Well, today we're finally getting our carpetting installed in the basement downstairs. It's been a long road because we knew that the tiles that were on the basement floor contained asbestos.

Although everyone and their mother seem to recommend that we lay the carpetting right over top of the tiles, we also had some water the first year we were in the house due to a drainage problem (which we took care of last year) so this had caused many of the tiles to become loose and crack - - DANGER Will Robinson!

So considering that we have two semi-newborns we figured we had to remove the tiles, which began the long process of figuring out HOW to do that. I read up on the oval process at the Resilient Floor Covering Institute (or RFCI for those who need more acronyms). After reading through this I contacted some asbestos abatement specialists. They wanted to charge me $2000 to remove the tiles and it sounded like they would NOT be taking all the precautions outlined in the above manual (they wouldn't be sealing doorways and air vents, for instance). Everyone I called said there wasn't any real danger with these types of tiles as long as the tiles weren't pulverized into a fine dust.

So being both cheap and paranoid, we decided to do it ourselves following the RFCI procedure. I moved all the furniture and items (including bookcases, desks, sofabeds) from the basement into other rooms. I removed all the molding strips (uncovering many empty spider sacks!). I bought special asbestos air filter masks, latex gloves, paper suits, goggles, sheet plastic, a heat gun, and a wet-dry vacuum. I sealed all the doorways and airvents with the sheet plastic using duct tape and then carefully removed all the tiles, placed them in plastic-lined boxes and disposed of them. I vacuumed up what dust I could with the wet-dry vac (I should have used a HEPA filter). We cleaned the walls with soapy water and a sponge. I mopped the adhesive-covered concrete (just last night) while my wife tried to scour out some of the empty spider sacs. The padding is being installed right on top of the concrete as I type.

I'm really looking forward to using the basement as a family room (with entertainment center) and as a soft place for the kids to crawl around in. They are at the stage where they are into exploring and they're getting pretty stir crazy with the living room and their bedroom. Carpetting in the basement will really go a long way into providing a cozy haven for us in this house. And a coat of paint down there will do wonders...

§5 · January 7, 2005 · Life · · [Print]

Leave a Comment to “The Trouble With Being Both Cheap and Paranoid”

  1. Rob says:

    LMAO! Paper suits? Where are the pictures?

  2. Jeff says:

    Never mind that, when are you coming up to visit the place, beeyotch?