Pane in the glass: So a window has just become the victim of a solid object traveling at a fairly good speed, now what do you do? (If you have traditional windows in your house or garage, follow these steps. If you have thermal pane or other insulated glass, call a glass company to order a replacement unit.) Time to remove the glass from the frame, this is better done from the outside if possible because the glass goes in from this direction. Wearing gloves and eye protection use a pair of pliers to grab the shards, if the glass breaks under the galzing a chisel will work to remove both. After the area is free of glass and glazing measure the opening and give yourself 1/8" in both directions. Call your local glass company and have the glass cut, if the frame isn't completely sqaure a wood chisel can be used to "adjust" the opening to accomodate the new pane. Also, pick up a box of points from the glass company, thses are used to hold the glass in the frame. Apply new glazing and you're done.
Throughout the year with projects both for customers and my own, I have often wondered "What's this made out of?". Asbestos has popped up a few times this year and I have even been asked about asbestos abatement. We all know what the old pipe insulation looks like, the corrugated cardboard like stuff cased in a cloth like material and normally painted white. By the way, if you see that stuff, don't bother it. However, what about the vinyl floor in your kitchen or bathroom or the adhesive that holds it down? What about the drywall that isn't drywall, but you think it is? What about the joint compound on your walls, or caulk on your windows, or tape on the seams of the duct work in your house? Yup, it's even on your roof. Asbestos has crept it's way into every aspect of a house, though outlawed around 1990, it's still hanging around. It's in your walls, on your ceiling, on your floor, and maybe even in your hairdryer (unlikely, but maybe). This is why it is so important to be educated on the projects you plan to tackle and what products were used during the life of your house. Asbestos can cause several medical problems and some fatal. Are you willing to risk your health or the health of others, including your family, because you did not know. Here is your wake up call. Also, building materials from foreign country's may still contain these harmful materials.
So what do we do? Dig big holes and bury the very houses we live in? No. We have to change our mindset as to how we are going to prepare to do a project. Will it be more time consuming? Yes. Will there be more steps involved? Yes. Will we all benefit from the proper procedures during a project? Yes. Anytime that you are going to drill, cut, or grind something and you are not sure if it has asbestos, lead, or anthing else potentially harmful, here are some safety and protection steps to take.
Prepare the site: Hang plastic on door ways and over widows and cover the floor. 2 mil or greater will have the strength to take some abuse. Make sure and tape all seam to prevent dust from getting around the plastic. Make sure vents, returns and exhaust, are covered, we don't want that dust blowing back into the air once we are done. If a door way has to be used or is in a heavy traffic area, cut a slit in the plastic or spend a little money and get the self adhesive zippers to make access through the plastic. the main thing is to prevent the dust from spreading past the work area.
Protective gear: Wear a respirator or mask suitable for the job at hand, not those thin paper masks meant for painting, I'm talking an N95 with hot air exhaust or reuseable respirator with replaceable cartridges. Coveralls, Tyvek or suitable brand that covers to the wrists and ankles. Gloves, something nitrile and puncture resistant. Safety glasses, self explanitory. If your coveralls don't have a hood, then a hat of some kind that covers your hair and maybe the back of your neck. Boot covers, these may or may not be needed depending on your project. Hang warning signs that will tell people of the potential dangers, LEAD work in progress or High Dust Area or ASBESTOS. This will be a small investment, but the point of this is: 1) to protect you and your health and 2) so that you have something to remove and dispose of so that you don't take the dust and fibers home.
Work smart: Try and demo in one day so that clean up can begin as soon as possible. This will be especially important if your work area is in a high traffic zone. The longer removal takes the high the risk of dust and fibers contaminating areas outside the work zone. Use heavy duty trash bags or contractor bags for debris, use a HEPA vac to remove the air in these bags before closing them and tape them shut. Also, place discarded potective gear in bags and remove the air in the same way and tape shut. Remember to wash your hands and no food or drink allowed in the work area PERIOD.
Clean Up: This is a critical step, it is as important as the finished product. When you are ready for this step there should not be any demo work left to do. There should be dust and small debris on the plastic. How do we handle this, vacuum right? Use a HEPA vacuum to get up the dust and small debris, take down the plastic on the walls and over the windows and place it on the plastic on the floor. Our goal is to remove all the plastic from the house in one step. Fold everything up and place it in a contractor bag. Even the ground outside should remain clean from hazardous materials. Wipe down any horizontal surface that has dust on it, now the improvements can begin.
Lead and asbestos are fine where they are until they are disturbed or are in areas that have deteriorated. If you don't feel comfortable with any of these steps, seek out a professional for help. Remember, it's your health and the health of your family at stake.
Property Serv does offer home and property maintenance agreements. These are set up so that you do not pay a monthly fee, we charge by the job! Why pay for something when you don't need it. This will give you peace of mind to know that all you have to do is pick up the phone and call. From maintaining the landscape to fixing broken pipes, we've got you covered. No more shopping around trying to find someone you can trust or has your best interest in mind. Property Serv is making Richmond and the surrounding communities a better place to live. Contact us to find out more!
Craig Jones, owner of Property Serv LLC. My goal is to better educate the homeowner and to make Richmond a better place to live.