10 Places Asbestos Could Be Lurking

Floor Coverings

Similar to wall coverings and ceiling tiles, floor coverings made with asbestos have very tight fibers. Vinyl sheet, rubber and even some asphalt flooring can be made with asbestos, and even the adhesives used to secure them to the subfloor might include a compound made with asbestos. According to the EPA, you can assume that floor tiles installed before 1981 contain at least some asbestos [source: EPA].

Flooring with asbestos generally has a low percentage of it and can be covered up safely [source: Princeton University]. However, whether in sheets, tiles or poured form, it should be evaluated by a trained asbestos specialist if it is cut or cracked -- especially if there is the presence of dust from any broken areas of the floor. And even if the floor appears to be intact, any construction or remodeling projects, or the removal of building elements that meet with the floor, such as a furnace or wall baseboards and trim, can dislodge particles from the adhesive or flooring itself around cut or disturbed edges. Call a professional before starting work to ensure you won't release any old particles.