January 20, 2012

Identifying the Dangers of Asbestos in Floor Tiles

Asbestos in floor tiles are usually safe and even legal to keep in homes, unless they get disturbed in any way. As long as it remain in good condition, harmful asbestos fibers will never be released into the air to pose any health threat. But if you are planning to remodel your house and give its tiles a new look, it is best to consult with professionals first before even attempting to remove the floor tiles on your own.
Asbestos in Floor Tiles
For houses that have been built before 1985, a home asbestos test is a must. The dangers that an asbestos contamination poses to your family's health are numerous, and keeping on the safe side is always your best choice. Just as with asbestos in textured ceiling and in any other materials suspected of asbestos content, analysis should only be done by a qualified asbestos testing laboratory. A sample for this analysis should also be taken by a highly trained professional to prevent asbestos from contaminating the air inside your house.
A test for asbestos can lessen, if not completely eliminate the dangers of asbestos contamination in your home. Although it has been banned from use, some old houses may still have asbestos-containing materials built into it. Asbestos in tiles will not pose a threat unless the flooring gets cracked or damaged in any way. When this happens, attempting to fix or remove the damaged floor tile may not be a good idea. Again, a professional should be consulted to handle this problem.
Various environmental elements like heat, weathering, water and aging can weaken and make the tiles friable and more susceptible to damage. Friable floor tiles that are in danger of crumbling and becoming pulverized should be isolated and managed immediately. Floorings that are possibly asbestos containing should never be fixed or removed without proper precautions. Types that potentially contain asbestos include:
• asphalt-based floor tiles
• vinyl floor tiles
• sheet linoleum
• other older flooring materials glued down by mastic laced with asbestos
Asbestos testing in homes will keep your family safe from the health risks posed by asbestos inhalation. Lung diseases that include asbestosis, mesothelioma and lung cancer can be prevented by proper management of asbestos content.
If you prefer to take a sample of the flooring on your own to send to an accredited laboratory, be advised on how to do it right. Taking a flooring sample for asbestos testing is best done by a sharp knife. Scraping the surface of the tile may not be enough as it is ideal to get a square inch sample that has the mastic used to glue it to the floor.
Replacing asbestos floor tiles is not easy and attempts at removing them should be consulted with a professional first. Asbestos in floor tiles when released by any type of disturbance may lead to long-term indoor air contamination. Professionals may disapprove of removing the floor tiles, especially when they are fairly intact. However, renovations can be done by installing a new layer of flooring over the ones that have asbestos content.