You’d think we’d be used to our house being in a complete state of disrepair – after all we’ve been here for 3 years now. Just lately it’s been particularly bad though.
Things around here haven’t been going quite to plan lately and having cleared out two bedrooms, the cellar and half of the dining room (for the plumber and electrician to be able to work), thinking that we could but everything back a few days later didn’t seem too bad – over three weeks later, we’re still living in a mess. It’s really starting to get to me. I’ve lost count of my bruises from bumping into things and I’m sure I broke a toe* after knocking into a random chair that was stood in my way.
These new little self-inflicted hazards that were trying to dodge lately have got me thinking about some of the “proper” hazards that we have around here. To be fair, we knew about most of them before we actually bought the house, but a few little sneaky ones have crept up on us, too.
This is one of the hazardous things that we actually knew about. Our garage roof – which is beyond repair and we were going to replace anyway – is covered in asbestos tiles and the gable roof over our bay has asbestos tiles, too.
As long as asbestos isn’t damaged or moved it’s actually fairly safe. Yeah, it’s not great, but with it all being outside it really doesn’t bother us too much at the moment.
For the most part, this is one issue that we were able to sort quite easily. The tiny bedroom at the front of the house that we now use as our office, had mould all along one wall and our 4th bedroom wall is still damp and mouldy.
Tackling the mould in our office was really easy. Most of it came off when removing the wallpaper and after giving the wall a good clean and most importantly a regular air, we’ve not had problems since. The mouldy wall in the 4th bedroom is probably not going to be that easy to sort. The first job will be taking down the chimney at the back of the house which is causing the leak. Then we’ll hopefully be able to let the wall dry thoroughly before thinking about plastering and decorating.
We’ve now sanded pretty much every floor in the house. When removing the horrible floor coverings including a dog-pee soaked carpet and chipped laminate, what we found underneath was sometimes actually even worse!
In the kitchen we found some really horrible bits of old PVC flooring and a lot of glue. Some PVC and vinyl floors used up to the 1980s can be quite dangerous. Some contained asbestos and poisonous plasticisers. The glues that were used can sometimes be even worse. If you’re unsure, it’s always a good idea to have any substances that you find safety tested.
Paints & Wall Coverings
In old buildings, especially ones as old and unrestored as ours, it’s not uncommon to find layers of lead paint. As always, it’s better to be safe and use a Lead Paint Testing kit to check if you have any. We know that we have lead paint everywhere, so always take necessary precautions when removing it.
Our whole hallway walls are completely covered in Artex. We hate it! The fact that some old Artex layers can contain asbestos doesn’t make things any better. I can’t wait to get rid of it all, but that’s really far down our to-do list!
Even if this reads like a checklist of all things you want to avoid when buying a house, we’re fairly relaxed about most of our home hazards – if we did worry about all of our house issues, we’d probably never sleep!
Have you ever discovered any unexpected hazards in your home? Surely we’re not alone here!
* That may be a slight exaggeration. I didn’t actually break my toe, but it really hurt!