Asbestos Risk In Wall Covering?

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npautler
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Joined: Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:03 pm

Asbestos Risk In Wall Covering?

Post by npautler » Fri Aug 23, 2019 8:06 am

Hello,

We are remodeling our kitchen in our home that was built in 1960. One wall of the kitchen (that also carries down the stairs into the laundry room) has some sort of linoleum (not sure if that is what it is) sheet that comes about half way up the wall. It has been painted but I removed a switch plate to expose what it looks like (see pictures). 1) does anyone know for sure what type of material this is? 2) what is the risk that this is adhered with asbestos?

We plan to leave it in place other than a small section we are widening a door way from 30" to 36". So we will have to cut one small section away to accomplish this. If this is adhered to the wall with asbestos, is there a best practice to follow if we plan to DIY it? Or should be call an abatement company to remove the small section?
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A. Spruce
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Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2016 5:23 pm
Location: California, USA

Re: Asbestos Risk In Wall Covering?

Post by A. Spruce » Fri Aug 23, 2019 7:39 pm

Can you see the glue? If it's a black, tar like substance, then it's possible that both the surface material and the glue have asbestos in them, the only way to be sure is to take a sample and have it tested. I believe you can get cheap/free testing through your county extension office.

The key to working with asbestos is to be smart about it. You want to minimize dust, so avoid using saws that are going to create and spew dust. Wear a good quality dust mask, gloves, and long sleeve shirt. If possible, create negative pressure in the room by putting a fan in a window pushing outward.

Personally, I don't believe asbestos to be big bad boogeyman that it's made out to be. Is it a dangerous substance, absolutely, but it's only harmful if it is in a friable state, testing will not only prove it's presence, it will also determine whether it's friable or not. If it is, you need to be significantly more careful with your handling and protective gear. If it is not, basic protective gear and be mindful to minimize dust, ESPECIALLY if that dust can float throughout the house.
If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.

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