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What to do about asbestos ceiling tiles in an old house? Answered

My daughter just bought an old house that has asbestos ceiling tiles.  What's the best route? Cover them with a sealant, add a new dropped ceiling or W H A T?   Help


It might be a little pricey, but getting a professional to remove the tiles is the only way to go. Before getting into an expensive and lengthy project, have a person who does general home inspections come by and test the air quality. If they say that you need to hire someone to fix it, proceed in hiring a professional. Good luck and be swift. The longer she stays there with it the more likely she is to get sick.

When I worked at AT&T they gave us many training classes on various safety issues including asbestos safety. The buildings we worked at had asbestos in the floor tiles, the ductwork and elsewhere. If anyone drilled a hole in a floor, they were required to spray SHAVING CREAM on the surface to be drilled. This kept the particles from becoming air-borne so it would not be breathed into your lungs. This is the important thing to know. Don't disturb the asbestos, and it will not become airborne particles... and it is not a big concern. If you mess with it, then it might fracture and fly into the air and you will breath it. By the way, what did they do with the shaving cream after the hole was drilled and asbestos powder was in the shaving cream???? they just wiped it up and placed it into a plastic bag and threw it away in the regular trash. It is not toxic unless it is breathed, so it is safe to throw away like that. If you don't disturb it, you shouldn't need to worry about it. If you want it removed, hire professionals to do it.

In general if you leave it it wont be a problem. If you want it replaced you HAVE to get an expert in (usually a Federal or local law)

Thanks for the advice. I'm so worried about my grandchildren.

How do you know the ceiling tiles contain asbestos? How old are they? Houses built prior to 1950 have ceiling tiles manufactured with asbestos. If your tiles contain asbestos you need an expert to remove and dispose of those according to local and state laws.

It's best not to disturb it in any way. The real danger with asbestos is when the dust gets into the air and if you breathe this, it can cause serious illness. Being an older home, there's a good chance that asbestos is present in other areas as well. You're better off contacting a professional company to test the air quality and inspect the home. Removal (if necessary), needs to be done by experienced personnel.

Here's a link to the EPA. You can find more information for your state through that link as well.