Asbestos linoleum

Discussion in 'Flooring' started by TxBuilder, Mar 7, 2006.

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  1. Mar 7, 2006 #1
    We have linoleum from the 60's or 70's. What are the chances it contains asbestos? Can I remove it myself if it does or do I need to call in a company that does that removal for health risks?
     
  2. Mar 8, 2006 #2

    inspectorD

    inspectorD

    inspectorD

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    Have it tested at an environmental co. or your local health dept.
    Another option is to go over it.
    ;)
    InspectorD
     
  3. Mar 16, 2006 #3

    kenny k

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    I have installed flooring for 14 years and my advise is if you are not sure about the vinyl then you can cover it with another vinyl or use a 1/4 inch luan board as a subfloor eather way its leagle to do.
     
  4. Mar 17, 2006 #4

    BillsCatz

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    May or may not be asbestos, tho it was more common in the 60s than the 70s. Might be plain old linoleum, too. Is it glued down, is the main question in my mind. If so, it's almost impossible to remove anyhow as they typically used an asphalt-based black adhesive. I'd vote for the go-over method.

    Bill
     
  5. Mar 17, 2006 #5

    birken

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    If your going to tile then tile over the linoleum. It makes a barrier incase the foundation cracks or moves so your tile won't.
     
  6. Mar 21, 2006 #6

    Jaz

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    Hi All,

    You can be assured that your sheet vinyl contains asbestos. Most of it is in the backing if it's white in color. (The backing I mean). Asbestos was widely used until the ealry to mid '80's.

    You didn't mention if the subfloor is wood or concrete. If wood, there should be a thin layer (1/4") of some type of underlayment under the flooring. This is what you want to remove, along with the attached flooring. Cut the vinyl and the 1/4" stuff into smaller sections and remove both in one operation. This way the asbestos is not disturbed.

    What will you be installing in its place?

    BTW, linoleum or sheet vinyl was never installed with black adhesive.

    As for the idea of installing tile (ceramic) directly over sheet vinyl, I don't think much of that at all.

    Jaz
     
  7. Mar 21, 2006 #7
    It is glued to the concrete. We will be installing satillo. I thought of tiling over it. I read it creates a good barrier if the foundation settles the linolum will prevent the tiles from cracking.

    Not true?
     
  8. Mar 22, 2006 #8

    Jaz

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    It's a terrible idea, but it will work out most of the time if the lino is stuck well in the begnining, and if it's not one of those soft sheet vinyls. If you're willing to take a chance...go ahead. Not something I'd recommend.


    Jaz
     
  9. Mar 23, 2006 #9

    birken

    birken

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    Why is it a bad idea exactly?
     
  10. Mar 24, 2006 #10

    Jaz

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    There are many reason not to rely on the old sheet vinyl to make a satisfactory base for ceramic or stone tiles. Most would think the main reason not to try this type of installation is the inability to achive a satisfactory bond to the vinyl. With modern mortars, this is no longer a problem, a good bond can be attainable with these special mortars.

    I think the main cause of failure is that vinyl flooring will not stay 100% stuck over the entire area for ever. After all. these coverings are installed with water soluble adhesives which can become loose without showing signs that they are loose unless you do some close investigation. More often than not, the desire to just go over vinyl floors is when the substrate is concrete because it's more difficult to remove than if the substrate was wood. Most of these floors are on or below grade which means there is often moisture wicking up which results in a poor bond, and as mentioned before it's sometimes impossible to know if the bond is good or just hanging by a thread.

    As for the crack-isolation value, there are many products that are designed for that purpose, and that actually work. :D

    Other reasons not to; The old vinyl should be scarified to get a good bond. Some older vinyl floors contain asbestos and they should not be sanded. Many, perhaps 70-80 % of vinyl floors are too soft and so ceramic over them is a no-no. Most sheets vinyls are not made by the old 'inlaid' method, (hard) rather they are 'printed' and those have a thin foam layer which makes the pattern. Many floors are 12' wide, some 9' wide, those are ALL too soft. The inlaid type come/came no wider than 6' wide.

    In addition, some vinyls in the last 20-25 years were installed using the 'perimiflor' method. That is glueing only around the edges and the seams. They appear to be full spread, but they are not.

    Having said all that, yes, it is possible, but only if the old is not one of those soft sheet goods. It has to be stuck real good, especially around the edges, and you have to be willing to take a chance that it might fail 20-30 % of the time within a few years, often within the first seasonal cycle.

    If you are a tile contractor and want to do it by the book, you'll pass and go to the next job where the people want the work done the way it should be done.


    Jaz
     
  11. Aug 2, 2006 #11

    psych1

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    I've got about 200 square feet of old linoleum I just tore up which suggests you are wrong. BTW after spending several hours scraping the black stuff up, I spilled some water on it and found it to be water soluble and therefore easily wiped off. I should note that I was very careful in the removal to minimize the risk of asbestos exposure.
     
  12. Aug 3, 2006 #12

    glennjanie

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    Hi Tx:
    I vote for the solution by Jaz. If the vinyl is glued directly to the concrete there is a stripping machine that works wonders taking it up. Check with the rental tool store.
    Glenn
     
  13. Aug 3, 2006 #13

    asbestos

    asbestos

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    I spent a few years working in asbestos abatement. Get the stuff tested so you know. The thing with the sheet flooring is when you try and pull it up half of the 'paper' stays down and half goes. the 'paper' is the asbestos part so as you pull it apart, you release mass amounts of fibers (it is not dust, but fibers you can not see) unlike asbestos tile, where the asbestos is bound into the matrix, sheet goods are friable. if it is stuck to concrete you can only hope they only glued the edges. on wood floors we almost always just pulled up the subfloor and everything. a test costs less then $50 money well spent. Many states will allow HO to do abatement. find out. But this is a type of project that is quite high risk. A professional abatement company may not be as expensive as you think.
     
  14. Aug 3, 2006 #14

    Jaz

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    Physc1,,

    I don't know what kind of adhesive you found under that sheet vinyl you removed but I'm very sure it's NOT cutback adhesive. First of all, the black glue is not water soluable. Cutback is the tar-based adhesive that was used under asphalt and vinyl asbestos tiles. It's still used today. Never under sheet flooring, unless by mistake or someone removed the old tiles and decided that since the black stuff was still tacky........?

    If the adhesive you removed was water based, most likely it was what was know as linoleun paste. It was dark brown and unlike cut-back would actual dry and become brittle. Or if you're sure it was black, maybe it was paste that had mildewed because it wicked moisture from your concrete?

    Removing well bonded sheet goods from concrete is never much fun. If you have the proper tools it's usually doable by some homeowners. The idea is to never dry scrape backings that might contain asbestos. You are instructed to keep to floor wet then put everything in double plastic bag, tag with a warning note, and then dispose properly. Find out from your town what all that means.

    As for this abatement business, many people in our business think it's blown way out of proportion. But many companies are making good money doing it and with all the lawyers around and "a little junk science" (EDIT: Jaz expressed an opinion.) thrown in, they have most homeowners scared. Today most flooring companies won't remove old floors such as this, they can't afford to.

    Jaz
     
  15. Aug 4, 2006 #15

    asbestos

    asbestos

    asbestos

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    >>Your business is flooring. I would not hire an epidemiologist to set tile.

    >>"junk science?" sounds nice but what do you mean?
     
  16. Aug 4, 2006 #16

    Square Eye

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    Asbestos abatement has been the fuel for a lot of nonsense lawsuits and price gouging in the past. States have mandated regulations and the free capatalist market has made it a little easier to afford and to find a competitive market. Junk Science? There are many pollutants out there now, but asbestos is one of the worst. It has been conclusively linked to cancer. Whether it's in brake dust or housing products, it's not a product that I want my kids exposed to.

    If you decide to do your own asbestos abatement, research first. Consider the risk, research your local codes and find out where your local asbestos disposal facility is located. Don't dump it on the neighbor's farm, you'll put him at risk for an EPA nightmare. Whether you think the asbestos risk is real or not, the government has determined that there is sufficient risk to regulate it.

    Do your homework before you jump in and find yourself in trouble, or worse, wondering if you have shortened the days you will see on this Earth.


    Take care,
    Tom in KY
     
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