ripped out basement floor
Photo: Anthony Tieuli
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The Sharmas knew they had asbestos to contend with after their home inspector found it in the insulation of the boiler as well as some 9-by-9-inch basement floor tiles. But it was only after Covino completed a full test that they began to fret. "There was a lot more than we bargained for," Allison says. Asbestos also turned up in the 12-by-12-inch floor tiles in the kitchen and bath, wall panels surrounding the boiler, and joint compound in the basement drywall. Left undisturbed, asbestos is harmless. The boiler insulation was friable, meaning it would've crumbled if touched, but luckily the whole unit was being removed anyway. For the rest, the Sharmas were told they could just tile over the asbestos flooring and leave the drywall alone.

Shown: After asbestos was found in the basement's resilient tile and wood subfloor, the Sharmas had a choice. They opted to have Tom rip out everything down to the aggregate and pour a new concrete subfloor rather than cover the contaminants.
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