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Asbestos In Flooring Adhesives

Question: Our current project is replacing the flooring in our sunroom. The sunroom was added in the 1960's and has beautiful avocado green linoleum. The floor is sliced in places, curling at the edges, and there is at least one soft spot in the subflooring. My fear w/ tearing it up is asbestos. I've read the adhesive used to glue the linoleum has asbestos in it and when you tear it up you release the dust into the air, which can be dangerous. Is any of that true? And, if so, is it safe to tear it up? Wet it first? Any advice, experience, or suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Answer: Yes, asbestos was used in some adhesives for flooring. Once you start removing asbestos you will most likely (depending on where you are) fall under some environmental guidelines for the safe removal. In many areas homeowners are not permitted to remove asbestos products themselves and must hire a licensed contractor.

The best way to solve the problem is to leave the current floor in place and cover it with a layer of 1/4 inch plywood and place your new flooring on top of it.