Thursday, May 30, 2013

Linoleum with Asbestos (no, you can't see it - it has to be tested!)
Now that we had our design pretty much complete, it was time to start the planning to take the house down. Otherwise known as demo’ing it. There’s a lot to removing a house but we figured can do this. 

It was January of this year and the house was beginning to look a bit like the local eyesore. We had removed the bushes out front that were completely over grown in preparation for the long ago failed rehab. The paint was peeling on the shutters as well as on the outside. The roof was looking sad and the windows didn’t have any curtains so house just didn’t look friendly anymore.
We weren’t sure what we needed to do so Chris pointed us in the right direction by mentioning that we needed to have it inspected for hazardous materials more commonly known as asbestos. We knew the pipes didn’t have any because of the home inspection that was done when we had first bought over a year prior. So we thought, “this will be cake.” It wasn’t.

We hired a company to come in and inspect and the tests came back positive for asbestos in the linoleum but negative for anywhere else including the walls and insulation. Now I had heard of asbestos in floor tiles but never linoleum. I had now.
Turns out both the kitchen and dining rooms had it and the asbestos had to be removed before the house was taken down. The good thing, if there was a good thing, is that the mastic (glue) that held it down to the subfloor did not contain asbestos. The downside was because we were going to demo the house, we had to have a removal plan approved by the state. While it was a straight forward removal, it still added about three weeks to the process while we were awaiting approval.

So we hired a company (Yankee Fiber Control) to come in and remove it. They drove their truck up to the door installed a sealed tunnel and sealed off the inside of the house. They went in with their space suits and air hoses and completely removed it all and made the house safe.
I decided that the day they removed it was the one day that I needed to not be around being a pain and asking a bunch of questions. So I skipped watching the work that day. Probably a good idea.

Altogether, it added about two months to the process from setting up the inspection, waiting for the results, having the plan approved, removing the asbestos and having the house re-inspected and signed off as complete. But I wouldn’t hesitate to do it again.
While it seems like this would be an easy thing to work around, you shouldn’t even think about it. Besides being hazardous and needing to be trained in its removal, should you get caught, you will find that the fines will cost you a heck of a lot more than it would have had you hired a company that was certified in its removal. And you could get sick. Very sick.

So we were now in the middle of March, the plans were done, the asbestos was removed and we were ready to take it down.
Not so fast. Again. There were more things to be done.