DIYers and asbestos

Uberkuque

Gerry Lopez status
Nov 19, 2014
1,105
492
83
Currently looking to buy a house. Each house I've lived in in the past was built late-70's onwards, so asbestos wasn't really much of a concern to me in doing DIY house projects. (Though asbestos was still being phased out at the time.)

Where I'm looking to buy, though, has a high inventory of 50's-60's homes -- peak asbestos. My question is, for those of you who live in a home like that, has that affected your ability/willingness to do DIY house projects? Would I be looking to call in an asbestos abatement team for every project I do (new flooring, windows, recessed lighting, et cetera)? Trying to figure whether and to what extent the asbestos issue should steer me away from homes like these where I'd be doing renovations on my own.
 

menobrah

Gerry Lopez status
Feb 28, 2021
1,111
2,279
113
Currently looking to buy a house. Each house I've lived in in the past was built late-70's onwards, so asbestos wasn't really much of a concern to me in doing DIY house projects. (Though asbestos was still being phased out at the time.)

Where I'm looking to buy, though, has a high inventory of 50's-60's homes -- peak asbestos. My question is, for those of you who live in a home like that, has that affected your ability/willingness to do DIY house projects? Would I be looking to call in an asbestos abatement team for every project I do (new flooring, windows, recessed lighting, et cetera)? Trying to figure whether and to what extent the asbestos issue should steer me away from homes like these where I'd be doing renovations on my own.
We all have to die some time, mesothelioma is as good a way to go as anything else. I say go for it!
 

SteveT

Phil Edwards status
Apr 11, 2005
5,999
2,752
113
The place we bought was built in 1958.
It had popcorn ceilings. No bueno, had to go.
Most likely asbestos based and a remediation service was a lot of $$$.
We ended up capping everything with new drywall at a fraction of the cost of removing the popcorn.
Looks great and actually added some more R value.
Same with the old Lenolium floors (which probably had some sort of asbestos) after removing the carpet. Just capped with new wood flooring throughout.
That old asbestos $hit is nasty but I wouldn't let it get in the way of buying a possible good deal.
Once the problem has been brought up through escrow discovery though, it might be a problem down the line when you want to do renovations and need a permit.
 
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mundus

Duke status
Feb 26, 2018
38,372
17,069
113
I am under the impression it takes years of exposure to cause problems, but still take all the precautions. I have one room of popcorn left and dreading dealing with it.
 

hammies

Duke status
Apr 8, 2006
15,972
14,995
113
I hired an abatement company to remove all the old asbestos-coated ductwork in my attic when we replaced our heater. They wore full bunny suits with respirators. They bagged the old ducting piece by piece and hauled it away. Cost $ but I needed new ducting and that old sh!t was nasty.
 
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elcalvo

Michael Peterson status
Mar 16, 2004
3,345
467
83
NE
It is totally illegal here for anyone other than a licensed mitigator to do asbestos work. If they catch you, penalties are very expensive. If they find the asbestos when you dispose of it, the entire load of the truck or dumpster is considered contaminated, and you have to pay for the disposal of all of it as hazardous waste.
 
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Black

OTF status
Jan 1, 2015
322
534
93
UK
My house has/had various sections of asbestos. There's no-harm asbestos and there's killer asbestos. Mine better be the no-harm because I was sanding a piece of wood one time wondering why it wasn't sanding properly only to look closer and see it was asbestos. Our kitchen ceiling is asbestos and all the outbuildings are roofed in it. I did remove a big sheet from a wall one time when I uncovered it doing work - did the wetting down and attempted sealing off that section of room while doing it. My son threw a wobbler over it, as I was a bit blaze about it all. I know someone who as a farmer, decades ago, removed the corrugated sheet roofing, including sawing it up, said they were covered in dust - he's healthy in his late 70s.
I've seen it on the beaches here and in the countryside - its everywhere because this was a very poor area during the asbestos years.

In my area of UK you can take asbestos to the municipal tip if you triple bag it and let them know first.
 

john4surf

Kelly Slater status
May 28, 2005
9,251
4,401
113
CBS, CA
I am under the impression it takes years of exposure to cause problems, but still take all the precautions. I have one room of popcorn left and dreading dealing with it.
McQueen thought his mesothelioma came from duty as a Marine removing asbestos wrapping from pipes in a few ships. I thought that was possible but he also repaired motorcycles (asbestos in brake dust, the norm was to use an air hose to blow off the brakes/dust) before Steve went into the entertainment field. Mesothelioma results in the hardening of the lungs interior walls to the point the lungs cease functioning. He was going through incurable mesothelioma when he went to Mexico for treatment after US doctors told him there was nothing they could do for him. His heart gave out when a large mass was removed from his belly.
 
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One-Off

Tom Curren status
Jul 28, 2005
14,630
11,015
113
33.8N - 118.4W
We’re renting out my mother’s home. Between tenants we did a carpet clean and the cleaners left windows open to air out and dry. Happened to be a really windy night and some of the popcorn came down. It was determined it was asbestos (house built in early 60’s). The property management company said they could not rent it until the popcorn was removed. If it happened with tenants inside there would be liability issues.

$20,000 to test, remove and test again. And all they did was remove. Another $10,000 to patch and paint all the ceilings (2000+ sq ft, 5 bedroom home).

$30,000. There goes half next year’s rent. :crazy2:
 

elcalvo

Michael Peterson status
Mar 16, 2004
3,345
467
83
NE
We’re renting out my mother’s home. Between tenants we did a carpet clean and the cleaners left windows open to air out and dry. Happened to be a really windy night and some of the popcorn came down. It was determined it was asbestos (house built in early 60’s). The property management company said they could not rent it until the popcorn was removed. If it happened with tenants inside there would be liability issues.

$20,000 to test, remove and test again. And all they did was remove. Another $10,000 to patch and paint all the ceilings (2000+ sq ft, 5 bedroom home).

$30,000. There goes half next year’s rent. :crazy2:
I had to demo a house after building a new one on the property I purchased. It cost me more to have the popcorn removed from the kitchen ceiling than it did to demo & remove the rest of the house. On the other hand, if the house had been demoed with the popcorn still in it, and this was discovered in the debris, it would have cost me exponentially more than I paid for the asbestos removal and the demo.
 
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