Asbestos Tile Floor Concerns / Tips For Getting Paintbrushes Back in Shape

In Uncategorized on July 15, 2014 at 12:39 pm


Your column in the Eccentric newspaper has always been so helpful to me, which has led me to write to you about a question that I have. I have lived in my home for 57 years and my basement floor is tiled with 12-inch asbestos tiles. They have held up quite well except for some that were water damaged in my laundry room. I hope to put my home on the market soon, but I am concerned about the floor. A realtor told me that this type of floor would become an issue because it poses a health problem and must be replaced, Is this true?

My family and I have never experienced a health problem related to this type flooring since we’ve lived here. Who can I call to have it inspected and obtain a certificate stating that this type of flooring will not be a health problem for future residents?

I would appreciate any advice or references you can provide.


While I believe just about all older 9”x9” floor tiles contain asbestos, that being said, certainly your 12-inch tiles may indeed contain asbestos, which is a known carcinogenic. That being said, it is not a hazard unless they are disturbed. Disturbing them can be caused by improper removal of the floor tiles. They are best if left adhered to the floor. Asbestos is hazardous in a friable condition or when being removed improperly because asbestos dust gets into the air and is inhaled.

I am a home inspector and have been for almost 40 years and see these tiles on older houses all the time. It should not be a red flag to a purchaser if put in proper perspective. Any good, qualified home inspector will or should advise their client that any and probably all houses built around that era will have some asbestos along with lead paint and should not be a deal killer.

As for a certificate that no future health issues will arise, no one will provide that, since there is no safe level of asbestos exposure. Only an abatement company that does the removal will provide a certificate.

Regardless, in addition to being a licensed builder as well as a licensed mechanical contractor, I am also a licensed asbestos contractor/supervisor. The proper way to remove asbestos tiles is to keep them wet. While wet, pry and scrape them up with a long handled pry bar or scraper. Keeping them wet prevents asbestos dust from getting into the air and becoming a health issue. Once removed, double bag them in large plastic garbage bags and dispose of them.

My recommendation to you is to not remove the tiles. If any of them are loose, re-adhere the loose ones. Broken and small pieces in the laundry area are a result of long-term exposure to moisture and usually found around the floor drain. Don’t worry about them unless you have an issue with the floor drain backing up. If that is the case, have a plumber clean out the drain.

Hope you find this helpful.


Do you have any tips on how I can get my paintbrushes back in shape for a paint project I will be starting soon?


If the bristles on the paint brush you used last time are all bent out of shape and making the bristles on your neck stand out, well here’s a tip from the Old House Journal.

If you are using nylon brushes (the type designed for latex painting) there’s an easy solution. Put the brushes under flowing hot water from the tap. This will soften the bristles and return them to their original shape. If you want to paint right away, then put the bristles under cold water for a moment, to set them back to their correct shape.

The same procedure will also work, to a degree, with bristle brushes used for oil-based paint. But the brushes can’t be used right away because the moisture that the bristles absorb will interfere with the oil-base properties of the paint.

Well I hope this tip helps you “brush up” your painting project.

 Invite your family and friends to join my blog too!

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