Many older homes have asbestos flooring in Washington, D.C. The material wasn’t banned until 1989 by the Environmental Protection Agency. From 1920 through the 1980s, a wide range of home products used asbestos, including many types of flooring.
Worried about the safety of your flooring? Wondering if you need to pull it out? Are there alternatives ways of dealing with it?
To answer your questions, here is a quick primer on how to handle asbestos flooring in Washington, D.C.
Envirotex is a licensed, asbestos inspection and abatement contractor. We offer:
Asbestos was considered an all-purpose way to add strength and durability to a variety of building materials. It is also fireproof and has insulating qualities. On top of that, it was affordable.
That’s why it ended up in so many home products. For flooring, you can find it in:
With research, you can often figure out if the flooring in your home contains asbestos. Find out how old the flooring is, either original to the house or from a remodel. Most asbestos flooring in Washington, D.C., was made during the 1920s to 1960s.
Measure them. If they are 9”x9”, 12”x12”, or 18”x18”, they could be asbestos flooring.
Do a visual check. Are the tiles discolored? Asbestos tiles are made with asphalt, which leaches out of old tiles. If you see an oily appearing stain on the tiles or on the floor below them, they could very well be made with asbestos.
If you’re not sure, you can get the flooring tested at an independent certified lab. They can tell you for sure if you are dealing with asbestos.
Asbestos was a mainstay in home construction projects, as well as factories, schools, ships and office buildings. Asbestos gave other materials greater strength and durability.
Because it was a natural fire retardant, asbestos was added to many products to improve safety in a structure. It also improved insulation, keeping a home warmer in winter and cooler in summer.
The sad fact is that asbestos causes cancer, respiratory problems, asbestosis and a range of other diseases and chronic conditions. Fibers from asbestos products get airborne, where people breathe them in.
The fibers can stay dormant in a person for years and years. But eventually they cause diseases that are often fatal, and at the minimum make life very difficult and uncomfortable.
It was used extensively in World War II in ships. Of the more than 4 million workers in American shipyards, 14 out of every 1000 ended up dying of cancer or asbestosis.
Why don’t more home dwellers die from asbestos-related problems? It would seem logical that with asbestos used throughout older homes, millions of which are still standing and being lived in, the illness would affect everyone. But that’s not the case.
Asbestos flooring in Washington, D.C., and other asbestos products are only a risk when fibers are released into the atmosphere. This happens when flooring deteriorates, is sawed or cut, if it cracks, or is chunked down into smaller pieces.
If the flooring is in good shape, the asbestos is safely encapsulated in the tile or flooring. As long as it isn’t disturbed, it’s not a health risk to the people living in the house.
If the asbestos flooring in Washington, D.C., is damaged, it needs to be removed. It is a danger to everyone living in the house and breathing the air. If the flooring is in good shape, it can be left alone.
Many people choose a third approach. They cover the old tile with a new layer of flooring. Authorized contractors approve of this method. It isn’t just a “cover it up, forget it and hope for the best” approach. It works because it adds a covering that further encases the asbestos in the original flooring.
No, it isn’t for the do-it-yourselfer. Some homeowners figure they can remove the old asbestos flooring in Washington, D.C., by themselves to save money. It’s a bad idea. Experts like Bob Vila and at This Old House say the risk is just too great.
Proper asbestos removal, remediation, and disposal require experience, training, and specialized equipment. The work requires protective devices like respirators and masks. During the job, the air must be continually monitored to make sure fibers aren’t being released into the air.
Do-it-yourselfers too often simply make the problem worse or create one. It’s not worth the health of you and your family.
Envirotex has been helping homeowners in Washington, D.C., with asbestos flooring issues since 2000. The company has a team of specialists with the training and tools to test and remove a wide variety of asbestos products throughout the house. This includes:
Envirotex knows how to safely contain asbestos, remove it, decontaminate the site, dispose of it legally and safely and test for its presence using a certified lab.
Envirotex handles environmental projects. Homeowners, businesses, the military and others appreciate their attention to detail and thorough approach. The company has earned a reputation for listening to the concerns of each client. It is trusted by the military, completing jobs at Fort Belvoir, Quantico and numerous naval bases.
The experts at Envirotex handle a wide range of environmental problems, including:
Worried about asbestos flooring in Washington, D.C.? Call the experts at Envirotex today for a free, no-obligation quote.
About Envriotex Environmental Services
Established in Northern Virginia in 2000, Envirotex Environmental Services was founded on military service. While serving his country, the company's owner Mr. Freeman gained vast knowledge and experience in the environmental services field. His expertise in air monitoring and hazardous materials testing prepared him for his post-military career.
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