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asbestos mastic on fir floors

Posted by Stephen Cass on November 9th, 2002 11:14 AM

My wife and I recently bought an old house. We pulled up carpet and a plywood underlayment to get to the original fir floorboards which we want to refinish, however we discovered they are covered with a black tar-like mastic that tested positive for asbestos.

I'd like to remove the mastic with a solvent but I've heard the solvent may stain the wood or seep into the pores so that the wood will not be able to absorb a future application of stain or finish.

One person advised me to sand off the mastic but I'm afraid that would release asbestos into the air.

Any thoughts on how to best remove? Or is this a hopeless cause and should I cover the floorboards back up and install new flooring on top.

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