Sunday, May 6, 2012

It's definitely getting better

An update on our continuing drywall saga
Thank goodness for goggles
and respirators!
We completed our last coat of joint compound and a final round of sanding.  I am not sure a professional would call it "done" but someone riding by on a horse wouldn't notice our errors.  In consulting my brother, John, for advice he gave me sage advice: "if your gonna do it you may as well do it right."  I laughed really hard when I read this.  We're not trying to do this poorly, but it certainly does seem like amateur hour around here sometimes.  For our next drywalling adventure, I would much rather hire out the work than spend forever and a day dealing with.  To prep for the next step, we threw some primer on the fresh drywall and mud.

Yeah, we have had asbestos...what's it to ya?
Halley, stayin' alive
I packaged up some tile samples from the Pit and laundry room to have the tile and adhesive tested for asbestos.  The tiles were non-friable 10% chrysotile, the most common form of asbestos.  I started panicking, Matt remained calm and started research on the interwebs.  If you're going to have asbestos in your house, vinyl asbestos tile (VAT) is the form you wish for.  It is certainly something to be careful with, but the removal process was not too difficult.  I phoned the Bucks County PA Dept. of Environmental Protection and he put my fears at ease.  Homeowners are able to remove their own VAT (no permit required) and it can be incorporated into the regular waste stream.
Matt, being a sad panda

Prepping the room
We prepped the room by emptying it completely and taping ourselves into in with with plastic sheeting.  The vents and outlets were all taped up and the HVAC system was turned off.  To keep the asbestos off of us we used goggles, respirators with cartridges rated for asbestos, gloves, tyvek coveralls and of course, booties.  Once all the prep work was taken care of, the removal process was quite simple.  We sprayed the area we were working on with "amended" water (which just mean there's a bunch of dish soap in it)  and then used putty knives to pry under the tiles and pop them off.  We had an interesting surprise concerning the strange wall bump-out that required the stupid drywall operation.  For some reason, this wall bump-out was built (perhaps at all?) on top of the tiles.  The tiles were bagged, bagged again and sealed.  Before we opened up the containment zone we collected all the debris from the floor, wiped down all the surfaces and mopped.  When we were ready to break the seal, we ran outside and ripped our masks off to get fresh air.  From start to finish the process took about 3.5 hours.  Glad to be done with that mess.  At some point we'll tackle the laundry room/powder room and perform the same operation there, so after that we'll really not have any asbestos.
The dirt line represents the edge of the
bumped-out drywall...previous home owners
were real dingbats
Molly, trying to get through 2 layers
of help?

Dancing about, post asbestos removal and post
shower, I think "Bare Necessities" from Jungle
Book is playing in my head for some reason.  Molly
is happy to join us on the other side of the plastic
Moving forward
We've finished our first all-over coat of oil-based primer.  After some research I found that using an oil-based primer will prevent the underlying layer of wallpaper from peeling off the walls.  Once this has encapsulated the awful wallpaper, we can pressed on with spackling and sanding the wallpaper seams.  We are hosting Mother's Day for both out families next Sunday, so there are a few key steps to get finished:

  • Sand the wallpaper seams
  • Another coat of oil-based primer all over the place
  • Ceiling paint, on the ceiling
  • Paint the walls
  • Put up crown moulding
  • Pour the self leveling concrete
It crossed our minds to try to get the tiling done before then...but with two full time jobs it isn't going to happen.  We should also try to make a larger dent in our unpacking.  This was a hard week (see Matt's post) but we really got a lot done over the weekend.  Slow, but steady, progress.

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