Watcha doin???

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Liquid Tension, Jun 6, 2014.

  1. tango

    tango ... and you shall live ... Staff Member

    One of the advantages of having a less insulated roof - the snow melts and slides off faster. On the other hand, it's a disadvantage to anyone walking under the edges of your roof :)
     
    Cloudwalker likes this.
  2. RabbiKnife

    RabbiKnife Open the pod bay door, please HAL.

    I've noticed that the roofs on houses in Key West are designed with this very feature.

    And I have never seen snow on the roof of any building in Key West, so, Q.E.D.
     
    tango likes this.
  3. IMINXTC

    IMINXTC Time Bandit

    Truck scales get all wanky in the sub- freezing temps. Drivers can get fined.
    Got to install diesel heaters.
     
  4. teddyv

    teddyv The horse is in the barn. Staff Member

    Although you tend to generate significant ice buildup at the bottom of the pile, which then wedges under the shingles and gets into your house. It happened to use around our skylights, which are notorious for water leaks. Fortunately it was nothing too bad other than a dripping out of a light fixture.
     
  5. tango

    tango ... and you shall live ... Staff Member

    I guess you need metal sheeting that doesn't provide anywhere for ice to build up. Or you connect the metal sheeting to the electricity supply, which not only helps melt it but also deters would-be burglars from breaking in through the roof :)
     
  6. tango

    tango ... and you shall live ... Staff Member

    Trying to get motivated to clear a load of stuff out of my study. I moved my lathe out but still need to move my computer stuff out of harm's way. Trouble is I really want to make sure my laptop is set up ready to use, whereas I can easily live without my lathe for a few days. Then comes the fun part of pulling the wall down and fixing the holes I'm expecting to find behind it. Once that's done I should see some more savings on my heating bills.
     
  7. tango

    tango ... and you shall live ... Staff Member

    Reasonable progress so far. My workbench is cleared off (no small feat in itself), and I got a storage chest cleared off and moved out. Next up I need to shift a desk in the guest bedroom into a place where I can use it as my desk, then shift my computer stuff onto it. My wife needs to move some of her stuff into a space that won't get covered in dust, then I can start moving the furniture away from the wall and applying the dust sheets. Once that's done, the wall comes a-tumbling down. Well, maybe not "a-tumbling" down as if it were passive, it's going to create huge clouds of dust. I might even open the window and use a fan to pump it out, to see if that will help - I bought a 20" box fan specifically to pump out dust while I'm working, it's just a question of whether it helps because it removes dust, or hinders because it causes more air circulation which keeps more dust airborne for longer.
     
  8. teddyv

    teddyv The horse is in the barn. Staff Member

    You've checked for asbestos content in the plaster or wallboard? Or is it something else.
     
  9. tango

    tango ... and you shall live ... Staff Member

    It's elderly lath-and-plaster. Horsehair mixed with plaster, layered onto wooden laths. Horribly messy but I don't imagine there's asbestos in it. I hope there isn't, because I've already pulled down literally a ton of the stuff and hauled it to the landfill.

    My concern is that it creates a lot of dust, and I don't imagine the hard drive in my computers will play nicely with the dust. My assorted precision clock tools probably won't play nicely with the dust, and if it gets into my lathe then the chances are nothing will run true again.

    I wear a breathing mask to keep the dust out of my lungs as best as I can, and as far as is practical I lift lumps of plaster away from the wall and drop them directly into my polypropylene bags, rather than just letting it crash to the ground. Some of it falls straight to the ground, I just try and minimise it because it makes more work to clean it all up later.
     
  10. teddyv

    teddyv The horse is in the barn. Staff Member

    Well, I don't know how old the building is, but I'd say there is a reasonable probability the plaster could contain it. Depending how much more wall you have to take out, you may want to consider having it tested. That could open a whole can of worms about disposal if there is any in there though.
     
  11. tango

    tango ... and you shall live ... Staff Member

    The house is about 100 years old. Testing does potentially create issues as you say - if there is asbestos in it I'd rather not be breathing in any more than I already have, but equally don't want to find my project immediately turned into a nightmare of having endless contractors in to remove it and then paying through the nose to get rid of it.

    Why would asbestos be present in domestic plaster? I've come across lath-and-plaster walls here and in the UK and never heard concern of asbestos in it before.
     
  12. teddyv

    teddyv The horse is in the barn. Staff Member

    It may have been more common in residential tower construction for fire mitigation purposes (my friend had his apartment tested prior to his renos), but I do know that many houses where we lived previously did contain asbestos in the gypsum board or plaster. Prior to any demolition of older houses (pre-1970's I would guess), it is usually tested for. I never tested our current rental house when we did renos there, but probably should have - although we did not remove much wall material in that project.

    ETA:
    Maybe this site would be useful?
    https://www.wikihow.com/Identify-Asbestos-in-Plaster
    If your house is a 100 years old, it may be ok, unless there was subsequent renovations during the period that asbestos became more common.
     
  13. IMINXTC

    IMINXTC Time Bandit

    I had been licensed to bid on asbestos (Not worth the trouble).
    The general concern is "disturbed" asbestos and testing is usually required where building permits are applied for, in the case of pre-70s buildings.
    If there had been remodelling using asbestos in the past, you don't want to breathe that crap at all, of course.
    I can boast of two relatives who lived in the general proximity of a mine who died from asbestiosis. Near Libby Montana.
     
  14. teddyv

    teddyv The horse is in the barn. Staff Member

    My dad has had lung damage, most likely due to asbestos. Fortunately it has not manifested as mesothemelia (yet). When he started out as an electrician his company was doing retrofits on Navy destroyers whose wiring was of course covered with the stuff. Due to its properties it was probably present in many other places he worked over the years.
     
  15. IMINXTC

    IMINXTC Time Bandit

    Very sorry for your Dad!
    I took Fed courses as prerequsites to licensing.
    Once a single fiber, about .01micron, lodges in the lung, it's there forever.
     
  16. tango

    tango ... and you shall live ... Staff Member

    It looks like most of the issue came after 1920, which is after the house was built. I believe it was extended at some point after that (based on the fact some of the house is lath-and-plaster and some is drywall), but the drywall that needed to come down has already come down, so if there was asbestos in it then I've already inhaled a load of it, and the chances are there isn't much of it left.

    Reading about asbestos highlighted possible dangers of other types of dust, so I went out today and bought myself a respirator with HEPA filters. I think it is rated at N97, so maybe not high enough for doing major asbestos work, but then I'm inclined to think that asbestos isn't going to be an issue here. Previously I'd used the disposable paper-based things that keep the worst of it out but aren't as effective as they might be when it comes to clouds of dust in the air. I'd been meaning to do it for a while for the times I make a lot of sawdust, but figured it was about time I actually did it.

    Interestingly, when I asked at the building office about whether I needed a permit for my project they established it was a residential property and a remodel rather than anything structural, and basically said I was free to do whatever I wanted. No mention of asbestos at all. Apparently if I want to take down walls (as opposed to stripping them back to the studs) I need a permit but working with what's there has no requirements at all. And, rather fortunately, the place I wanted to put a new door turned out to already have a door frame, tucked away behind a sheet of drywall. When I took the plaster rubble to the landfill they asked what I was dumping. I said it was plaster from a home renovation and they didn't even ask about asbestos.

    ETA: I checked the respirator and the filters are rated at P100, which basically means they catch 99.97% or more of airborne particles. These are a bit overkill - they also catch a bunch of organic gases as well. I'm not expecting to be dealing with hydrogen fluoride gas during my work but if I do these filters will catch it. I did consider taking the whole thing back to exchange it - the filters are unopened so they should exchange it - but figured I might as well just stick with what I have rather than make a 40 mile round trip and hope they have the one I'd swap it for. Otherwise I'd feel like a real putz returning something for a refund, finding they didn't have the better suited one, and then going to buy the one i returned right back.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2018
  17. tango

    tango ... and you shall live ... Staff Member

    I also use HEPA filter bags in my shop vac when cleaning up.... I figured there's little point sucking up the dust if the finest dust is just going to get blown right back out into the air I'm breathing.
     
  18. tango

    tango ... and you shall live ... Staff Member

    Spent a lot of time reading about asbestos last night. For a time I was worried that the cellulose insulation I've been lifting and removing might have been asbestos (which would have been a major concern, given it would have been 100% asbestos fiber and I was working in clouds of the stuff in a confined space). Thankfully it appears it is definitely cellulose insulation.

    The lath-and-plaster I've pulled down so far appears to have been plaster with the presence of some brown fiber in places. That reassures me it's most likely horsehair rather than asbestos, which I gather is usually white, blue or blue-gray. The drywall panels may contain asbestos but most of them are already removed and taken away so if they do contain it there's nothing I can do about it now.

    I'm still a little surprised that the building permit office were quite happy with the idea of me ripping everything back to studs and didn't even mention the possibility of asbestos. Maybe the laws here are sufficiently lax that there are no restrictions on me removing and disposing of asbestos myself, but I'd have thought the landfill would have asked more questions about it, if it was likely to be an issue.

    We had a new linoleum floor laid a while back and the contractors (a very highly respected local firm) laid it over the top of the previous floor. They said that old floors may contain asbestos and the safest thing to do was just lay a new floor on top, sealing the old one. They said that they couldn't remove the old one without having it tested for asbestos and if the results were positive they wouldn't remove it at all. So maybe the local approach is one of "cover and conceal" rather than "fix the problem".
     
  19. tango

    tango ... and you shall live ... Staff Member

    Got a bunch more demolition done. What I was expecting to be a lot of lath-and-plaster turned out to be mostly drywall. I prefer pulling down plaster because it's easier to bag up and take away - drywall never seems to cooperate as well.

    So far there are four bags of drywall, a small pile of laths, and a load of lumps of drywall. I discovered along the way that the house was extended in a way I didn't previously know about, which explains a weird feature of the attic that previously made no sense at all. Because it was extended the wall is lath-and-plaster up to where the exterior wall used to be, then drywall to the new corner. From the new corner it's drywall up to where the old wall was, where lath-and-plaster takes over again.

    I don't care for my new respirator but can't complain about its effectiveness. Despite working in clouds of dust the amount of it that got into my nose appears to be more or less zero.

    I had hoped to get more done today but was slowly running out of space, what with growing piles of drywall. I was planning to set up a tarp on the driveway and drop the lumps out of the window onto the tarp, so I could get them out of the way. It's a shared driveway so I was looking at setting something up so the neighbors could see the obstruction. Then it started to snow, so it will have to wait until tomorrow or (more likely) Monday. Then I'll take it to the landfill, given it's just going to get in the way until I get rid of it. I've also got six more old window weights to get rid of, and a total of eight bags of plaster rubble.

    Talking to a relative who has heard about the house and how and when it has been modified over the years, and looking at the years during which this particular drywall contained asbestos, I'm still confident that I'm probably not dealing with it. Ceiling tiles may be another matter, but for now at least those aren't coming down.

    On another positive note I found out why one corner is so cold. When the exterior wall was extended the joists supporting the attic were rested on the exterior walls and what is between inside and outside is.... nothing. No wonder it got so cold in there. Of course since I stuffed fiberglass into the wall cavities from the room below the cold air couldn't get to the downstairs room which meant that room got even colder. Tonight it will probably get colder still.... but I can deal with that. Tomorrow or Monday I'll be in there with fiberglass and cement to fix the walls. I just need the pile of drywall out of my way first.
     
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  20. tango

    tango ... and you shall live ... Staff Member

    Interestingly my room with the freshly removed walls only managed to drop to 48 degrees overnight. I was expecting it to go several degrees colder than that. The corner where I can see over the top of the wall is showing a temperature in the low 50s according to my thermal camera, which isn't much lower than the rest of the wall and higher than a few other spots. That was a surprise. I'm still going to fill it with insulation, but it appears to be less urgent than other areas.

    Having found out that the upstairs was extended, which makes the strange shape of the attic make at least some sense, this afternoon I went out to take a look at the brickwork. I'd previously noticed that some bricks are gray and some have a more brownish tinge to them and, sure enough, the dividing line is where the new wall starts. So essentially they built the house and it would appear that within a decade they rebuilt part of it, extending it in a way that made more sense but with a slightly different color of brick. And, needless to say, the join between the old wall and the new wall provides a generous collection of places to put some of my spare cement....
     

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