommendations?

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  1. 4QgL3ti4A2 | | #1

    Generally asbestos provided it is not friable and able to become airborne should not be health hazard.
    If you have to remove the VAT and the backing that is probably adhered to the oak floor It is probably has to removed and disposed pursuant to epa regulations and maybe state regulations including the oak floor. If involves a sufficient areas of VAT disturbing the material ( removing the material) may result in the asbestos becoming airborne that can be a health risk, it may require containment of the airea under negative pressure and cleaning air testing epa standard certifed removal company etc Significant expense and for what I see as questionable benefit. VAT unless really being distrubed or ground is generally not friable it should be able to be covered without risk of becoming airborne. good luck

  2. Jess O'Neil | | #2

    A great answer from marshall and well done on identifying the risk and asking the question before proceeding. Whichever option you choose, just please please be careful as exposure to asbestos can lead to illnesses and diseases which can be fatal.

  3. wjrobinson | | #3
  4. Riversong | | #4

    If the client is foolish enough to want replacement carpet, then you should be able to cover the existing floor without remediation.

    But I would ask an asbestos remediation contractor whether they can remove the vinyl without removing the oak flooring. Once the vinyl-asbestos flooring is removed, it should be possible to sand and refinish the oak flooring, since it's the vinyl and not the adhesive which contains asbestos.

  5. Robert Hronek | | #5

    I have heard that mastic can include asbestos.

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