Home renovations rarely turn out as we expect, especially when you are dealing with an older home. You may have noticed I’ve been quiet the last few days on the blog, twitter, and Facebook. As you can probably guess, it’s because we hit an unexpected snag in my quest to do it myself on the family room.
Our original plan-knock down the bookcases, paint, and save up for carpet turned into a massive internet search, multiple phone calls, and hours of driving on a quest to make sure we were safe.
I posted this photo on the blog, and on my personal facebook account and a friend (thank goodness!) pointed out that the broken tiles the bookshelf was hiding, could actually be asbestos tiles, which were commonly used through the late 70s. Our house was built in 1970, so the chances were likely that they were asbestos. Yes, that stuff that causes lung cancer and other awful lung illnesses 20-30 years down the road. Was I harming my kids? Myself? Friends and family that came over?
I spent some time on the phone and spoke to some helpful asbestos removal techs. I finally found one who offered a phone number and address of a local lab so I could drive the sample over myself and save $125. I called and then made a plan to go this morning after dropping off the hubby at the care dealership to pick up his car (more on that soon).
The only problem? I left the sample by the front door as I rushed out the door to get everyone where they needed to be on (relative) time. Oops. That meant I got all the way there (a 30 minute drive one way) and had to go back. To say I was frustrated is an understatement.
Once I headed back with the sample in hand, the little dude and I waited while the lab tested our sample. The news was both good and bad.
According to the lab it was positive for asbestos, but the fibers were so embedded breaking the tile didn’t reveal them. Only when the tile was dissolved was the asbestos released. That means that with proper protection and care when we remove them we won’t be exposed to asbestos, and we don’t have to pay thousands of dollars for remediation. Instead we’ll seal off the room, don protective gear, and use special instructions to painstankingly remove the tiles.
Sounds easy right? I’m sure it won’t be.
My new plan, never enter even the most seemingly ‘easy’ project without a nice home improvement disaster budget in place. This is not the place to skimp.
Have you ever had your own home improvements that cost you more than expected?