Unlike many asbestos-containing materials, vinyl asbestos flooring is generally safe to be around unless you decide to remove it. It is safe to assume that like many materials made before 1980, flooring put down before then likely contains asbestos. To be certain, we highly recommend hiring an asbestos-abatement professional to inspect the material. Even when vinyl flooring is crumbling or damaged, it is considered friable- meaning asbestos fibers are being released into the air.
In many cases, the best option is to put a new layer of flooring on top of it and seal it with a coat of epoxy flooring. However, this option will keep the asbestos trapped in the floor and if you have any type of water, fire, or mold damage, the restoration company will have to pull up that flooring and get it removed by an abatement company before starting work.
To remove asbestos tiles safely, workers need protective gear to prevent asbestos exposure. They will first seal off the work area in plastic sheets to keep asbestos contamination from spreading. Then, they will set up an air purifier in the work area and wear full-face masks with HEPA filters. While doing demolition, the abatement contractor will wear disposable coveralls and gloves to throw away after the work is finished so as to not spread fibers on your clothes. They will use a pump sprayer filled with water to keep asbestos materials wet which prevents dust from getting into the air. Finally, they will use sealable plastic bags to collect the affected materials and dispose of them safely. Your restoration company should recommend an abatement contractor if there's a possibility that asbestos-containing materials exist in your home before demolition begins. If you are in need of abatement services, call Southeast Environmental today at (865) 939-4429.