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If your home was constructed before the 1980s, particularly during the 1950s, the adhesive used to install its flooring might contain asbestos black mastic. This material should not pose a problem for your household so long as it’s undisturbed and not in a state of deterioration. However, at some point many property owners want to renovate or replace dated flooring. This is when it’s important to confront your black mastic problem with caution. First, you’ll need to identify if your flooring does contain this hazardous material. Then, you can decide how to best deal with the situation.

Asbestos Black Mastic: What Is It?

These days, Mid-Century Modern flooring styles are all the rage. If you have vintage 1950s/1960s flooring tiles in your home, you might not want to remove them unless they’re in poor condition. Before you even attempt a renovation project, it’s important to identify the material you have in place. Is it asbestos black mastic? This material was widely used during the mid century as a cheap and effective adhesive for floor tiles. While some flooring was not installed with this material, many were.

All black mastic may not contain asbestos, but it’s best to assume yours does until you can prove otherwise. Asbestos was a popular additive of black mastic because it was cheap to use and is a durable fibrous silicate mineral. If you identify that your flooring has been installed with asbestos black mastic, you’ll need to decide whether to remove it or seal it.

Why Are the Dangers Associated with Asbestos Black Mastic?

If you determine that the black mastic used to install your flooring contains asbestos, pause your project so you can make an informed decision about how to best proceed. You may have seen the countless commercials advertising the dangers of asbestos in association with the deadly condition known as mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a malignant form of cancer that forms in the tissues of the lungs, abdomen, or heart. A person who breathes in fibers of asbestos can develop this condition. Asbestos can also cause other forms of lung cancer to develop as well as non-cancerous respiratory issues. Asbestos fibers can be released into the air where they could be breathed in if the black mastic is disturbed. That’s why it’s important to tread carefully in these situations.

How to Identify Asbestos Black Mastic

If you can identify your flooring tile and its model number, you might be able to identify it from a library of asbestos-containing material. However, many people want definitive proof that their flooring does or doesn’t contain this hazardous material. In that case, you can purchase an asbestos testing kit. These range in cost but typically don’t exceed $40. There’s an additional cost when you send your kit to the lab for testing. That cost also ranges in price but shouldn’t exceed $50. Follow the kit’s safety recommendations and instructions to find out if your flooring contains asbestos black mastic.

Remove or Seal?

If your flooring is positive for asbestos, you have three options. You can leave it alone. So long as you don’t disturb the mastic material, the danger will remain unreleased. You can also remove this material, but you shouldn’t attempt it yourself. Hire a contractor who is certified in asbestos removal. This is a tedious process. The contractor will need to keep the mastic material continuously wet to ensure no asbestos gets released into the air. They may also need to use chemicals to assist in the removal. Contractors who provide this service tend to charge top dollar owing to the hazardous nature of the work.

You can also opt to seal the old flooring and its asbestos black mastic. This is an inexpensive and easy option for many property owners. Perfect Primer has a signature product called PerfectPrimer. You can use this product to seal and prime black mastic with a single coat. After the coat has dried, you paint it, apply epoxy, or install your new flooring material. PerfectPrimer is a non-toxic material that has no unpleasant odors. Today, it has become a popular option among contractors who opt to seal rather than remove mastic material.

If you are confronted with asbestos black mastic, you can easily deal with it by opting for PerfectPrimer for sealing and priming this material. Perfect Primer also features many other sealing products that are ideal for use in residential and commercial settings. Explore the company’s website to learn more about its innovative products and to place your order.