Leveling an uneven concrete basement floor

I would like to finish my basement floor. The basement does not have any problems with water or leaking.
Here's my problem. House built in 1939. Basement is semi-finished with floor covered with cracking/peeling vinyl asbestos tiles. There are several areas of the concrete that bulge upward, approximately 1/2 inch higher than the rest of the floor, making the floor uneven. I have approximately 7 feet of clearance from the floor to the ceiling. I have a few ideas. Does anyone have any suggestions?
1. Forget about the vinyl asbestos tile and install a subfloor (like the dricore interlocking system) using their spacers to make up the difference in floor heights. Or is 1/2 inch too much to make up with spacers? 2. Scrape up the vinyl asbestos tile, use a leveling compound to level the floor (anyone have a suggestion about what kind of company does this kind of leveling?), then install sleepers and a subfloor. 3. Scrape up the vinyl asbestos tile and hack out the areas of raised/heaved concrete with a sledge hammer and chisel, then fill in these areas with a concrete patching compound.
By the way, does anyone know if vinyl asbestos tiles are dangerous to deal with. I've read that because the asbestos is in the vinyl it's not dangerous. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks
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Vinyl Asbestos Tile (VAT) and the mastic used to set it can be a problem with authorities. The material should be double bagged, marked as VAT, & disposed of in areas designated by the landfill folk. Using a spud to scrape up the tile, thus keeping it in big pieces, wearing a resperator ( since it's in an enclosed space ), closing off any air ducts comes close to government requirements for containment.
Encapsulation, that is covering it up, is acceptable and cheaper.
The 7'-0" head room is a problem if you want to have a space called "habitable" by code in the basement. (Sleeping rooms require emergency escape openings in addition.).
If I wanted to make a nice set of spaces, I'd look at removing the VAT and having the high spots ground flat.
TB
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snipped-for-privacy@bellsouth.net wrote:

Greetings,
a) I don't think that the VAT police are going to come in the night for you if you are a do-it-yourselfer in your own home. b) I prefer to remove these things instead of encapsulate them. Why? If you do choose to encapsulate you will need to disclose the knowledge that the house contains asbestos to the next homeowner. c) snipped-for-privacy@bellsouth.net is right about the headroom. You might find that your house is worth a lot less money when you go to sell it if your basement ceiling height is less than seven feet. I even know people with a 6' basement which have gone through the trouble of digging out the basement by hand to make it over 7' with a new poured floor.
Hope this helps, William
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Locally it is illegal for a homeowner to remove ANY asbestos-containing material (siding or tile). It MUST be removed by an authorized professional. The stupid thing is this, they do nothign other than what you described. Go to a payphone and call the local inspector.

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Chisel and hammer to grind the spots, or some other way?
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Thanks for your advice, guys. TB, when you talk about grinding the elevated spots flat, are you talking about using the hammer and chisel method, or some easier way with some kind of power tool that I'm unaware of? Also, for removing vinyl asbestos, do you need anything more than a scraper, or is that usually enough? Do you need a heat gun or anything to losen them up? -mike
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wrote:

My father was in the flooring business. He removed lots of vinyl asbstos tile. Thiw was before all the scare tactics used to make someone rich. You are correct. The asbestos is contained in the vinyl. As long as you dont sand or grind it, its safe. Just scrape the tiles up full or in pieces. A heat gun might help. Get a wide and durable scraper. My dad made his own by sharpening the end of a piece of broken auto leaf spring. (local junk yard or service garage).
To get rid of the floor bumps, there is a grinder that is used for streets. Its a large drivable machine. However, I think they do make a small version (electric). Check your local tool rental place. Or rent a concrete saw, and set the blade for 1/8" deep and start cutting grooves. Finish with a chisel and top with hydraulic cement. Of course remove the tile first or you will release asbestos dust. Cutting concrete is very messy, so be prepared.
Mark
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Thanks mark
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