While homeowners are allowed to remove asbestos from their homes in most states, removing asbestos tile is typically not a job that most homeowners should tackle.
Other types of material such as asbestos siding can be safely removed by homeowners (with the proper equipment and precautions) but removing floor tiles is another story, especially asbestos tile that will likely be very difficult to remove.
The single biggest issue with safe asbestos removal is not disturbing the material and breaking or chipping it, which can release dangerous asbestos fibers into the air.
As anyone who has tried to remove old floor tiles, it’s next to impossible to get them off intact, and that’s a recipe for disaster and danger when asbestos is involved.
DIY Remove Asbestos Tile
If you can’t afford to have asbestos tile professionally removed, it’s much better to consider options that keep the floor tile and place, with new flooring going on top of it.
This may seem like a shoddy approach to the problem but is actually often the recommended course of action when asbestos is involved.
It’s often much safer to keep the asbestos encapsulated and in place instead of risking the dangers involved in removing it.
Asbestos is only dangerous when the fibers are friable and airborne, so leaving the material in place is often the best course of action.
Tile is particularly difficult to remove and old grout and mortar may also contain asbestos, so the complete removal of all old asbestos tile can be dangerous and very costly if handled by a professionally licensed asbestos contractor.
Encapsulation Versus Asbestos Tile Removal
Encapsulation simply means that old tile is left in place and covered by new material.
The biggest risk with any asbestos containing material is that it may be exposed and chipped, broken, or torn, potentially releasing dangerous fibbers into the air.
While encapsulation doesn’t remove asbestos material from your home, it does render it safe by preventing it from becoming broken and dangerous.
Unlike with removal projects, encapsulation of asbestos tile flooring can often be tackled by homeowners, as old flooring is covered with new flooring installed on top of it.
Any flooring contractor can also install new flooring on top of old asbestos tile, as most states don’t require specialized licensing or training since the asbestos containing material will not be disturbed or removed.