Asbestos is a somewhat unique danger; it can pose significant health risks when airborne and inhaled but remains perfectly safe and inert if left undisturbed.
This unique nature makes asbestos tile removal problematic, as you need to balance competing concerns when tackling the issue.
Asbestos fibers are only dangerous when friable and airborne, so in some cases the safest course is to avoid asbestos tile removal and instead safely encapsulate and cover any tiling or flooring material.
Risks of Asbestos Tile Removal
While you obviously would prefer to have a home free of asbestos, in some cases attempts to remove it will create a greater health risk than simply leaving it in place.
Removal of any asbestos material can also be very, very expensive, and disposal costs must be accounted for as well.
This is especially true of tile and sheet flooring, as it’s very difficult to remove it without breaking up the material and releasing potentially dangerous fibers into the air.
Any removal of asbestos-containing material (ACM) must be accompanied by precautions and equipment that will collect any disturbed fibers, a difficult and costly endeavor.
Can I Remove Asbestos Tiles Myself?Avoid the temptation to attempt to remove asbestos tiles yourself.
Even if all the asbestos tile is removed intact the glue and adhesive left on the floor often contains asbestos fibers as well, with attempts to strip or sand it off creating a potentially huge health hazard.
Removal and remediation is a job best left to the professionals in cases like this, who are armed with the proper equipment and training to safely and effectively remove all hazardous materials and handle asbestos tile disposal.
Options to Asbestos Tile Removal and Abatement
In many cases the safest option is often to avoid asbestos tile removal altogether and instead pursue a new flooring solution that leaves the old tiles in place and intact.
This is a completely viable and recommended approach despite the fact that it seemingly just covers up the problem of asbestos.
Covering and encapsulating asbestos material is a standard method of dealing with a wide range of asbestos containing materials.
As long as proper care is taken when installing the new flooring, there’s virtually zero risk of any dangerous fibers being disturbed, with the potentially dangerous material now completely enclosed and guaranteed to remain undisturbed.