Ripping off a wall... worried about dust

Discussion in 'General Home Improvement Discussion' started by Dean07, Aug 15, 2010.

  1. Aug 15, 2010 #1

    Dean07

    Dean07

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    Hey All,

    I'm new here and I JUST started working on home improvement stuff (bought a house... built in 1931... needs a lot of work) so I'm a total noob.

    Anyway, I started ripping off this nasty-looking wood paneling in my house. Underneath is this sort of plaster stuff (honestly not sure what it is but it kind of looks like plaster... our house is a mock tudor if that helps identify it). I noticed that some dust is flying around when I'm ripping this wood paneling off, and I'm paranoid about cancer-causing stuff.

    So, is there any chance that there's asbestose or something in this plaster? I've attached some pictures for reference. I know chances of people actually being able to figure this out just by looking at this post are slim but I figured I'd check and see!

    Thanks in advance,

    -Dean

    Wall.jpg

    Wall2.jpg

    Wall3.jpg
     
  2. Aug 16, 2010 #2

    Dean07

    Dean07

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    My wife thinks I'm being a paranoid freak about this and wants me to just keep on rippin' at this stuff, so I think I'm going to just wear a respirator and minimize the amt of time our kids spend in this hall for the time being. Sound like a safe way to proceed?
     
  3. Aug 17, 2010 #3

    BrianKiernan

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    Probably just years of dust behind the paneling. There is a better chance of lead paint on the walls than asbestos.

    You can get a home test kit for lead from home depot or lowes. It is good to know what you are dealing with. And if it is lead paint on the wall don't panic, just use common sense when workng.

    Plastic off rooms and clean all dust very well and wear the respirator.

    If no lead I would still work clean.

    It is more likely that there is horse hair in your plaster than asbestos (that's right horse hair)

    Good Luck
     
  4. Aug 17, 2010 #4

    Dean07

    Dean07

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    Is there a test kit for asbestos as well? Thanks for the info.
     
  5. Aug 17, 2010 #5

    KirkG

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    No there is no test "kit". IT requires a sample sent to a lab and the test costs about $50. Check your phone book for a local place or google to find a mail order place.

    You certainly could have asbestos in many places in a home of that vintage. Get someone to come and look. You and your family's health isn't worth saving a few dollars.
     
  6. Aug 24, 2010 #6

    RnDGuy

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    Do yourself a favor if you plan on doing significant amounts of remodeling (a full day or more of dusty activity like plaster demo or drywall) - get an inexpensive respirator (McMaster Carr Supply, < $30 for a silicone half mask with filters p/n 5541T143).
    You will save your sinuses and lungs a lot of grief compared to the cheap paper masks that folks normally get. I got tired of snotting up big grey chunks at the end of every day during a remodel of a 1910 plaster and lathe duplex. These masks are worth it, especially if you plan on demo of plaster or will be doing any drywall.
     
  7. Aug 24, 2010 #7

    Cork-Guy

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    I would honestly get a professional asbestos test prior to any more remodeling work; with the year of your house it's quite possible asbestos may be present. Contact your state's health department and they'll recommend you to a competent company to do the testing "properly".
     
  8. Aug 28, 2010 #8

    Dean07

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    Good advice. I've held off on ripping more of the walls off 'till I know what I'm dealing with.
     
  9. Oct 12, 2010 #9

    profenx

    profenx

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    Asbestos was used widely for many construction products. Since your house is dated so many years back, i would have the test done on the wood panel, the mastic and your sheet rock or plaster. Test vary in price between $40-60 (or you might be able to find a company that will come in and test your whole house ... ceiling sheet rock floor air for a fixed price) and depending on method such as counts of fiber and crystals per field of view. You can also get an air sample by taking in some of the air with a filter and have them analyze it.

    I would use a niosh approved mask that filters to less than 3microns. They sell 3M mask of this kind .. i think N ranked that will be helpful. It is hard to breath with while doin demo but it's worth it. I used it for drywall too and it was fine. Saved my lungs from breathing in all the dust! Also, they sell disposable suits that filter stuff as small as 6microns but allows your body to breath. If you could do all the demo at once so you won't have to keep buying suits and filters. 4 mil plastic will be strong enough to hold all the dust and debris without tearing easily. It helps to mist dust down with water. An environmental abatement guy once told me not to worry too much about lead. It's heavy so you'll be fine. be cautious, use the right protection, keep the place sealed off and make sure you aren't sanding it.
     
  10. Oct 12, 2010 #10

    Albert_23

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    I suggest to spray wood surfaces with dust-repelling cleaner because dust not only makes a house look dirty, but it can also cause problems for allergy sufferers.
     

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