Asbestos tile was commonly used in houses prior to 1972. Due to its durability and fire-resistant properties, asbestos represented an ideal substance for making floor tile. However, at the time they did not realize that it was very dangerous when it comes back up. Since then, we have learned the dangers associated with asbestos and know that it is nothing to take lightly. It can cause mesothelioma and lung cancer in those that have inhaled it. Therefore, dealing with asbestos tile removal in the proper way is essential if you want to minimize health concerns in the future.
Step 1 - Check the Tile
The first thing that you should do is determine if the tile is actually made out of asbestos. There are other flooring materials that look like asbestos tile and you should make sure that you are dealing with asbestos before you start taking it up. If the tile is 9x9 inches and it was made before the 1980s, then there is a very good chance that it was made out of asbestos. In order to determine whether you are dealing with asbestos, you need to take a tile and send it off to be tested. There are many asbestos testing centers that can tell you if you are dealing with the substance.
Step 2 - Learn the Rules
Each state is different when it comes to the rules of asbestos removal. Some states require that you hire a certified asbestos removal company in order to do the work for you. If you disobey the rules or ignore them, you could face fines or jail time as a result. Before you do anything, contact the proper authorities and learn what they have to say about asbestos removal.
Step 3 - Wear Proper Attire
If you have checked with the local authorities and they say it is alright to go ahead with the work, you need to make sure that you have the proper attire to do the job. If you can get a protective suit to work in, this is ideal. If not, you will need a mask, gloves, safety goggles, and a respirator. You will need to use the respirator to breathe while near the asbestos, as well as other materials to help you keep it off of your skin.
Step 4 - Wet the Floor
Once you are properly dressed to do the work, you need to make sure that you thoroughly wet the floor. Getting the floor wet will help keep the asbestos contained and prevent it from getting into the air.
Step 5 - Scrape the Floor
After the floor is thoroughly saturated, you can begin scraping up the tiles one by one. You need to try to keep the tiles in one piece if possible. They will release hazardous materials if they break or crumble.
Step 6 - Seal up the Tile
Place the tiles in containers that can be sealed up tight and mark them as hazardous materials. This will ensure that none of the asbestos gets out into the surrounding air.