Sunday, December 23, 2012

    The Thing Is

    .. AB and I both love renovating.

    The ideal gift for either of us is a Bunnings voucher, and we hang on ads for new power tools ( oOooOoh ).  I have a thing for tiling and caulking guns, and a flair for pointing out thin spots in his painting ( right there, in that awkward-to-get-to spot on the ceiling .. it's bugging me... )

    We've been looking forward to doing the things we can do ourselves .. ourselves..

    But then, there's this site:

    AB says "the builder says our house is ok!"
    I say: "but the site says it's very hard to tell with the naked eye, has he done tests?"
    AB says: "His blokes wouldn't be allowed on site if there were asbestos"
    AB says: "They did our bathroom and said it was fine"
    I say: "but apparently it can be under tiles, under carpet, in the textured paint on our walls.."
    I say: "unexplored territory"
    AB says: "we'll wear masks and make sure the kids aren't around"
    I say: "I'm sure they'll appreciate that when they're orphans"

    Which has left us kind of bummed.

    I am *pretty sure*  we have no asbestos in this home .. and we're only doing some grunt work ( stripping the kitchen, the tiles, the carpets etc ) .. not tearing down walls etc .. but when the stats say 1 in 3 homes .. you've got to wonder.


    little miss olive said...

    when they first mentioned that whole asbestos in the carpet thing my heart dropped -- i'm sure there's been *so* many renovators out there who never even stopped to imagine that it could be in the old carpet underlay.

    you are so right to check and double-check and have tests done, etc. it's your health at risk...much better to be safe than sorry.

    Carmi Levy said...

    It's such a scary thing, like a ticking time bomb that may or may not be there.

    Decades ago, the Canadian government funded a program to help homeowners better insulate their homes. The material of choice was known as Urea Formaldehyde, or UFFI, and it was blown into the cavities of walls to save energy. Hundreds of thousands of Canadians took the government up on its offer. Problem was, a few years later, people were getting sick, and researchers realized the UFFI was toxic.

    The removal program ran into the billions, and lawsuits continue to work their way through the system to this day. I can still remember the sight of houses being tented off, like hazmat sites, as crews in full coverage suits worked to remove the offending insulation. What a nightmare.

    h&b said...

    Hey Carmi!

    Long time, long time .. good to see you here :)

    Wow, I did not know that about Canada .. wow .. Formaldehyde .. wow. I showed the husband ( who is a bit of a Canadaphile ), and even he couldn't believe it ..

    It is a nightmare. I think the word eluding us is: "cheap". I bet it was cheap. Cheap is joyful and easy and happy ... but, like a mass-produced toy from China .. what is it doing for us in the long-term? ..

    Janet said...

    We've got asbestos cement sheeting under our eaves and in the ceiling in the laundry toilet. It's OK we know it's there, it's in good nick so it's not causing any harm. All our neighbours have the same sheeting unless they've had it removed. However little did we know that the school (which is about the same vintage as our house) is riddled with it. Turns out that the parent working bee, power sanding walls to be painted was so not a good idea. Worksafe are now involved and there is a (possibly quite big)shit storm pending. I'm not allowed to write about it on my blog (sadly) but I'm sure it's OK to mention it on yours.

    We've decided to pay the bucks for a proper asbestos removal service and have it gone, gone, gone. I reckon if you have any cement sheeting, or anything that is not wood, brick, proper concrete, glass ie something you can recognise then it is worth getting it checked out. Just to be sure,

    h&b said...

    Holy Crap Janet!

    Fark, hair standing on end .. just parents wanting to chip in and do the community effort thing ... shit ...

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