If you've moved into an old home, then there's a possibility that you could be stepping on vinyl asbestos tiles or living under ceiling tiles laced with asbestos. This material was used in the past but is no longer used due to its health impacts. Asbestos has been proven to be a cause of a variety of diseases including, but not limited to, lung cancer. Test the floors and ceilings for asbestos, and if the lab results are positive, then here are some of the things you should do.
Seal asbestos that is undamaged
If the tiles are completely intact, then the safest move would be not to disturb them at all. Asbestos containing tiles are safe so long as they are not cracked or disturbed. The fibres are only released when the tiles are damaged.
If you think the tiles are in good shape, even asbestos removal companies would advise you to simply seal the surface up. Some waxing and epoxy paint can do a good job in sealing floor tiles. Additionally, you can glue a hardwood layer above it to protect the tiles from any exterior damage.
But covering them up only works if the tiles are not already damaged (or close to damage). If there are any signs of old age such as peeling or crumbling, then a removal is necessary. For small areas, you can manage a DYI feat, but if the tiles are comprehensively damaged, then calling asbestos disposal professionals would be your best option.
Turn off AC
You can't deal with asbestos when the air conditioning is on. This simply increases your exposure to the asbestos fibres because they will travel throughout the room. Also try and work on a calm day to reduce the risks of inhaling these fibres.
Soak the tiles in solutions
Using a mixture of detergent and water, spray the tiles in multiple layers to ensure that the solution soaks into them. This is a simple way to ensure that the fibres are not released even when the tiles are broken and damaged. That way, dealing with removing them becomes a lot safer.
Use proper materials
After carefully removing the tiles in whole, place them in asbestos bags. Use thick, heavy duty plastic bags to layer your tiles and ensure that it is completely leak-proof. Finally, seal the bag using duct tape. Also avoid using abrasive pads or sanding the surface. When cleaning up the floor, ensure you use HEPA-rated vacuum cleaners. These normally have a disposable dust bag.
For the best results, contact asbestos disposal services to come and take care of the tiles for you.