This post is prompted by an article I read this morning in this week’s Lake Oswego Review. A woman on Weatherstone in Mountain Park started a home renovation project last June. She removed 1300 square feet of asbestos ceilings without taking proper care for its containment. The DEQ inspected the sight on July 8, 2016 and found asbestos debris inside of the house, on clothing, personal belongings, the heat register, and outside of the house on the porch, walkway, and mulched perimeter. This woman has now been fined $31,200.
That’s a lot of money. And all because she was likely trying to save money on the project by either doing it herself of by hiring an unlicensed contractor. Some savings.
Asbestos is nasty stuff. It is a naturally occurring silicate mineral that is made up of fibrous crystals. It is strong, insulates well, and is fire resistant. Because of the nature of the material it was wildly popular in home construction for years.
Where it is a hazard is if it is torn or worn to allow the fibrous crystals to become dust in the air that you can then breathe in. Those little crystals get into your lungs and get stuck. You can not cough them out. They stay in your lungs for years and years continually irritating the area until they can become cancer.
Think about what this lady did. She had the particles all over her house, inside and out, on heat registers where they would be additionally blown about and circulated. There is no way that she hasn’t exposed herself to breathing that stuff in, along with everyone else in the house hold. It’s just plain stupid, stupid, stupid.
About 3 years ago I sold a house that had asbestos popcorn ceilings. I had the home owner have them professionally removed prior to putting the house up for sale because the ceilings were visibly damaged. It was about 1000 square feet, and as I recall it cost $4000. This was removing the old ceiling and then texturing and painting a new ceiling. There is not so much money involved here that could possibly make improper removal even a tempting option. Just. Don’t. Do. It.
Stay safe and be smart,