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Abestos Testing Commercial Flooring

Commercial flooring contractors may need to determine whether asbestos containing materials are present in the flooring materials they are contracted to replace.

If a building or business owner contacts a flooring contractor for renovation work, it is necessary to determine whether asbestos containing materials are present in the current flooring materials before demolition or renovation activities begin. If asbestos is detected, efforts can be taken to help ensure the safety of the building’s current and future occupants and avoid any health dangers that may result from potential asbestos exposure.

Regulations from multiple agencies are in effect when it comes to asbestos containing materials in buildings including:

  • The National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants requires that all regulated asbestos-containing materials be removed from a building prior to demolition.
  • The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality requires an asbestos survey be performed by an accredited inspector to determine the presence of asbestos in or on a structure prior to any demolition activities.
  • The Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires that employers protect employees from potential workplace hazards.

Older buildings in particular must have their flooring materials tested for the presence of asbestos before renovation activities commence.

In the recent past, it was common practice to improve the durability and functionality of heavy-duty commercial adhesives by supplementing them with asbestos fibers. Many adhesives contained asbestos and were used to install:

  • Vinyl tiles
  • Wood floors
  • Other types of flooring materials

Today, demolition or renovation activities in older and even newer buildings may expose these aging asbestos adhesives and put the health of everyone in the building at risk.

Local Case Study: Testing for Asbestos Containing Materials In Commercial Flooring

A trusted leader in the commercial floor covering industry contacted us for help with planned renovations at a local area’s city hall building. We needed to sample the building’s flooring materials, then analyze the samples for the presence of asbestos containing materials. The testing needed to be completed before new carpeting could be safely installed.

A G2 technician collected seven bulk samples of the city hall’s flooring materials including the glues and adhesives. The samples were sent to an accredited laboratory for analysis. Results showed that asbestos was not detected in any of the samples analyzed.

The test results indicated that the flooring contractor could safely remove the old flooring and install new carpeting without the need for extra precautions or concerns about potential asbestos exposure.

It’s important to note, however, that if the contractor’s workers are asked to expand their work to additional areas in the building, or they encounter any other suspicious materials during their work, those additional areas and suspect materials should be sampled and analyzed for the presence of asbestos containing materials.

Removal of Asbestos-Containing Adhesives

If asbestos is discovered in flooring materials, efforts can be made to avoid dangerous exposure issues to the building’s occupants both during and after renovation activities. Safety measures can be put in place to remove them before recovering the floor with new carpeting or other flooring.

If they are present, proper procedures and care must be taken to eliminate the potential for exposing and disturbing asbestos fibers. Removal of asbestos-containing adhesives or any other asbestos containing materials from buildings should be performed by asbestos abatement professionals who are trained to remove, repair, or encapsulate them safely.

About the author: Noal Kraft
Noal is a Principal of G2 Consultants Inc. With over 27 years of professional experience in the Industrial Hygiene and Health and Safety industry. He has worked on thousands of projects throughout the U.S.