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Asbestos in an old house



Asbestos in the house

It's an old house, of course there's asbestos. Don't panic though...

Somewhere around the 1950's or so whoever owned this house put up John Mansville asbestos tiles on the outside. Reason to panic? Not really. They actually have some very good qualities. They take paint really really well, like it was powder coated. The insulate like nothing else - they transformed what had to have been a big drafty house into one that retains heat pretty well. Assuming I don't get mesothelioma that is.

The downside it they look awful. I hate them. But they do do their job. At least till I can cover them up.

I've toyed from time to time with the idea of removing the asbestos tiles but that's a nightmare you don't want to get into. Some school in New Jersey had to pay $20K just to have a survey for asbestos contamination before any money was spent on cleanup. Yow.

Drilling asbestos tiles is not unsafe though when the need arises. One of my neighbors does asbestos removal for a living and he tells me all you need to do to drill it safely is to spray the asbestos tiles with water and use a hand drill, never a power drill. If you try to use a power drill on asbestos tiles then you will need full contamination cleanup. Not so for a hand drill.