You have probably heard about asbestos and know that it is dangerous, but did you know it can be found in your vinyl tiles? Most people think about asbestos being in the walls, and while there is definitely a risk in the walls of older homes, it can be in many other places as well. Asbestos, which consists of fibrous minerals that occur naturally, are extremely dangerous and toxic.
Asbestos compounds used to be found in homes due to their fire-resistant nature, but when it was linked to cancer, it was prohibited. Unfortunately, some homes still contain vinyl tiles and other materials with asbestos. Here is what you should know about asbestos in your tiles.
Where can asbestos be found?
There are a lot of materials in your home where you might find asbestos if you have an older home. This includes your vinyl tiles and other flooring tiles, as well as drywall, roofing materials, insulation, plumbing work, gas fireplaces, wall and ceiling joints, stovetop pads, textured paint, and oil and coal furnaces. Before you do any home remodeling or demolition, be sure to have your home inspected.
Why is having asbestos in tiles so dangerous?
Asbestos contains naturally-occurring minerals, but together, they become toxic. While you might not realize it, just the act of pulling up the tiles and disposing of them can cause the asbestos dust to fill the air, which you might then inhale or congest. Even with gloves and a dust mask, you are still at risk, and should not perform renovations if you suspect asbestos. Consider how much dust occurs when doing other home projects or just throwing materials into a dumpster. All that dust could be inhaled.
How can you have the tiles tested?
There are a few different ways you can test the vinyl tiles in your home before you start your home project. The first and easiest way is to try and find leftover vinyl tiles in the home. Many times, builders will have spare tiles they used for flooring, and they will store them somewhere in the home. This is done just in case you have damage to a tile and need to replace it. Check around your home to see if there are spare tiles, such as in crawlspaces, in your garage, basement, or attic. You might not realize leftover tiles are stored there. You can send the leftover tiles to a testing facility. Be very careful when handling them and always use gloves.
The other way to have the tiles tested is by having an asbestos inspection company come out to your home. They will remove a sample from one of the tiles and have it sent to their lab. They will inform you once the testing is done and let you know if there were traces of asbestos found. If so, you will need to have a qualified contractor remove the tiles from your home while you stay somewhere else. This is important so your family and pets don't accidentally inhale it. To learn more about asbestos removal, visit American Abatement.