A Very Sticky Situation

We set aside today to do the asbestos abatement. So after breakfast, we got to draping things with plastic. The idea is to contain any possible errant asbestos fibers in the plastic.

We taped a sheet of plastic around the window:

Accordion Room window draped in plastic

The light switch and electrical outlets were also covered, because they had gaps.

Taped light switch

I made this lovely plastic-wrapped and plastic-lined box to hold the tiles after we removed them:

The box

And then Noel constructed a cute little plastic antechamber in case we needed to leave the room during our work.

Here's the floor:

Floor of the plastic chamber

For a long time this was about all you could see from the room:

Many drapes of plastic

The room had two slit doors: one into the Accordion Room and one into the hall. A slit door is made by cutting a slit in the plastic sheet, then taping a drape of plastic up to hang over it. It's a remarkably effective door, and easily made.

Noel in the antechamber

When the containment system was done, we suited up. Coveralls, feet covers, head socks, gloves, goggles, and then respirators.

Noel minus respirator

Here I am going into the room through the antechamber. It was very slippery.

Going into the Accordion Room

The floor, before.

The floor, before removing the tiles

We came up with a very simple division of work. Noel operated the heat gun and did the main scraping, while I held the tile up to keep it from re-sticking to the floor, then stacked tiles and put them in the box. This was more involved than it sounds, because every surface quickly became sticky thanks to the assorted adhesives used to hold the two sets of tiles down in the first place.

We started work at 11am, and things went fairly quickly, with only a few mishaps. When we get to doing the finishing on the floor, I'll discuss some of the mess we found under the first set of tiles (the asbestos ones). It's pretty nasty. After finishing work we sprayed things and each other down, bundled all the possibly contaminated materials up in plastic, and took this shot at almost 2pm.

Accordion Room, after

The floor has been stained dark reddish brown, and also has a coat of grey paint over it that's probably lead. It's been ineptly evened out (well, they tried, at least) with some kind of weird mastic which I have to send off to get tested. The whole thing is pretty sticky. But it no longer has stupid ugly tiles on it.

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posted by ayse on 04/07/08