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Encapsulation and Removal of Black Mastic

Encapsulation and Removal of Black Mastic
Last Updated: 26 April 2021

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Homes built in the 20th century commonly used black mastic as their ceramic tiles adhesive. They also used other flooring materials like linoleum, among others. For this reason, if you try to encapsulate asbestos floor tiles so that you can install a new one, you will come across Black mastic.

This makes you doubt whether removing it is safe because it has asbestos. There’s no doubt that asbestos is dangerous to your health. They can cause a condition called mesothelioma disease, which can be life-threatening. This shows how crucial it is to be careful and why you need to know how to encapsulate black mastic.

What is Black Mastic?

What is Black Mastic

Black mastic is a term used to describe a super sticky glue-like adhesive used in flooring projects. Most gum used in current projects is water-based or latex. You can soften then using water. Asphalt-based cement is used to make an old type of resin called asphaltic cutback adhesive.

You cannot use water to soften the asphaltic cutback adhesive since it is a petroleum-based material. People believe that asbestos was incorporated in these compounds so that they can resist fire. However, asbestos was added in these compounds to help them be durable.

The fibrous materials in an asbestos interlock to make the black asbestos glue strong. Besides that, asbestos is also used to strengthen the insulation and products used in household buildings.

How Dangerous is Black Mastic?

How Dangerous is Black Mastic

This adhesive can either be safe or not safe, depending on how you are going to use it. If you leave it alone and encapsulated, whereby you cover it with new flooring, it’s going to be safe. It also has asbestos, which is a dangerous compound, especially if ingested.

Therefore, when asbestos in this adhesive is abraded, their fibers can spread in the air, making them unsafe when ingested. Asbestos is, therefore, only safe if you don’t expose them to an activity that may scratch them. These activities could be walking on it overtime or sanding it.

You might want to leave the covering of the old flooring to stay in place or cover it with new flooring. Put any flooring on the old floor provided that it is flat and has adhered properly. You should not, by any chance, try to grind off the Black mastic.

It is also wrong to try scraping it manually. You can get rid of it safely using otherwise. This adhesive tends to be gummy and too thick, which makes it hard to remove manually. We will find out the simplest method of asbestos encapsulation and how to get rid of it. Meanwhile, let’s have a look at how you can differentiate asbestos and black mastic.

How to Determine Black Mastic and Asbestos?

While black may be the noticeable color of the black asbestos mastic, it’s impossible to see the real color. Engineers are trying to change the color but still can’t get good results. When operating, you need to sand the glue, which makes it impossible to get the black color.

You will only see a sandy color under the floor. Color should not, therefore, be a big issue because you won’t see it above the floor.

Asbestos Black Mastic Encapsulation

Below are some steps to help you get rid of black mastic asbestos from the concrete floor.

  • Find the Black Mastic Package
    Visit your local market and find a package for the concrete floor. You might want to seek help from an expert to help you choose the one with a good reputation.
  • Learn How to Apply
    Check the package level and go through the user manual to find out how you can apply it. Remember to read the precautions too.
  • Get the Floor Ready
    Asbestos mastic works best on a dry floor. Ensure the floor is clean and dry. You can then apply the gum carefully so that it perfectly glues the tile of the carpet. Take note the condition of the floor matches with the brand of the mastic recommended on the manual.
  • Arrange the Tools and Stuff Needed
    For this project, you need tools like the measurement tape, brush, mask, water, hand gloves, and sand distributor, among other tools. Avoid smelling the gum as it can cause inflammatory issues when it enters your nostrils.
  • Measure the Space and Carpet/Tiles
    Get the total measurements of the operating area by placing the measurement tape starting from the corner.
  • Apply Your Adhesive
    Remove the adhesive cup then mix it with water to make it soft and easy to apply. Immediately after using the adhesive, put the tile or carpet on the floor so that it doesn’t get mixed with air. When placing the carpet or tiles, follow the measurement area.
  • Cover the Adhesive Area
    Once you are done placing the tiles, cover up the open part with hard objects or the tiles left. The adhesive shouldn’t be touchable.

How to Remove Black Mastic from Concrete Floor?

How to Remove Black Mastic from Concrete Floor

Removing black mastic from concrete floor sealant might be time-consuming because resin-based adhesives tend to be sticky. Below are ways of getting rid of this glue.

Get rid of the top flooring. You can remove the vinyl, carpet, or tile using the best method. Remember also to remove any nails from the floor.

Soak the gum in vinegar or hot water to lessen the paste. Vinegar and water can be a great black mastic remover. You can keep your floor wet to avoid asbestos from being released in the air.

Remove the mastic off with a chisel. After soaking the gum on water or vinegar, it will be easy enough to chisel it off. Use a scaler, putty knife, or a chisel to remove it. Once you remove the gum, polish the underneath floor.

While this method may be time-consuming, it’s the safest and works too.


Black asbestos mastic sealer is quite adhesive and tough to remove. However, it’s possible to encapsulate Black mastic so long as you are careful with it. You need to have the right tool and products for easy removal. Otherwise, it’s the best marble sealer out there.

How else do you encapsulate Black mastic?

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