Asked on Jul 25, 2018

Is it EPA acceptable to cover asbestos tiles with epoxy?

by Melissa

Bought small 50s house w what we are assuming are asbestos tiles. Need to cover it, so carpet is acceptable but yucky in basement, glue down flooring is ok but starting to get costly. Ideas? Contractor wondered about a thick coat is epoxy.

  7 answers
  • Sorry Melissa, get a new contractor. This is his or her job to know EPA guidelines or know how to look them up and apply to any job. Your local building codes also dictate on how to handle asbestos too, and I would check with them before doing anything. Leaving it up to you, or any client, is not a good sign of their training or qualifications. Here are some sites with useful information.

    Generally any flooring that covers or encapsulates without disturbing the asbestos is typically an approved method. Epoxy sounds like a viable option.

    If your contractor doesn't know what to do in this situation, it would certainly make me question their capabilities - are they following local code? Are they cutting corners? Is what they are building safe?

  • Oliva Oliva on Jul 25, 2018

    See re: asbestos floor tiles. You can cover them, assumming they're in decent condition.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Jul 25, 2018

    Hi Melissa,

    It is safer to cover asbestos so no one has contact with it. Removal is a complicated and probably an expensive process done by professionals. The disposal is also a concern. If at all possible, cover it up.

  • Hope Williams Hope Williams on Jul 26, 2018

    I am in complete agreement with Olivia. It can be encapsulated, (floor or ceiling). As can not be disturbed in that process. This old house is the best source I’ve found for asbestos “must know” info.

    this is your local abatement company. Since you are not sure if it is asbestos, first thing, find out if it is asbestos or not.

  • Leslie Leslie on Jul 26, 2018

    Melissa, as Hope stated you need to find out first if the tile IS asbestos. Prior to the 80's building is when you have to worry, This is when asbestos was deemed a poison and health risk. Go to Lowes or Home Depot and get their asbestos testing kit which is I think under ten dollars. Asbestos is nothing to fool with. Even if you cover it if it is old it may start to decay, crumble and form dust which will make its way into your home. A word of caution about your contractor. Get rid of him or her. If they are wondering about the proper way to treat asbestos in a private home they should not be in the home contracting and improvement business. I understand that some states do not have mandatory inspections of homes being sold. The info can thwart a lot of heartache and expensive fixes and give you a heads up on what needs to be done to the home. Good luck and I hope your ceiling tiles are not Asbestos.

  • William William on Aug 21, 2018

    If the tiles are stiff and 9" square they definitely have asbestos. Pain, clear coat, or epoxy will not properly encapsulate them. They need to be covered with a solid product. The object is to prevent any fibers to release into the air. The wear on epoxy would actually cause more to be released.

  • Jason Finer Jason Finer on Aug 19, 2019

    Have you ever tried perfectprimer for this? We are contractors in NY and when we come across asbestos tiles, mastic, lead paint etc. we apply that primer seal those materials down. Then we apply any epxy or paint or matic dorectly to that.

    It works like a chram and we've done this for ten years without a problem