Prior to 1980s, almost all floor tiles contained asbestos. In case your house was built before 1980 and there has been no flooring renovation thereafter, then, chances are high that you may be having asbestos floor tiles. If the tiles show signs of wearing or cracks, then there may already have been an exposure to asbestos fibers. Oftentimes, homeowners are urged to go for covering asbestos floor tiles rather than ripping and removing them. In this article, we will take a look at various ways of covering asbestos floor tiles, but before that, let us get acquainted with the dangers of asbestos floor covering. |
Dangers of Asbestos Floor Tiles
Asbestos fibers are associated with an increased risk of lung cancer, mesothelioma which means a cancer of the lining of chest and abdominal cavity. Besides, asbestosis is a disease exclusively caused due to inhalation of asbestos fibers for a prolonged period of time. In this disease, the lungs become scarred with fibrous tissue. However, asbestos floor tiles do not pose a risk equivalent to asbestos exposure at shipyards or factories. Asbestos used in tiling material is not friable, meaning it does not crumble easily and disintegrate to mix with air. Asbestos floor tiles are not hazardous, as long as they are intact and sealed. However, worn out, loose or cracked asbestos tiles may release asbestos fibers in the air, which can be detrimental for your health. Asbestos removal is likely to endanger your health even more, as the whole removing process may cause release of asbestos fiber in your house.
Covering Asbestos Floor Tiles
If your asbestos floor tiles are in a reasonably good condition then, you need not fear about asbestos exposure. However, you should cover it with appropriate covering material to prevent the exposure in future. Sealing asbestos floor tiles with epoxy is also considered as a remedy against asbestos exposure. Given below are some covering options for asbestos floor tiles.
Carpet Wall to wall carpet is often recommended for eliminating the hazards of asbestos flooring. However, make sure that the carpet is secured in place with the help of glue, adhesive or straps. Also, make sure that the underneath asbestos flooring is not damaged during the process of carpeting. Scraping off asbestos floor tiles may also release asbestos fibers in your home. It is best to choose a carpet with padding for better protection. While covering asbestos bathroom tiles, prefer rubber based carpets over fiber carpets.
Tile Flooring You may also cover the asbestos flooring with vinyl or linoleum flooring, or even ceramic tiles. This option can permanently eliminate the risk of asbestos exposure. However, the flooring work has to be done extremely carefully, so as not to damage the underneath asbestos flooring. When you decide to sell your home, always notify the future owners, regarding the existence of asbestos flooring underneath. This will allow them to execute caution while undertaking future renovation jobs.
Asbestos floor tile removal should be undertaken, if there has been a considerable damage to the asbestos flooring. DIY asbestos removal is not recommended, unless you have the requisite skill and expertise. Avoid using any power tools while removing asbestos tiles, as they might rip the flooring apart.
If you are not sure whether you have asbestos flooring or not, then you may get a laboratory asbestos testing done. This test is performed using polarized light and is available at a cost as little as $20. Any environmental laboratory in your area should give you the results of this test. Hope, the above article on covering asbestos floor tiles was useful.
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