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My $.02 ...

Posted by Jay J -Moderator on August 16th, 2001 09:12 AM
In reply to Vinyl flooring by Linda on August 14th, 2001 04:34 PM [Go to top of thread]

Hi Linda, et. al.,

Once you educate yourself on the 'risk thats presented' to you, from there you can decide if you should do the removal, if a pro should do the removal, or if you should 'encapsulate' the flooring.

I removed the flooring I had. You see, where I live, there's a thing called Seller's Disclosure. When you go to sell your home, if you are AWARE of asbestos in the home, you'll need to DISCLOSE it to a prospective buyer. Now, EVEN though we all know that this particular situation is harmless (UNLESS we put a sander or saw or the like on it), there isn't an asbestos-related hazard. We all agree that if you leave it alone, our health will be in tact. BUT, try to explain that to a prospective homeowner. Do you remember how much you knew (or didn't know) when you bought your first home?

Sooooo, I'm in favor of having it removed. I, personally, removed it myself from my home. What I did was find out where the seems were in the underlayment (which cold be Lauan or even plywood.) I then cut the flooring with a utility knife AT the seams. From there, you can determine where the sheet were at. Whilst leaving the flooring ATTACHED to the underlayment, I started at the edges of the room (where the trim was removed too), and took a crow bar and started prying up the flooring. (If you can't do this, you MUST drill a hole through the flooring, preferably in the middle of the room, so you have a place to start. After that, no problem, BUT DO WEAR A MASK for this one-time drilling!) Obviously, once you get the first sheet up, you'll have PLENTY of working room to get the rest of the sheets up. It should be EASY to get a 4' x 8' sheet out of the house once you pry it up from the floor.

OK - What do you do once you're outside with all these sheets? Well, my trash hauler requires that nothing be more than 4' in length. Since my underlayment was 1/4" in thickness, I set my power-saw-blade to 1/8" depth, and cut 'brake marks' or 'fold marks' at 1' 'intervals' on the short side, and cut just 1 fold mark perpendicular to 1' fold marks on the 8' side. Sooo, I ended up with 'strips' that were 1' x 4' (based on a 4' x 8' sheet.) See? IT can be safely done. (I STILL wore a mask when I was outside. I kinda held my breath during the cuts, which were quick, and then walked upwind and away from the dust to catch my breath. After that, I bent and broke the sheets, then cut the vinyl by hand with a utility knife at my newly-cut fold marks / seams, so I ended up with 1' x 4' strips.) Here, the vinyl and the glue and the underlayment are all still ATTACHED.

Oh, if your flooring was made (not necessarily installed) in 1977 or prior, assume there's asbestos in the tile or glue, or both. Unless you are SURE of the mfgr. date, assume the flooring is a hazard. I assumed my flooring had it since the house was built in 1973. It's quite possible that the vinyl was 'safe' but I wouldn't trust the former homeowners since, well ..., maybe they don't have a clue.

If anyone has more ?'s, post back or e-mail me directly. (THis thread is getting buried.) My best to ya all and hope this helps.

Jay J -Moderator

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