How to Safely Remove Asbestos Floor Tiles

Sheetal Mandora Nov 7, 2018
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If you're trying to cut down on expenses, you can learn how to safely remove asbestos floor tiles on your own. Read on to know more.
Even though undertaking home improvement tasks can cut extra household expenses, there are certain tasks which should be left for professional contractors. So before you get on with this project, think about it few more times and then make your decision.This is not to scare you but asbestos is a dangerous substance to be dealing with.
Asbestos was used extensively because it used to cost less to its manufacturers and is fire resistant. So houses which were built before the year 1989 have these tiles installed. Although these tiles are durable, removing them becomes very important. Let's learn how to safely remove asbestos floor tiles.

When Should You Remove Asbestos Tiles?

When tiles are exposed to heat and water, they weather out and age. This makes the flooring weak and they turn crumbly or powdered. Due to this, there is a high risk that the materials can be released in the air and be inhaled by people in the house. As this is a huge health hazard, finding a safe way to remove asbestos tiles is very, very important.
People who have inhaled these harmful particles have been known to get chronic lung diseases and have difficult breathing; there are chances of cancer as well. So don't waste time in making the decision and remove the tiles as soon as possible.

Steps to Remove the Tiles

Asbestos tiles need to be taken care of otherwise they can become hazardous. When your tiles begin to turn crumbly, remove them immediately. And while you're removing these tiles by yourself, ensure that they don't break as you might inhale harmful microscopic asbestos fibers from the air. So, follow the steps given here and do it with extreme care.

Step 1:

Close the entire perimeter as asbestos can't be detected with naked eyes. The tools you'll need are - polyethylene sheets, duct tape, HAZMAT suit, rubber gloves, eye goggles, water, wet rags, bucket, gallon jug, dish detergent, utility knife, hammer, sander, rubber boots, HEPA filtered respiratory mask, cardboard boxes, and asbestos disposable bags.
Make sure that everyone who is going to be inside, removing the tiles is wearing the proper attire. Also, don't keep going in and out of the rooms while removing the tiles.

Step 2:

Before beginning, wear your proper work attire and remove everything from the room; books, furniture, clothes, plants, etc., and the stuff which can't be moved, they need to be draped with the polyethylene sheets and secured with duct tape. The room has to be absolutely empty so that nothing catches the asbestos particles while you're removing the tiles.

Step 3:

Cover all the walls, ceiling, and doors in the room where you'll be working so that when you remove the tiles, no particles can stick to them. When you place a polyethylene sheet on both sides of the door, make a slit so that you can go in and out of the room with ease.
Again place a sheet in front of the slit sheet to cover the exit properly. Don't let anyone walk in without wear the right attire and don't go out too much either.

Step 4:

Keep all the items outside the covered room and have someone hand them to you when required. Ask this person to wear the HAZMAT suit, rubber gloves, and a respiratory mask.
Now let's say that you used the utility knife or hammer, you need to disinfect it. For that, make a mix with dish detergent and water. So when you hand the items back out, the person on the other side can place them in the dish detergent water. In a bucket, pour 1 cup dish detergent in 5 gallons of water.

Step 5:

Now let's see how to remove asbestos floor tiles. Wet the floors with surfactant water and let the water soak up the asbestos particles. This way, there is no risk of inhaling asbestos from the atmosphere. Take the hammer and utility knife to remove the tiles. Pry the tiles from the edges and make sure they don't break or crack during the process.

Step 6:

Ask the person sitting out to line the cardboard boxes with polyethylene sheets and place the disposable bags in. Bring the boxes in and place the old tiles in the disposable bags and then in the boxes. As the boxes fill up, cover the bags with the polyethylene sheets properly and duct tape them.
Once all the tiles are removed and placed in the boxes, hand them to the person outside. Now take the sander and remove the adhesive from the floor.

Step 7:

In the end, use wet rags to wipe the floors and surfaces in the room. Make sure that you don't vacuum or use a mop. Remove polyethylene sheets from the walls, ceiling, and door and fold them properly.
Now take fresh disposable bags, place them in the bags, and seal the bags with duct tape. Do the same for your clothes, gloves, and boots. Immediately after finishing the task, take a shower and wash your hair properly.
Now there's one last thing to take care. The boxes which you used to dispose the asbestos tiles in, they have to be taken care of as well. For this, you need to contact your local garbage service and inform them that you need to dispose of cardboard boxes that have asbestos tiles in them. They will pick them up immediately and take care of it.
Take all necessary precautions and if you feel that you won't be able to handle this task on your own, don't shy from calling a professional contractor.
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