Deconstruction, House and Acreage Restoration

ASBESTOS!

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Danger Pedersens! Danger!

There is asbestos in the siding and the original kitchen flooring.

So, I can’t remember everything about asbestos, but it is tricky stuff you have to handle carefully. As I understand it, it’s odorless, colorless, tasteless and you don’t see it in the air. Once it gets airborne and your breath it in, you are screwed. Because asbestos stays in your lungs for eternity.

However….asbestos does not cause massive harm if it doesn’t get airborne. Old schools, community buildings, etc. just cover the stuff up with new materials to…ahem…”lock” it into place and its a safe alternative. (Does that sound right to you? Sounds a little fishy to me.)

Now in dealing with asbestos there are all kinds of codes to follow. The strangest one is in removal of asbestos containing material from your property. For us here in this part of Iowa a special person trained in the removal of asbestos is called in to take care of it. They wear these hazmat suits and ventilators and look like they stepped straight out of the movie “Outbreak.” Your contractor or hired persons working on your house cannot directly remove asbestos from your property.

HOWEVER….

You, as a homeowner are allowed to remove the asbestos YOURSELF.

Guess what option we went with?

No, I know…my parents are freaking out right now. Relax guys….it’s fine! Remember, we are good as long as it doesn’t get airborne.

How do you keep asbestos from getting airborne?

You spray it down with water! Or, in the event you haven’t had the city hook up the water yet on your property because you took out all the pipes in the house, you wait for one of Iowa’s many May thunderstorms and rain showers.

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But, in all fairness. I am not helping with the job. My job (as far as asbestos goes) is to spray my husband down with a spray water bottle (which I filled up at Walmart) at the end of his asbestos shift. He is wearing this funky breathing apparatus that has bright pink filters on it. The siding that has the asbestos is then put in special asbestos-proof bags (which we had to order online for a ton of money) and put in the dumpster.

My current job, instead, is to really clean out the house itself. Get all the extra cellulose attached to nails, dust and debris out of there so we are ready to go when the time comes for wiring, plumbing, venting and insulation. I have been covered in dust and muck. I must say…it’s looking mighty fine.

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But doesn’t this old siding look so much better than that yellowish crap that was on the house before? Even with the paint chipping…I love it even more.

There is beauty here in this world. Even in asbestos.

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