Asbestos. Feel those chills? Yeah. Me too. Me.too.
Asbestos is a word that literally strikes fear in the heart of every homeowner and IT SHOULD.
Lead paint. There it is again. How’s that one for you? Does it also do the goosebump thing?
How about MOLD? Literally I need a shower just saying that word.
I’m sooo much fun today.
The reason I’m grossing you out and scaring the beesneees outta all you home-loving-peeps is because we had all of that. AND MORE. We had termites. We had rodents. We had joists rotting. Basically the Monroe house needed a full gut job and we were very excited to rid it of all the nasty gross problems of the home-world and give it a new lease on life.
As you all should know by now we are paying for this house renovation in cash and we had saved about $10K for the demo part. We had talked to several different people and they said that between 7-8K was usually sufficient but we know that isn’t always the case with the Monroe house. It’s special like that.
Soooo….we talked to our contractor and he did a couple tests and said that he couldn’t do it. We were like “come again?” and he said nope. Basically we learned that if we wanted to do it the right way then we had to go through a series of tests to see if it was even safe enough to demo (it wasn’t) and if we needed to hire separate companies that specialize in asbestos, mold, lead, etc. (we did). Low and behold, at the end of the day, our demo costs were roughly $17K (OUCH!) but we knew that we absolutely wanted this to be a safe and clean renovation….even if it burns a little.
We found a couple different companies who do this kind of specialized demo and after the original testing, they identify where the dangerous stuff is in the house, demo the OTHER stuff, then seal up the house to demo the dangerous stuff. The house is basically cleaned of all the risky stuff and then we had to send in air samples and swabs to show the state that we were safe and free of all the nasties. It’s funny to say but the demo’ed version of the house was actually safer than the version with walls :/
The other part of this story is that it’s SUPER important to realize that this kinda stuff is in most old houses. If you are in the market for a old house that’s been fixed up or if you are looking to do the fixing yourself…please realize that your health is not worth a “good deal” or “saving a buck”. Asbestos fibers are microscopic and were used in a TON of different housing materials. They can be floating in the air for years and get sucked into a lung without anyone realizing it. And then it causes disease….think COPD, mesothelioma, CANCER. And it can take 20 years to develop so if you have little kids? Yeah. Dangerous. Play it safe on this one guys. Get it tested and know what you are dealing with and let the pros do it right.
OKAY…so now that I mommied the crud outta ya….wanna see the crazy demo?
THE FRONT BEDROOM
THE MIDDLE BEDROOM
THE FRONT LIVING ROOM
THE MASTER BEDROOM
Once the ‘safe’ demo was done, the crew started sealing off the house and we couldn’t go in to take photos. This part was when they disrupted the areas that had asbestos and the dangerous stuff. Then they had air filters that filtered out the air and they sweep all the debris up so there is nothing left in there that can cause harm.
Unfortunately during the asbestos removal we had a big disappointment. The front windows (these are not the original but they are still pretty dang old) had asbestos in the glazing and lead in the paint. So they had to remove the glazing but all the panes ended up breaking when they tried to remove the glazing. Then there was some surrounding materials that had to be removed because they also tested positive. SO the crew ended up having to remove all the front windows (enter my super sad face here).
That is the bad news. The good news is that I talked to a lady who lived here a very long time ago and she showed me some photos where the front windows (the originals) were shown in the background. SO if we have to replace these – I am trying my darnedest to see if we can go back to a look-a-like for the originals! Wish me luck on that!