It’s an Asbesty Situation

My house was built in 1976.  It has a certain rustic charm that makes me feel homey. It is also a bit of a health risk.  The seventies were not exactly great times for building materials.  My primary worries are asbestos and lead.  In my research, I found out that asbestos isn’t just found in insulation (which is how I imagine it), but can be found in linoleum and ceramic tile, ceiling tile, joint compound and so so much more.  I’m a little afraid to go home tonight.

However, if I don’t try to patch up this charming little house, who will?  I can’t blame the house for the lack of wherewithal of the contractors. I also feel a sense of responsibility for the people who live here after us.  This isn’t my forever home, but I’m certainly not going to pass on a house that is full of carcinogens like it isn’t my problem.  Now, if you look in the background of this picture you will be able to see one of the possible offenders.

Asbest-OH NO!

Here is a close-up


That dusty linoleum is:

  1. UGLY
  2. Impossible to get clean or keep clean.
  3. Adhered to the floor with a black adhesive that says,”I don’t look like any linoleum adhesive you’ve ever seen so perhaps you should test me for a deadly particle.” Or something.

Luckily for me, the contractor that redid the master bathroom left us a few boxes of tiles so I will be able to use those for our downstairs powder room (that contains the same dangerous/hideous tile as the kitchen) and have something to use when finding matching/coordinating tiles for the kitchen. We originally thought about wood flooring for the entire first floor, but there is something so wipeable and sturdy about tile that I really like. There are multiple places in the DIYosphere that say sealing and covering linoleum with ceramic tile is a safe and cost effective alternative to having the asbestoffender removed by asbestos professionals (a totally respectable option though). 

First things first, I will need to send a sample to a lab to determine whether or not the tile or it’s adhesive contains asbestos (my bet is yes). I found this lab that will test my samples for a small fee and get me results quickly.  The site has very clear instructions on how to gather your sample and how to ship it. My samples ship out in the morning and I’ll post the results here.  I guess we’ll see how they change the plans we had for our slooooow remodel.

Have you had to deal with asbestos or lead related issues in your home?  Have you ever had anything really surprise you while you were planning a remodel?


2 thoughts on “It’s an Asbesty Situation

    1. Yeah it can be very hazardous, but I can’t be sure if most of the building materials in my house are safe based on the year it was built. As long as the materials are disturbed (scratched up), then it’s probably ok.

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