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Old 07-31-2011, 05:24 PM   #1
MNTileGuy
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Asbestos Tile/Cutback Adhesive Q's

So here the situation. Homeowner already had someone come in to demo the existing floor tile, which was over the existing asbestos tile and was apparently stuck down just fine. Problem is many of the asbestos tiles came up in the tearout or became loose.

I told the HO they really need to come up and the cutback needs to be scraped up as much as possible in order to ensure a good bond. Said HO does not want to remove the asbestos tiles now. Any practical ideas/solutions here? Could just the loose ones be taken up and slc be poured to even out the surface?

Plan B is to simply pass on this. I don't have a ton of front end work invested in this, so it's not like I'm out anything.

Thoughts?
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Old 07-31-2011, 07:34 PM   #2
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I'll be chastised for saying this, but if I had to do it, I'd take the loose ones up and go over with a premium thinset or a 2 part. That stuff is usually stuck so damn good it worries me not, um hmm.
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Old 07-31-2011, 07:52 PM   #3
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Thanks for being the first to bite on this one Joe.

That is a thought. Megaflex or 254 would surely stick. It just seems that all the searching I've done on this site and elsewhere recommend getting everything off down to the cutback residue. Guess that's the "by the book" method...

Is there anywhere or one thread in particular that I could point the HO to that discusses the risks of removing asbestos tile (or lack thereof) to help persuade them? That's really my preference.

On a related note, how many of you do said removal yourselves, or do you generally leave it to others to absolve yourselves of potential liability? Just curious.
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Old 07-31-2011, 08:15 PM   #4
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I stay far away from the asbestos thing, toooooooooo much at stake. And really, I think it's best just left alone. No harm of it getting airborne if you don't disturb it .

Most likely it is non frayable, and poses no harm, but all you need is to get into some sorta battle about it and you up chits creek
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Old 08-01-2011, 10:29 AM   #5
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That's kind of what I figure. I'm guessing the materials we work with everyday are more of a hazard to our personal health than those tiles. I just don't want to take the liability risk.

Any other takers beside Joe? If you're not comfortable posting for all to read, please send a pm. I as much advice as I can get ASAP!
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Old 08-01-2011, 10:46 AM   #6
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I don't know about asbestos tile but I know about cutback.

No thinset is gona stick to it. NONE. Not even if you scrape it smooth. It still has the pores of the concrete sealed. Sticking tile to scraped cutback is no better than not scraping at all. I've torn out several floors set over scraped cutback and stuck with the best thinsets. Easy job. Take out about 300 ft in under an hour.

Now in the past I use to clean the slab with Jasco, using a brickers brush to agitate and sand to absorb. Final wash with light detergent/water followed by water rinses. After this procedure you can do an absorption test and see the slab drink water. Never had a failure/issue with this method.....but

...it's too much damn work and breathing Jasco can't be good for anybody. So my new method is a good scraping and then Protecto wrap or some other AFM. The black tar AFM types are my favorite.

It will stick and stick well to a clean scraped cutback floor and as a plus you get an AFM.
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Old 08-01-2011, 11:14 AM   #7
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Dang, so even an uber modified thinset like 254 or Megaflex will fail?

I womder if a liquid afm would stick as well as a sheet type? If I could go over everything with that, screed it with thinset and then set, I guess it could work.
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Old 08-01-2011, 08:25 PM   #8
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bump
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Old 08-01-2011, 08:47 PM   #9
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Have you had the tile tested by a lab? To see if it really is asbestos? The test is not that expensive. I have found that asbestos tile is rare in my area. Even the 8x8's are good to take up most of the time. Also vct tile is the easiest to demo especially the old stuff. Most will come up with a putty knife. The old cut back has long out lived its life cycle. If its is asbestos. Then a nice sheet good might be the trick.

I would not lay tile over it with any manufacturers thin set. You will be only stuck top the old vct. Giving you a nice floating tile floor.
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Old 08-01-2011, 09:09 PM   #10
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Guess I never even thought about getting it tested. The vct appears original to the house, which was built in the early 50's. I just assumed all the tiles from that era pretty much contained asbestos.

Just for clarity, was it normally just the tiles that contained asbestos or was it common for the cutback adhesive to contain it as well?

I'm just trying to figure out a way to do this job in a way I can stand behind in good conscience. If that's not possible, I'll pass, easy as that...
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Old 08-01-2011, 09:39 PM   #11
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Beaux,

Its asbestos everywhere here 9x9.
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Old 08-01-2011, 10:06 PM   #12
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Asbestos can be in the tile and/or the cutback. Or neither. Get it tested. Around here, it costs $20 and takes a day or two for them to process the sample. They only need a small piece the size of a coin. Make sure it has some cutback residue on it. Grab a loose piece and put it in a ziplock baggie to take to the lab.

Statistically, a 9x9 tile has a 95% chance of asbestos.

Like Joe said, don't remove the tile yourself. Unless the laws are different by you, it's not legal for you to remove unless you got yourself a special license. And if your insurance company ever found out you did...you would be dropped in a second. On the other hand, homeowners are generally able to legally remove asbestos themselves in their own homes. Many cities even help homeowners with a good set of instructions on how to do it w/o exposing themselves to unnecessary risk. And sometimes they rent out HEPA vacs for a nominal fee. And they will tell you where and how to dispose of it according to their rules. But it doesn't sound like your particular customer would be up to that.

...so get it tested already.
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Old 08-01-2011, 10:13 PM   #13
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May be , But you can not look at the tile and say yea its got asbestos in it. Not possible, even the old bird egg yellow stuff may or may not contain it. Depends on manufacture and actual time it was made. You need to have it tested the proceed from there. Most floors old enough to contain asbestos have long since been replaced. Most would be 50 years old or older.
Not many vinyl floors that old still in existence in my parts.
Been a long time since my Armstrong training course. So I could be wrong.
Have heard of the old glue containing it but never seen it on paper.

Tho I stand on the floating tile part if you lay over it. The glue has out lived its life cycle. Probably more compression holding it down than adhesive.
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Old 08-01-2011, 10:29 PM   #14
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My personal opinion is to do Plan B.

http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/asbestos/rules.shtm
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Old 08-01-2011, 10:56 PM   #15
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Well, not quite ready to cut and run yet...

I just e-mailed the HO and let them know that basically there's not much I can do to work with their floor in its current state. Sounds like the majority here don't think much of trying to get thinset to stick directly to the cutback and VAT. I can't really do a AFM with an uneven surface either. I recommend she get it tested and go from there. Sad thing is I'm sure there's plenty of guys around here that would tile right over that mess with versabond without batting an eye...

Just for reference on afm's and cutback...I did a little research. Both the liquids and peel and stick aren't too keen on oil or petroleum contaminated floors. Isn't that what's contained in the cutback adhesive? It gets confusing since they don't specifically mention cutback. Nac and Protecto wrap both say they're ok to use over well bonded VAT and VCT though. Go figure...
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