When is a House Remodel Dangerous?

7

Living in an old building hasn’t been all fun and games for us. It’s not old enough to be some awesome vintage home, but it certainly is old enough to require a lot of care, updates, and remodeling. For the most part, we’ve had fun making a cozy, old place look newer and more “us”. We painted, we placed laminate flooring, we cleaned, we decorated. The hardest part has been the fact that every time we think a project will be easy, it turns out the place needs so much more repair work than we thought. So far, the worst has been in the kitchen.

 

You need to be aware of hidden dangers in your home when you are remodeling. Some materials used in past years have been found to be quite dangerous and are better left undisturbed when possible. Take the time to be thorough and protect your family as you improve your home.

 

While installing our new flooring, we wanted it to be level throughout the entire place. We tore up the old carpet and ripped up a few layers of linoleum in the kitchen, in a small section. Under the linoleum we found the standard plywood base commonly applied under linoleum when installed. Under the plywood, we found the original vinyl tiles from 1953 when this duplex was built. Sounds awesomely vintage right? Wrong! That old, outdated vinyl tile was made with asbestos, and that’s some pretty bad news.

 

Hundreds of times smaller than a human hair, asbestos fibers are odorless, tasteless, and indestructible with the potential to cause Mesothelioma, lung cancer, and Asbestosis. Knowing that asbestos was widely used in the 50’s, it was essential that we had these tiles tested before we made a decision about how we would work with them. Sure enough, they tested positive. We were left with two choices: pay for the expensive, but safer, professional removal of these tiles, or apply the new flooring right over the plywood (and other 4 layers of flooring) and have a subtle elevation in the kitchen.

 

You need to be aware of hidden dangers in your home when you are remodeling. Some materials used in past years have been found to be quite dangerous and are better left undisturbed when possible. Take the time to be thorough and protect your family as you improve your home.
View of new floor transition from in the kitchen.
You need to be aware of hidden dangers in your home when you are remodeling. Some materials used in past years have been found to be quite dangerous and are better left undisturbed when possible. Take the time to be thorough and protect your family as you improve your home.
View of new floor transition from the living room. Noticeable due to lighting, but still small enough that no one ever trips on it.

I wasn’t happy about the floor not being level throughout the house, but I know the safest thing to do with asbestos is leave it undisturbed. Professional removal or not, I didn’t want to risk our health by cutting into and disturbing the tiles. The second option was a better choice for us. In the end, the floor still looks far better than it did, and the elevation is only about a quarter inch. I guess that old original floor will just have to stay buried a bit longer.

 

Asbestos was widely used in the 1930’s through the 1970’s, and while it is currently banned in 55 different countries, the US and Canada are not on that list. So, make sure you do your research and have your testing done when it comes to remodeling your home. Common areas you can find asbestos in homes may be vinyl floors, gutters, drain pipes, ceiling tiles, drywall, cables, wires, heating ducts, insulation and more. A catalog perfect home is not worth sacrificing your health. You can find a lot of useful information at the Mesothelioma & Asbestos Awareness Center.

 

Changing your flooring can dramatically change your home. Laminate flooring is an easy update, and offers a wide variety of color options. Ours is called “Tavern Oak”.

You need to be aware of hidden dangers in your home when you are remodeling. Some materials used in past years have been found to be quite dangerous and are better left undisturbed when possible. Take the time to be thorough and protect your family as you improve your home.You need to be aware of hidden dangers in your home when you are remodeling. Some materials used in past years have been found to be quite dangerous and are better left undisturbed when possible. Take the time to be thorough and protect your family as you improve your home.

 

 You need to be aware of hidden dangers in your home when you are remodeling. Some materials used in past years have been found to be quite dangerous and are better left undisturbed when possible. Take the time to be thorough and protect your family as you improve your home.

You need to be aware of hidden dangers in your home when you are remodeling. Some materials used in past years have been found to be quite dangerous and are better left undisturbed when possible. Take the time to be thorough and protect your family as you improve your home.





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