Occasionally we are questioned about basement flooring.  Just the other day at a home inspection in Glencoe, Illinois the asbestos question came up.  My client was concerned about the possibilities of asbestos flooring in the basement of her perspective home.  Generally, we can identify if a floor is made of asbestos visually but the proper way is to send it to a lab for analysis.

On arrival to the home inspection in Glencoe, I noticed that the home was a tri-level from the early 50′s.  The siding was made of brick and aluminum. I looked at the siding material because there were companies that use to use products that contained asbestos in them for manufacturing of siding.

I began my inspection on the inside of the home with no out of the ordinary surprises to speak of.  Again, this was a traditional built tri-level from the 1950′s. The structure of the home inspection in Glencoe  was in superior condition. Generally these type of homes have been modified or upgraded.   In this instance, it was like I was in  a time warp back in the 50′s.  This is great for the new buyers because it is a blank slate to design the home with your own style.

When I entered the basement of the home inspection in Glencoe I noted that the flooring was set up like a shuffle board court.  The tiles were made of vinyl and  were 9″*9″.  These are the traditional signs that the flooring is made of asbestos material.  On further review ,I concluded that is was made of asbestos.

The good news is that the flooring was in great shape.  Like I said the home was in a time warp.  The flooring was not chipped or peeling up anywhere.

My suggestion was to leave it alone.  Asbestos flooring is only a threat  if it has been disturbed  or has portions that have been removed.  Generally this type of tile was used up to the 1980′s.  There are many types of asbestos flooring that was used from the 1920-1980′s in homes , commercial and  industrial buildings.

If you own a home or are buying a home that you think might have asbestos, please contact us for assistance at– www.pinnaclepropertyinspection.com  Jim Kolke

  • Great post. I am just starting my blog as well. Do you find it hard to have something to say, because I don’t feel like natural writer and it seems to come natural for you.

  • Francoise~ I really love what I do so writing about it is enjoyable to me. The best part of what I do is see when someone gets what Im talking about. Jim Kolke

  • Commercial property assessment by a certified inspector…

  • Leslie Bauer:

    We are thinking about buying a house that has this kind of floor in the basement. Can we cover it over with vinyl flooring or does that have to be stuck to a subfloor? Or could we put berber carpet down onto it?

    I didn’t think to examine it closely for any damage to the floor. The house was built in 1969.

  • Leslie, You can cover the asbestos tiles if they are in good condition. Frayed or damaged asbestos tiles may still be able to go “airborne” if damaged and covered with carpet.
    Jim kolke

  • [...] If you have a basement and the tile floor is 9″ x 9″ then the probability that those tiles are asbestos is very high.  Asbestos tiles and pipe wrapping is not an issue unless it is disturbed.  If the [...]

  • kay:

    I have asbestos tiles in my basement and have a boiler, which needs to be replaced,
    *on* (yikes) the tiles and to remove it will probably disturb them. Also, some tiles don’t look like they are all in good condition. We have also had a flood in there. I guess there are 2 questions here:
    1. How can I replace my boilder?
    2. What shoudl I do about the damaged tiles

    -worried mom of 3 kids… eek.

  • Karen:

    Hi – My daughter currently went through home inspection. One of our concerns is that the tile is asbestos (it looks just like the tiles in your picture). Her question now is should she go through w/ the purchase (seller does not want to test the tiles for asbestos)? I have no clue as to what the cost is to test, or remove if it is asbestos. Can you give e a ball park figure on what the cost may be? Also, because she really loves the house. Would you say it would be safe to cove w/ pergo flooring?

    Concerned Mom from Maryland,

  • Karen,

    We test asbestos tiles here in Chicago for $125.00 a sample. 1 sample will do the trick and tell what you have. If the tiles are in good condition then I would leave them unless you just are to nervous to have that around. If the tiles are damaged then I would plan on having them removed. the cost for removal all depends on the mastic on the floor. If the mastic is asbestos it may cost much more than a regular removal. What is the square footage of the area that may or may not have asbestos tiles?? Please email me back so I can assist you. Thanks for the question.

    Jim Kolke

  • Kay,

    It really depends on how damaged the asbestos tiles are. If they are chipping and frayed then I would plan on removing them to prevent any future health issues. I would have them tested so that you are not worring for no reason. A asbestos test can range from $50- $125 depending on where you are in the country and if you do it your self or hire a company for the service. The remopval of the boiler is a standard replacement depending on the size and make. If you like you are more than welcome to send pictures to my email address so I can assist you. Thank you for the question.

    Jim Kolke

  • […] curb box is easy to perform in the future.  This is exactly what was done for the clients of the Glencoe home inspection.  My clients from this property had no idea how important the curb box was to their new home.  To […]

  • […] was inspected was an older home that had vermiculite insulation that was also able to be tested for asbestos all in one […]

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