safe removal and decontamination


First of all, are you sure there is asbestos in your floor tiles? Make sure your vinyl floor is actually coated with asbestos, not all vinyl floors contain this material. Take a soil sample and have it analyzed, the cost is minimal. On the other hand, if you decide not to check for asbestos in your floor, assume it contains it and treat it accordingly.

Is it safe to remove asbestos floor tiles?

Unlike many asbestos-containing materials, vinyl asbestos flooring is generally safe. However, it’s a whole different story if you decide to withdraw it.

Vinyl is a type of plastic that has long been a popular material for tiles and floor tiles. In fact, old vinyl products containing asbestos can still be found in many buildings in Canada today, creating a risk for independent contractors and renovators.

The reason is very simple: working with asbestos floor tiles can release toxic dust. Lack of awareness in the past has caused terrible illnesses over time for many workers. They must take several precautions to safely dispose of asbestos floor tiles and it is always best to leave the removal of these to qualified professionals!


The dangers of asbestos tiles

Asbestos is a toxic mineral that manufacturers once mixed with many building materials. When these old materials are removed or moved, they release dust that can make people sick later in life.

Asbestos is fibrous, which means that it can be separated into a soft, woolly consistency. The mixture of asbestos fibers in building materials makes them stronger and more resistant to heat. This is why asbestos was a popular additive in vinyl flooring for much of the 20th century. Unfortunately, inhalation of asbestos dust can lead to several serious illnesses.

When you breathe in microscopic asbestos fibers, they can get stuck in your body forever since the human body cannot remove them. Instead, they can eventually lead to the buildup of scar tissue or genetic changes that can lead to cancer.

It is safer to assume that any flooring material installed before 1980 contains asbestos. Without a manufacturer’s label, you can’t tell if a product contains asbestos just by looking at it.

To ensure this, you can ask a professional for asbestos removal to inspect the material or send a sample of the flooring to a laboratory for testing.


Safely remove asbestos tiles, deal with experts to remove an asbestos tile


Remember that it is better and safer to leave the removal of asbestos flooring to professionals. Indeed, these experts will use protective equipment against asbestos exposure and will know what special procedures to apply to avoid contaminating the entire building.

As a general rule, the law requires licensed professionals to remove asbestos from commercial buildings. Some jurisdictions allow private owners to remove asbestos-containing materials themselves, although doing it yourself is not recommended.

Equipment for the safe removal of asbestos flooring includes:

  • Sheets of plastic to seal the work area: In order to prevent asbestos contamination from spreading, workers should cover the air vents, doors and windows with plastic shutters and turn off the appliances. heating, ventilation and air conditioning. Any items that cannot be removed from the work area should also be covered with plastic. 
  • Respirator with HEPA filter: ordinary dust masks do not protect microscopic asbestos fibers. Each worker must wear a mask with HEPA filter. 
  • Air purifier with HEPA filter: installing an air purifier in the work area reduces the risk of contamination. 
  • Disposable coveralls and gloves: Asbestos is difficult to remove from clothing, even when washing it. Workers must wear coveralls or disposable clothing. 
  • Since removing tiles with asbestos can be a risky task, it is best to contact a team of experts for this part of your renovations. Several pieces of equipment are necessary to ensure both health and safety and a specific procedure must be followed at all times, so save yourself energy and call on the pros!