The Importance of Identifying & Treating Asbestos Tiles

The Importance of Identifying & Treating Asbestos Tiles

Identifying & Treating Asbestos Tiles

Asbestos was one of the most commonly used building materials until the 1980s. It was such a popular material because of its resilience and durability. It was banned close to 40 years ago because it was discovered to pose numerous health risks.

If you are currently living in an older home, it is important to determine whether any amount of asbestos is present. When asbestos fibres are released into the air and inhaled, they pose numerous health threats.

What Are Asbestos Floor Tiles?

Asbestos floor tiles are essentially vinyl floor tiles installed between the 1930s and the late 1980s. Prior to the asbestos ban, it was a common addition to floor tiling materials. The asbestos was added to floor tiles to allow the finished product to benefit from the properties of the mineral, such as being fire-resistant.

What Makes Asbestos Floor Tiles Dangerous?

If left undisturbed, asbestos floor tiles in good condition generally don’t pose a serious risk to health. However, disturbing or disrupting asbestos flooring in any way during a remodel or any other project releases asbestos dust into the air of your home.

While the asbestos particles may be undetectable by smell or sight, you can easily breathe them into your lungs thereby exposing yourself to serious long-term health risks, which include:

  • Chest pain
  • Asbestosis
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chronic coughing
  • Lung cancer
  • Mesothelioma
  • Other cancers

How to Identify Asbestos Tile Flooring 

It is incredibly difficult to determine whether floor tiling includes asbestos without the assistance of a professional. Identifying asbestos is challenging since asbestos containing materials, and friable asbestos fibres are so tiny that they are invisible to the naked eye.

The only definitive way to determine if floor tiles contain asbestos is to have them tested. Asbestos floor tile testing allows an asbestos abatement professional to take a sample of the material and have it analysed in an accredited laboratory for asbestos fibres.

Identifying & Treating Asbestos Tiles

How to Treat or Remove Asbestos Tile Flooring?

If the asbestos-containing tiles are slightly damaged, asbestos abatement professionals can take two types of action:

  • Repair
  • Removal

1). Repair

Repair typically involves either covering or sealing asbestos material. With any type of repair, asbestos remains in place.

  • Sealing: This involves treating the materials with a sealant that either coat the material or binds the asbestos fibres together so that they aren’t released.
  • Covering: This involves placing something around or over the asbestos-containing material to prevent the release of fibres.

2). Removal

Removal may be required when remodelling or making major changes to your home likely to disturb asbestos-containing material. Removal may also be necessary if the asbestos-containing materials are extensively damaged and cannot be otherwise repaired.

Asbestos removal is complex and must only be done by trained and accredited asbestos professionals. If asbestos tile removal is not done right, it may actually increase your and your family’s exposure to asbestos fibres.

Final Thoughts

Asbestos was a popular material in the construction industry in the past, but this is no longer the case since the material was banned after the risks of asbestos exposure became widely known. Identifying and treating it is the only real solution to the problem.

It might be tempting to try removing asbestos tiles on your own, but that is perhaps one of the worst things you can do since you will be putting your health and your family’s health at risk. The best option is to work with a professional asbestos removal company.

Quality Tile Cleaning & Restoration Services

Slique offers professional tile cleaning and restoration services. If you have any issues with general dirtiness, staining, etching, dullness, scratches, fading, wear and chip marks, give us a call. Whether it is a residential or commercial site, you can always count on us to keep your property clean and safe.

For all your tile restoration and cleaning needs in Sydney, please call SLIQUE today on 02 9648 0395, or you can leave an inquiry