After closing we could only hold off through our celebration lunch at Wendy's before we had to get to work. We were both eager to see what was under the existing carpet and we found just what we wanted... original hard wood floors!!
We easily removed the carpet in the living room, master, and office, but as we moved into the kitchen we found our first can of new home owner worms. As we started to lift the kitchen flooring we realized that what was underneath could contain asbestos. To be safe we covered the floor with plastic while we did some of our own research.
What we found...
Asbestos is known to cause lung cancer and can be found in materials manufactured from the 1900s to the late 1970s. You can't determine if your materials contain asbestos just by looking at them, but what you can do is send a sample to be tested. We found a great company in California where we mailed our samples and with in days we had our results!
If you are planning to send in samples ...
1. Turn off your heating and cooling system
2. Wear a mask and gloves
3. To reduce fibers getting into the air, have a spray bottle with water to wet down the area you are working.
4. Do not disturb more of the material then you have to.
5. Follow these simple instructions from Western Analytical the company we used) to label and submit your material
6. Cover the exposed area back up until you hear your results.
We sent our samples out on Monday and by Wednesday afternoon our results were emailed to us, no asbestos! With the great news we continued to tear up the existing kitchen floor. Sadly what we discovered was a third layer of material! We quickly packed up a sample of the new layer and by mid week we found out what was really on the floors, not asbestos (relief) but tar (a lot of extra work)!
Needless to say we have been super busy and after 4-5 weeks we are living in the basement till the floors on the first level our done. It could take hours and hours of work but we are hoping to get the tar off and refinish all the wood floors soon. We will of course keep you posted on flooring round 2!
Asbestos follow up
Because removing asbestos can be expensive the best thing to do if your results come back positive is to leave the material as is and put new flooring over the top of it. If you have to remove it make sure you hire a professional.
For more information on asbestos you can start by checking out United States Environmental Protection Agency and Western Analytical.
My mind wonders a lot, just ask my husband! Certified interior designer (NCIDQ 32557), artist, photographer, maker, and storm chaser. Sharing our home renovation, photography & designspiration!