COMMUNITY FORUM

karenbeth

05:08PM | 09/24/07
Member Since: 09/23/07
2 lifetime posts
Bvmisc
Help! I just bought an older house to attempt to flip, and I'm a stressed out wreck! I've recently heard that the joint compound on drywall/drywall/wallboard (and occasionally, even the drywall itself) in homes built before the mid-1970's most likely contains asbestos. After making lots of phone calls to asbestos people (Texas state agency, private firms) I found out that this is true, but yet virtually no one I've talked to in the remodeling/renovation business seems to know anything about this and they rip this stuff out all the time. Heck, on TV remodeling shows and house flipping shows they rip it out all the time! My friends all think I'm totally insane for worrying so much about this, but it is really bothering me.

Despite my reservations, I went ahead and tore out the kitchen with the help of a friend, so the demolition phase of this project is mostly done. We both wore P100 respirators and I had fans blowing out the windows. I didn't wear disposable clothing, but I threw my cloths in the washing machine as soon as I got home. I plan to go back and vacuum with a hepa filtered vacuum and wipe everything down.

But I really wonder how big an issue this is... if it is truly a hazard, why isn't it more well know? Even in home depot's Home Improvement 123 book they mention asbestos in flooring but don't saying anything about not removing drywall. Can someone help me out with this???

karen_in_texas

wakefieldfamily

07:20AM | 02/09/09
Member Since: 02/08/09
1 lifetime posts
Karen,

Did you ever get a reply on this issue - been experiencing similar issues and just amazed that there is really noone experienced in managing such a project from beginning to end.

kasey01

06:03AM | 07/21/09
Member Since: 07/20/09
1 lifetime posts
Did you ever resolve your asbestos problem? I have a similar issue and am wondering if I need to hire someone to remove the drywall.

tomh

07:55AM | 08/20/09
Member Since: 07/01/03
558 lifetime posts
I've been away from the forums for quite a while. This project is clearly over. I think it would have been useful for peace of mind to have gotten some tests. In my experience, the use of asbestos fiber in drywall and joint compounds was rare in residential buildings. It was much more common in military and commercial construction where reinforcing fiber was specified to prevent cracking.

Any project that creates dust can be made cleaner and safer by using some water mixed with dish-soap to suppress dust. Anytime demolition is being done, be sure to de-energize power. Taking samples of material to a laboratory, or asking for professional assessment BEFORE starting demolition is and easy and inexpensive way to buy peace of mind, and properly plan the project.

karenbeth

08:19AM | 02/21/10
Member Since: 09/23/07
2 lifetime posts
Thanks for your reply. I did finish this project a couple of years ago, and I just looked at this forum on a whim today (not sure why -- I haven't thought about this in literally years) to see if anyone ever responsed.

I though about getting testing done, but I decided not to because my intention was to sell the house, and if it tested positive I would have had to declare that during the sale, and I figured that would drive away potential buyers since no one in the general public seems has ever heard of this. I figured they would just decide that the house was a toxic waste zone and run screaming out the door! Of course if the testing came back positive I could have had all of the drywall in the entire house professionally removed, but I certainly didn't want to do that! So I felt stuck between a rock and a hard place as far as the testing aspect goes. By the way, I did have the old vinyl flooring in the kitchen tested, and it was positive for asbestos, so I had it professionally abated.

In the end I guess I was left with a totally confused feeling because of the disconnect between would should be done in a case like this, what actually is done in most cases, and how to handle the potential consequences of trying to do the right thing. I also have a bunch of friends who now think I'm marginally nuts, but are still none-the-less my friends.

In case you're wondering, the house never sold due to the bad housing market, so now I use it as a rental property.

karen_in_texas

goddessoflove

04:36AM | 06/15/10
Member Since: 06/14/10
1 lifetime posts
The info below is found at the EPA website. I have included the link. I am researching this as I came across Gypsum wallboard in our home during a small renovation project. Asbestos in your home is to be taken very seriously--Don't cut corners when taking on a project that involves asbestos.

http://www.epa.gov/asbestos/pubs/ashome.html

Asbestos in Your Home:

The following information below is taken largely from a document developed in 1990 entitled Asbestos in Your Home. However, this information is still of value to homeowners and renters. Hard copies of the 1990 document are available from the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Assistance Information Service at 202-554-1404, or from the Asbestos Ombudsman at 1-800-368-5888. Note: EPA is currently revising the original document. GO TO THE LINK ABOVE TO FIND OUT:

* What Is Asbestos?

* How Can Asbestos Affect My Health?

* Where Can I Find Asbestos And When Can It Be A Problem?

* Examples of Where Asbestos Hazards May Be Found In The Home

* What Should Be Done About Asbestos In The Home?

* How To Identify Materials That Contain Asbestos

* How To Manage An Asbestos Problem

* Asbestos Do's And Don'ts for the Homeowner

* Asbestos Professionals: Who Are They and What Can They Do?

* If You Hire A Professional Asbestos Inspector

* If You Hire A Corrective-Action Contractor

* More Information
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