Photo by My am is true via flickr creative commons

Flooring is a very common place to find asbestos-containing materials that are not safe to remove yourself.

Okay, I’ll admit it, my kitchen floor has seen better days. And no, I’m not posting a picture of it!

And we would probably rip it out and replace it if we owned the house. Would that be a good idea?

I’m sure you’ve run across the kind of flooring pictured above in many older buildings, whether they be stores, doctor’s offices or even homes, but this type of floor tile is not at all safe to remove yourself during a renovation project. In fact, heat, age and water can even cause them to release asbestos fibers into the air, asbestos fibers that could cause disease including cancer.Asbestos-containing materials are only safe when undisturbed.

How can you know if your flooring contains asbestos?

If your house was built after 1978, it was built after the use of asbestos for flooring was banned. If you live in or own an older home, it’s a good idea to have your home inspected for dangerous materials before you begin your renovation project.

Where can asbestos be found in an older home?

Possible locations for asbestos:

Pipe insulation
Furnace ducts
Floor tile backing and adhesive
Insulation around furnaces and stoves
Door gasket seals on furnaces and stoves
Soundproofing material sprayed on walls or ceilings
Decorative material sprayed on surfaces
Patching and joint compounds
Textured paint
Artificial ashes and embers
Automobile brake pads

Great thanks to the Indoor Air Quality Association for such a comprehensive list!

Is replacing your flooring a DIY project? It depends. If you’re not sure if you are dealing with asbestos, have it tested and then call in a professional. Alliance Environmental Group can remove any asbestos-containing materials from your home safely and completely so that you can move forward with your renovation project with confidence that you will still have your health afterwards and have time to enjoy your beautiful new home!

I have been blogging from Europe all week but will be back in sunny SoCal tomorrow! Hope you are enjoying your summer and being careful when you do your home improvement projects!

Wendy Stackhouse is the Online Community Manager for Alliance Environmental Group and AirTek Indoor Air Solutions. She welcomes your comments! For more news and tips or to ask questions of our experts, Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter! For updates on indoor air challenges, Like us at AirTek on Facebook!