We are doing what started as a small remodel to our 1940's kitchen. The counter and backsplash were a laminate that I'm guessing were original to the home. Our plan had been to keep the backsplash and just tile over it so we wouldnt have to mess with it but late last night we were installing our new countertop and couldn't get them straight/level because the backsplash was sticking out so we decided to rip it off. Under the back splash was a black, rubber material and before I could tell my husband not to touch it, he had start ripping into it, under the rubber material there was a brown adhesive. I did a little research and it sounds like any adhesive from the 40s probably contains asbestos. Any one have any idea what the black rubber material is? it was semi- stuck to the wall but not difficult to remove. Do we need to call professionals to clean up what we haven't already?
We know better, I can only blame exhaustion for this one....
Re: 1940s kitchen
Asbestos is only a problem when it is friable. What I would recommend is to proceed with caution, wear a good quality dust mask and gloves. Put the material into a plastic bag, tie it off, and simply put it into your garbage can. Simple as that. To call in a professional will cost you big bucks, that in this case are not necessary.
Now, if you had asbestos wrapped pipes, my recommendation would be to absolutely hire a professional to do the job right and prevent polluting the rest of your house.
The difference in these scenarios has to do with the difference in the material being handled. Glues tend to stay sticky or hard, retaining the asbestos contained within. Pipe wrap tends to be brittle and wooly, which is much more likely to be problematic.
Re: 1940s kitchen
If you are willing to spend $30 for peace of mind, there is a place in California where you can send a sample of the material for an asbestos inspection. I sent in 3 layers of my flooring and one came back positive. It wasn't the one with the black goo on the back.