We are in the process of having our kitchen redone. It is a 1942 colonial in West Hartford, CT. Over the years, several layers have been added to the floor. We had a handyman demo the floor down to the original hardwoods and the final layer before the wood was linoleum with a black adhesive. The handyman called it tar paper and said one hardwood guy he called won't even touch it. Picture is below.
- How likely is it that this contains asbestos? I'd rather not test it. The reason for this is simple risk analysis. There are virtually two meaningful outcomes: it is asbestos or it is not. If it is not, all well and good. No benefit or loss except for about $50 which is not a great sum for me. If it is, my actions would probably not change since the damage would already have been done at this point and I'd have taken action long before a week goes by to get the results. At that point I'd have waiting LONGER with the stuff in my house than if I hadn't tested when I could have been removing or covering it. Another potential downside is that it becomes material fact, which is subject to disclosure to the next buyer. If I cover this with backer and tile or remove it anyway, it poses no danger to the next buyer, so I see no need to open myself up to potential loss of value when I finally sell the place. Testing therefore provides little upside and large downside both to my health if this IS asbestos and to my home value indirectly by limiting the buyer pool when I go to sell.
I'm open to probabilities being given to me by knowledgeable people about whether this is or is not asbestos but I'd like to keep it a non material fact.
How concerned should I be about exposure? For context, my wife and I do not smoke and the handyman has been scraping it off the kitchen floor for about two days. The area is about 200 sq. feet.
Should we even bother refinishing this? This would take into account cost, time, and safety. The alternative is to put backer and tile over it. We had a tile picked out already, but once we found the wood, we considered just refinishing them. Now we are not sure due to this tar/mastic/whatever.