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Help! Asbestos!

Posted by Adam on October 2nd, 2002 01:55 PM

(Sorry for the repeat post… Because I’m not sure which forum to use, I’m placing this post on both boards.)


I’m hoping that someone will be able to relieve my conscious a bit… Just purchased a home, built approximately 1949. Up until several days ago, my wife and I were ecstatic about our first home purchase—but now we are freaking out a bit and here’s why…

I recently found out that the previous owner scraped/broke up tile throughout the basement and removed it shortly before placing the house on the market. I’m assuming it contained asbestos. There are some remnants of it in a closet—it’s the dark, hard, nine-inch square type.

Through my conversation with him it was apparent that he did not hire a professional abatement company to do the job. He did it himself with the help of some local guys—none of which (apparently) even wore masks while doing the job!

I should mention that half of the basement is finished, while the other half is the utility/laundry area and is separated by a wall.

After he removed the tile, he carpeted over the “finished” half (a very nice berber) and painted over the “utility/laundry” half (a nice job there as well).

What we’re freaking out about is this: How dangerous is it to be down there? I looked in a closet under the stairs and on the floor, it looked very dusty and had black (what I am assuming is glue) stuck to it. Also, at one end of the closet, one tile and another half broken one still remained attached to the floor.

Now, after sticking my head in there to look around—I’m even more freaked! Am I going overboard with my worry? Can someone do permanent damage from just being down there a short while and looking around? I was careful not to disturb or touch anything.

I should also mention that I am in the process of having the air tested, samples taken and the remaining material cleaned up by professionals.

Am I going overboard with my paranoia here?

If someone who is knowledgeable in this area could respond, I’d REALLY appreciate it. As stated above, my wife and I have gone from being so excited about being first time homeowners to kind of freaked out.

Thanks very much—sorry about the long-winded post!


PS – I should add that there is no other apparent signs of asbestos on pipes, etc…

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