Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Asbestos Week

There was some moisture around the base of the toilet, so on Monday I called the plumber. Little did I know what this would bring on.

The old toilet had to go, they said. They could provide a new low-flush toilet for a reasonable price, they said. Go ahead, I said. They pulled up the old toilet. They looked grim. The floor around the base was sodden and they were pretty sure the old tile had asbestos in it. They suggested calling Emergency Service Restoration. Okay, I said. Fortunately, it is not the only bathroom in the house. The ESR people came. They had little red crosses on their workshirts, suggesting that our bathroom needed CPR. They could put in a de-humidifier for three days (three days!!??) but for the asbestos, I needed an environmental abatement firm. Somewhere in here, I called my insurance company to file a claim. Dino of the environmental abatement firm came by Tuesday morning. He took a sample of tile, and called me that afternoon with the verdict. Asbestos. They would send their crew the next day. Today was the funniest. I had to empty the bathroom completely because of possible contamination. Two men came, draped the bathroom in plastic and ripped out the tile. Then, they hauled out the asbestos tile in plastic bags. Then, an inspector had to come and test the air in the room. It passed. The abatement folks took away their plastic. There is now no tile and a large hole in the subflooring. "Are you going to replace that?" I asked. "We don't replace; we demolish", one of them replied.

Tomorrow, the insurance adjuster is coming and the guys with the red crosses on their shirts are coming back. I will find out what will be done about the hole in the floor and getting new tile, presumably without asbestos. I hope I don't forget to ask who is going to install the new toilet because it had better not be me. The whole thing should be done by next Monday, a week from when it all started. It's a good thing I don't have a job. I would have lost it by now from taking all this time to deal with the asbestos.


Marnie said...

Wow! What an ordeal just to replace a toilet! I thought asbestos was done away with long ago but apparently it's still around. You'd better sit down when you get the final bill.

Tom Walker said...

On further reflection, I'm sorry I didn't come over there this week. It's a shame that I missed out on the guys with the red crosses on their chests.