Asbestos Tile Removal Tips

Let's take a look at some safety measures while removing the asbestos tiles.
HomeQuicks Staff Oct 8, 2018
Asbestos was popularly used in the manufacturing of different flooring materials till 1970s. This is because asbestos fibers add extra strength to the material and is resistant towards fire. Later, it was found that when these flooring materials become friable, asbestos fibers are released into the air which is harmful for human health. 
If inhaled, it causes harm to the respiratory organs and can lead to some serious diseases like mesothelioma. There is a high chance of exposure at the time of removal of asbestos tiles. Therefore, the task has to be carried out with great care.

Preparation

First of all, it is essential that you protect yourself with adequate safety gear. You should wear such clothes that cover your body completely. You have to wear gloves, goggles and a respirator for protecting the hands, eyes and breathing organs respectively.
Some tools and materials are needed for the removal. They include - utility knife, metal putty knife, amended water, polyethylene sheets, duct tape, waste disposable bags and boxes. Gather all the equipment in the working area itself so that you do not have to leave the site again and again. Thus, you can prevent contamination of other areas in the house.
Preparation of the working area is very important. A good preparation means minimum exposure of asbestos to the surroundings. Turn off the air conditioners or the heaters of the room. Remove all the movable objects from the floor. Cover up the remaining objects and outlets like windows and vents with polythene sheets and seal them up with duct tape.
To start with, thoroughly wet the flooring with amended water. The water helps to soften up the tile material and loosen up its bond with the underlying adhesive agent. Thus, the tiles can be removed easily. This is known as the wet stripping method and is considered as the safest for the removal of asbestos tiles.
You should begin from the edges and move towards the middle of the floor. Do not drill, cut or saw these tiles as it results in release of a large amount of dust into the air. Use a hammer and a putty knife to loosen up the first tile. Then place the putty knife at a 45 degree angle and put some pressure on it. You can see that tile popping out.
After that, you have to remove the rest of the tiles in the same manner. Try to remove the tiles in the form of large chunks to minimize the release of powdered fibers.
Once you have finished the task, clean up the work area by wiping with a damp piece of cloth. Proper disposal of the chunks is a must to prevent environmental pollution. Put the tiles into waste boxes and seal them up. Gather up all other debris into the waste bags and seal them up.
Mark the bags and boxes that they contain asbestos materials and dispose them in the landfill area which is meant to deal with this type of garbage. Do not simply throw them off into the garbage bin near your house. Wash off all the equipment thoroughly to clean up residues from them. Finally, take a shower to get rid of dust from your body.
In some areas, there are some local laws which makes it compulsory that the removal job is done by certified professionals only. If there is any such law in your area as well, then you should follow it. Moreover, those people who feel that the procedure is difficult should also take the help of professionals.