Asbestos was widely used in the 1970s and 1980s due to its durability, resilience, and heat-resistant properties. But over time, the use of this material was banned because of the health risks associated with being exposed to asbestos ranging from allergies to the dreaded cancer.
Even so, asbestos products that were previously installed at some houses are still not removed even to this day. So how will you be able to know if asbestos is still present inside your home? And to be more specific, how to identify asbestos tiles in your home? Stick around as we are going to tackle more about this topic in today’s blog entry.
Why Is Asbestos A Health Hazard?
Asbestos, in its dormant state, is considered harmless. But the main reason why this material is banned in house construction and insulation is that asbestos is “friable”. In short, asbestos can be easily crumbled and release tiny fibers into the air, which if inhaled or ingested, will lead to these primary health hazards: asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma.
In addition, some scientific studies also suggest that prolonged exposure to asbestos can also cause cancer in the stomach, esophagus, oral cavity, larynx, colon, and kidney.
Tips In Determining Asbestos Tiles Inside Your Home
Here are some things you need to follow to determine the presence of asbestos tiles inside your home:
- Identify The Tile Size – Floor tiles that are made before the 1990s and the 2000s have 9”, 12”, and 18” sizes. If your home tiles have any of these sizes, then it’s most likely made from asbestos.
- The Date Of The Flooring – If the flooring inside your house was installed sometime between the 50s and the 80s, then the vinyl flooring might contain traces of asbestos.
- The Location Where The Tiles Were Installed – Since asbestos is known for its durability, it was often used in tiling floors inside the kitchen, along the doorways, and mudrooms. So make sure to particularly inspect the tiles in these areas as the tiles are most likely made from asbestos.
- The Adhesive Being Used – Black mastic and cutback adhesives were extensively used in the early decades before the 90s. So if the adhesive used in a damaged floor tile is black, then there’s a possibility that your tile flooring contains asbestos.
- The Color And Damage Of The Tile – If the color of the floor tiles looks heavily stained, and oil residue is seeping through, then you can suspect your tiles to contain asbestos as asphalt tiles that are grimly discolored indicate the traces of this material in your tiles.
- The Brand Of Tiles Installed – If you have vinyl tiles are made by Armstrong, Montgomery Ward, KenTile, Sears & Roebuck, and Ever-Wear brands, then they probably contain asbestos.So it’s best to search for documentation of the previous homeowners (if available) or any excess tiles left by the tile installers below the crawlspaces, basement stairs, attics, etc. to confirm if your tiles are really made from asbestos. Just make sure not to break it as it will release the tiny fibers which can be released into the air and cause you to inhale it.
- Through Lab Testing – And finally, once you have gathered the samples, the best thing that you can do to confirm the presence of asbestos inside your house is to have the tiles tested inside a laboratory.
Local testing labs are more than willing to have your sample tested at a reasonable price. All you need to do is seal the tile sample in a bag (a Ziploc bag is recommended) and mail it to the lab facility with the $50 to $100 fee. Then wait for a couple of days or a week to get the lab result.
And there you have it, the things you need to do to identify the presence of asbestos in your house.