Asbestos vinyl flooring was once a popular choice in New Zealand businesses due to its durability, cost-effectiveness, and variety of aesthetic options.
Common in the 1950s, these vinyl floor tiles and sheet flooring, enhanced with asbestos, were known for their stain-proof, fireproof qualities and style.
However, vinyl tiles and sheet flooring containing asbestos can be a potential exposure risk. When in good condition, they usually do not pose a threat, as the asbestos is encapsulated within the vinyl, preventing fibre release. The vinyl acts as a binder, keeping the asbestos fibres contained.
Asbestos materials are categorised as friable and non-friable. Friable asbestos can easily crumble to powder when dry and disturbed, likely releasing asbestos into the air and posing a higher health risk. Non-friable, or bonded asbestos, where the asbestos is firmly bound in the material's matrix, poses a lower risk when undisturbed.
Vinyl tiles are typically non-friable but can become friable if mishandled, damaged, or severely worn. Asbestos vinyl sheet flooring, often with friable asbestos backing, presents a greater risk, as fibres can be easily released if disturbed. The adhesives used for vinyl products also sometimes contained asbestos.
It’s important to note that business properties might have undergone multiple renovations, often layering new flooring over old. Asbestos-containing products may be present in these layers.
The presence of asbestos does not necessarily pose immediate danger. The danger arises when homeowners undertake renovations and asbestos containing products are damaged, disturbed or sanded. Removing vinyl flooring by sanding or grinding would potentially create a higher risk of asbestos exposure.
New regulations in New Zealand now specify that business' must get an asbestos test before they undertake any renovations. These new regulations also specify that workplaces and businesses must have an asbestos management plan. Business owners also need to be aware of the dangers and of their responsibilities. Businesses need to have an asbestos policy.
Vinyl floorings and carpets that contain asbestos ,cannot be identified by simply looking at them. Vinyl flooring has to be assessed in the context of when it was made and installed and it has to be tested by professionals.
It is therefore important to leave asbestos testing and removal to the experts and not attempt any renovations yourself. Contact Revolve Asbestos Solutions to get a professional assessment.
It is very important not to remove or test the vinyl flooring yourself. If done incorrectly, taking samples yourself can be hazardous. Let Revolve Asbestos' professional team expertly and safely take samples of the vinyl material. We will submit the sample to an accredited laboratory to be analysed as this is the only way to determine if a vinyl material contains asbestos. Contact Revolve Asbestos Solutions today.