Author Topic: How to resolve my lead paint/ice dam problem w/out 70k in debt? Old house woes  (Read 3014 times)

J Boogie

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Hi team,

I have a 3yo and another one coming in October. We have mostly mitigated lead paint issues throughout the interior and I'd like to close the book on the lead paint issue completely by having the peeling siding removed and having my house resided.

It also makes sense to re-roof at this point in time as well, as there are massive ice dams that form every winter that represent a liability in terms of rotting framing members/sheathing, requiring more costly fixes down the road. New shingles alone won't do it, but the shingles are 20+ years old, weathered, and to do the fixes (ventilation, insulation, ice & water shield) I'll need to remove the old shingles.

I need new gutters as well, as the current ones are cheap and are coming apart at the seams.

As the only earner I make 75k. I bought the house (it's a duplex and I rent out the top unit for 1000/mo) for 230k in 2015.

We're pretty good at diverting money into investment accounts before we can touch it, and we're pretty bad at saving up cash. My take home is around 3.5-4k with a full HSA contribution and a 5% 401k contribution to get the full match.

We don't have significant cash beyond a small E fund which we wouldn't use for this anyways.


If this would have been listed for 300k with brand new siding and roof in 2015, and I was making 75k like I am now, I probably would have gone for it. But for some reason I'm hesitant to take on more debt, which is probably a good thing. But I fear it's preventing me from moving forward and doing what needs to be done to be a good steward of this property. I guess part of it comes from the sticker shock associated with getting bids these days. I don't think these bids are crazy high, as this is an elaborate old Victorian with a pretty complicated roofline that requires serious troubleshooting to optimize for adequate ventilation to avoid ice dams. And I refuse to put vinyl on it, so the siding bid is for pre-painted smartside.

The bids also account for a fair amount of DIY work on my part, and given that it's a 2.5 story and I have a young family I don't see DIY being a realistic approach here.


Anyways, feel free to throw out ideas. No idea is a bad idea. It might be an idea that I or my contractor(s) have considered already, or it might be really helpful. 





seattlecyclone

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Have you gotten a bid for shaving down the original siding to bare wood and repainting? Could be cheaper than a full re-side.

J Boogie

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Have you gotten a bid for shaving down the original siding to bare wood and repainting? Could be cheaper than a full re-side.

:)

I haven't, but even so roughly 40% of it would need to be simply replaced as it is cracking and so old I don't think it can hold paint anymore. Everything I've read suggests I would pay as much/more and that the ability to hold paint longer than a few years is questionable on 100+ year old siding. It was built in 1890.

Adam Zapple

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Have you gotten prices for re-siding?  You will need a lead competent contractor (with appropriate licensing).  A significant cost will be the mitigation of the lead (removal) and disposal.  It is quite involved.  You can skip this by simply encapsulating the old siding under the new siding.  The downside is that future renovations may release the lead dust so precautions would need to be taken.

J Boogie

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Have you gotten prices for re-siding?  You will need a lead competent contractor (with appropriate licensing).  A significant cost will be the mitigation of the lead (removal) and disposal.  It is quite involved.  You can skip this by simply encapsulating the old siding under the new siding.  The downside is that future renovations may release the lead dust so precautions would need to be taken.

The contractors I've talked to here treat lead abatement as a "don't ask don't tell but yeah it's probably lead" situation.

They'll demo with some poly laid out on the ground but no crazy poly covered scaffolding setups unless lead remediation is explicitly requested.

My guess is that in the rare event an inspector audits their demo site, they don't face severe penalties but instead agree to switch to the full lead remediation setup at the homeowner's expense as mentioned in their contract. The homeowner probably then looks at the bill and demos himself (allowed) or by hiring a cash laborer (probably not allowed but virtually impossible to stop).

Adam Zapple

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Have you gotten prices for re-siding?  You will need a lead competent contractor (with appropriate licensing).  A significant cost will be the mitigation of the lead (removal) and disposal.  It is quite involved.  You can skip this by simply encapsulating the old siding under the new siding.  The downside is that future renovations may release the lead dust so precautions would need to be taken.

The contractors I've talked to here treat lead abatement as a "don't ask don't tell but yeah it's probably lead" situation.

They'll demo with some poly laid out on the ground but no crazy poly covered scaffolding setups unless lead remediation is explicitly requested.

My guess is that in the rare event an inspector audits their demo site, they don't face severe penalties but instead agree to switch to the full lead remediation setup at the homeowner's expense as mentioned in their contract. The homeowner probably then looks at the bill and demos himself (allowed) or by hiring a cash laborer (probably not allowed but virtually impossible to stop).

You have to decide if the risk to your family and tenants family is worth someone half assing it.  You will likely be dragging lead throughout the house if the workers are not trained in proper mitigation.  The guys doing the work will likely not be paid enough to give a shit or will simply be ignorant to the risks of lead exposure to children.

J Boogie

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Have you gotten prices for re-siding?  You will need a lead competent contractor (with appropriate licensing).  A significant cost will be the mitigation of the lead (removal) and disposal.  It is quite involved.  You can skip this by simply encapsulating the old siding under the new siding.  The downside is that future renovations may release the lead dust so precautions would need to be taken.

The contractors I've talked to here treat lead abatement as a "don't ask don't tell but yeah it's probably lead" situation.

They'll demo with some poly laid out on the ground but no crazy poly covered scaffolding setups unless lead remediation is explicitly requested.

My guess is that in the rare event an inspector audits their demo site, they don't face severe penalties but instead agree to switch to the full lead remediation setup at the homeowner's expense as mentioned in their contract. The homeowner probably then looks at the bill and demos himself (allowed) or by hiring a cash laborer (probably not allowed but virtually impossible to stop).

You have to decide if the risk to your family and tenants family is worth someone half assing it.  You will likely be dragging lead throughout the house if the workers are not trained in proper mitigation.  The guys doing the work will likely not be paid enough to give a shit or will simply be ignorant to the risks of lead exposure to children.

TBH, I think full scaffold is not needed if the siding is simply being removed ( and not scraped and sanded). There will inevitably be chips that come off but they are unlikely to blow farther than the poly spread out below due to their size. Whatever dust comes off and lands beyond the poly is likely no greater threat than the usual amount of lead siding debris scattered after a storm or a soccer ball hitting the siding.

Also, I have a festool dust extractor that gets frequent use throughout the house during and after any  projects. I have scraped and sanded my lead paint covered porch before and we have kept close tabs on my sons blood lead levels.

Sibley

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First, you don't want vinyl. I don't like it either. My house has aluminium siding, which looks the same but doesn't at the same time. Would that be acceptable? Might also be cheaper than the wood, would require less ongoing maintenance. And my house has the original siding underneath, in whatever condition it might be in, including whatever lead paint is on it.

Second, roof. Multiple quotes is the best you can do, and old house research so you're knowledgeable.

Third, lead paint. Lead paint is primarily a danger if you're ingesting it. Little kids are of course prone to eating everything in sight. But since you don't plan to sand, just remove the siding, then some basic precautions should help a lot and be low cost.
-Ship the child (and the pregnant woman if possible, not sure if that's you or not) off to grandma's or somewhere else so they are out of the way during the work. Just makes everything easier.
-Close up the house as much as possible. Windows, doors, etc. Goal being to keep dust from getting in. Be very careful about going in or out of the house to minimize as well. Walk in, take your shoes off. Good idea regardless, will keep the house cleaner.
-And have them put plastic down outside to catch everything. Get the thicker plastic so it is more tear resistant. It'll help with general cleanup, but it'll also catch lead chips. When the work is done, roll it all up and toss it.

Fourth, paying for it. You're bad at saving cash. I get it, some people are. Does your employer allow you to have multiple accounts for direct deposit? If so, open an online savings account or something and divert some there, upfront. You never see it. But really, somethings you can't really put off and just have to figure out. (I have to do my roof, not that I want to.) So if you need to take out a loan, optimize it. Get the lowest interest rate, try to pay it off early, etc. Cash flow what you can of course.

SwordGuy

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The ice dams are a serious problem.


Lead paint?   Is the paint peeling off so that a kid can grab it and eat it?   Because if it's in good repair you've really got nothing to worry about.

Papa bear

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Regarding ice dams, thatís typically an issue with attic venting and too much warm air leaking from your house.  Putting on a new roof will not fix the issue, unless you plan on redoing the venting and/or insulation at the same time.

Regarding lead: I listened to an interesting NPR hour long thing on lead a few years back.  It was dealing with lead issues in old neighborhoods in Philadelphia.  Basically, even if you mitigate all the lead in and on your house, you will have very elevated levels of lead in the top layer of soil around your house.  The paint has been peeling on and off for 100 years.  Itís going to be there.  So, donít eat dirt, and vacuum your house more.

Regarding siding, I would just side over your current wood with whatever your plan on doing.

Donít be surprised to drop a lot of coin on this. Labor is expensive right now.


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better late

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I just have to ask have you considered selling and moving to a lower maintenance home? (Or rental) We sold our 1890s Victorian after many years and am still amazed at how much cheaper and easier  the newer house is to maintain.

lutorm

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All our interior paint is lead and we're slowly mitigating the situation room by room hoping to complete the exposed areas before the kid gets to it. It's a pain in the ass.

I'd be concerned about hiring a contractor that doesn't do a proper job on the exterior. That's a lot of lead that will get airborne if it's not handled correctly and it'll end up in the yard your kid's going to be playing in, covering everything. I'd encapsulate it if I were you. Yeah, you'll need to be careful if a wall needs to get torn down in the future, but it won't be anything like getting all the paint off the exterior.

J Boogie

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I just have to ask have you considered selling and moving to a lower maintenance home? (Or rental) We sold our 1890s Victorian after many years and am still amazed at how much cheaper and easier  the newer house is to maintain.

Good question.

The reality is that we unlocked some deep value on the purchase. A purchase price of 230k in the Crocus Hill neighborhood of St. Paul (Not unusual for comps to be 2x our purchase price, albeit in better condition) is unheard of, and being that it is a duplex our monthly net housing costs are super low, 3 figures. If I posted this in the real estate section, this is the part where mustachians remind me that I've neglected to take maintenance into account and that's why I think my monthly payments are low yet I'm struggling to come up with the 70k.

Our in laws live above us. The duplexes in ideal neighborhoods tend to go for 500k-1.25k.

I've remodeled the kitchen, the bath, sanded the floors, replaced windows, and countless other smaller projects that have greatly increased our quality of life that probably wouldn't move the resale/rent price needle all that much. I have yet to see a single scenario that could come close to achieving the same low cost high quality living by moving.

The ~70k of debt required to shore up my exterior seems like a far better option than moving for me.




J Boogie

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First, you don't want vinyl. I don't like it either. My house has aluminium siding, which looks the same but doesn't at the same time. Would that be acceptable? Might also be cheaper than the wood, would require less ongoing maintenance. And my house has the original siding underneath, in whatever condition it might be in, including whatever lead paint is on it.

Second, roof. Multiple quotes is the best you can do, and old house research so you're knowledgeable.

Thanks for your response!

I am hesitant to consider anything that requires J channel. I like aluminum/steel because they can be "printed" on site to avoid any seams, much less stacked seams, but the dents, J channel (or complicated rabbet workarounds), and cell phone receptivity leave me feeling like metal siding is far from the sweet spot I'm looking for.

Regarding roof bids... This is a tough one, I'll explain why I'm going with this one guy. The entire roof bid comes in at about $30,000 - but it includes some pretty intense ventilation & spray foam insulation & fascia retrofit details that this guy was able to iron out with me. I'm well aware I could probably hire out some licensed and insured subcontractors on Craigslist for $10,000 or under, but this guy reviewed my roof and developed a very intelligent approach to ice dam prevention. Ethically, I don't want to take his idea and hire someone else to execute it. Practically, he's the best suited to execute his own vision.

What I could do is act as my own GC, hiring my own crews and hiring him separately as a carpenter to execute the unique/difficult aspects of the project, and get a revised bid just for that. But I would feel a lot more confident in his proven ability to coordinate all of these updates as I've never managed a project like this before.







J Boogie

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The ice dams are a serious problem.


Lead paint?   Is the paint peeling off so that a kid can grab it and eat it?   Because if it's in good repair you've really got nothing to worry about.

It's in very bad repair. I really really want us to be able to open the back door and let the kids play without having to helicopter a whole lot. In the meantime I might build a temporary fence around the house and garage so we can breathe easy.

J Boogie

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Regarding ice dams, thatís typically an issue with attic venting and too much warm air leaking from your house.  Putting on a new roof will not fix the issue, unless you plan on redoing the venting and/or insulation at the same time.


Regarding siding, I would just side over your current wood with whatever your plan on doing.

Donít be surprised to drop a lot of coin on this. Labor is expensive right now.


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Yes, planning on opening up the attic floorboards, doing 1" of closed cell, putting the existing fiberglass in the remaining cavity, and putting 3/4 plywood over as a floor/fire barrier.

There is a cathedral section of roof that unsurprisingly gets insane ice dams. Luckily, there are 2 layers of sheathing on the roof so we will remove both, spray foam the entire cavity, and replace one of the layers with 3/4 furring strips to provide ventilation to the ridge without having to re-do the entire gable fascia trim (which we otherwise would if we were to build up 3/4" on one side).

If I side right over wood... I'll have to replace my 5/4 trim with 10/4 trim and build out my sills. Is that how it's normally done on old houses with original windows?

Sibley

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First, you don't want vinyl. I don't like it either. My house has aluminium siding, which looks the same but doesn't at the same time. Would that be acceptable? Might also be cheaper than the wood, would require less ongoing maintenance. And my house has the original siding underneath, in whatever condition it might be in, including whatever lead paint is on it.

Second, roof. Multiple quotes is the best you can do, and old house research so you're knowledgeable.

Thanks for your response!

I am hesitant to consider anything that requires J channel. I like aluminum/steel because they can be "printed" on site to avoid any seams, much less stacked seams, but the dents, J channel (or complicated rabbet workarounds), and cell phone receptivity leave me feeling like metal siding is far from the sweet spot I'm looking for.

Regarding roof bids... This is a tough one, I'll explain why I'm going with this one guy. The entire roof bid comes in at about $30,000 - but it includes some pretty intense ventilation & spray foam insulation & fascia retrofit details that this guy was able to iron out with me. I'm well aware I could probably hire out some licensed and insured subcontractors on Craigslist for $10,000 or under, but this guy reviewed my roof and developed a very intelligent approach to ice dam prevention. Ethically, I don't want to take his idea and hire someone else to execute it. Practically, he's the best suited to execute his own vision.

What I could do is act as my own GC, hiring my own crews and hiring him separately as a carpenter to execute the unique/difficult aspects of the project, and get a revised bid just for that. But I would feel a lot more confident in his proven ability to coordinate all of these updates as I've never managed a project like this before.

Understand. With old houses, competence is important. I do the same sometimes. Plus, once you get into it, surprises happen. Incompetent contractors can't adjust.

Tuskalusa

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Can you break up these repairs (roof and siding) into 2 different projects. Then you could spread out the expenses a bit and possibly cash flow some of it?

J Boogie

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Can you break up these repairs (roof and siding) into 2 different projects. Then you could spread out the expenses a bit and possibly cash flow some of it?

I've thought about this a little bit. My assumption is that dumpster & scaffolding setup & removal is a significant enough cost (and hassle to us) to warrant doing these together if they both need to be replaced.

I'll probably get the attic floor spray foamed this fall and push out the bigger exterior remodel to next summer/fall.

AlanStache

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You clearly have done your home work and are knowledgeable of the situation.  It is not clear if you have got multiple quotes from quality contractors or if you got one from one that did the ice damn plain.  Contractors expect to not hear from some percent of the people they give quotes to - business not personal, I agree taking ones plain to someone else might be a bit much but see if others come up with the same solution. 

If it comes down to dollars then remember they are fungible, can you save scrimp elsewhere while the repair loan is being paid off?  Someone else mentioned a dedicated bank account that automatically gets feed and not touched.

MilesTeg

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As a child I was significantly exposed to asbestos in my house due to the cheapness of my parents who were fully aware of its presence and dangers but still cheaped out and did things (with my help) like pulling up the asbestos subfloor to put down new subfloor without even basic precautions. As a result, I live knowing there is a good chance I'll get mesothelioma (lung cancer) which is pretty damn nasty.

Please properly mitigate the environmental hazards in your home. For your children and for all the others that will live in that house in the future.

feelingroovy

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Could you refinance your mortgage to $300k to roll in these costs?

This won't help your fundamental problem of not saving cash, which you'll need to fix if you don't want to end up here again.

And I second the idea of getting a second bid. Or two.

stashing_it

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Can you break up these repairs (roof and siding) into 2 different projects. Then you could spread out the expenses a bit and possibly cash flow some of it?

I've thought about this a little bit. My assumption is that dumpster & scaffolding setup & removal is a significant enough cost (and hassle to us) to warrant doing these together if they both need to be replaced.

I'll probably get the attic floor spray foamed this fall and push out the bigger exterior remodel to next summer/fall.

I wouldn't be as sure about this.  A lot of contractors will just do roofing, or just siding.   It's going to be a lot easier to get bids for two small, contained projects than one large project.

At the very least, look at your current bids and have them itemize which portion is for the siding, which is for the roofing  (this will also help you contain whatever over runs there are)    Then call 3 contractors and ask for bids for just the siding, and 3 roofers and ask for bids for just the roofing, and figure out if doing it all at one time saves money.

My guess is that doing it all at once means you are getting a bunch of general contractors, who are going to sub it out to individuals / teams to do the work anyway, so you can probably save 20% just by avoiding that, and maybe another 10% because you can find the best deal for each  project

Adam Zapple

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As a child I was significantly exposed to asbestos in my house due to the cheapness of my parents who were fully aware of its presence and dangers but still cheaped out and did things (with my help) like pulling up the asbestos subfloor to put down new subfloor without even basic precautions. As a result, I live knowing there is a good chance I'll get mesothelioma (lung cancer) which is pretty damn nasty.

Please properly mitigate the environmental hazards in your home. For your children and for all the others that will live in that house in the future.

I agree with your sentiment but would not go through life assuming you are going to get mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos in one house.  Most who get it worked with it DAILY (think senior citizens who worked in the trades actually cutting/sanding and installing or mining asbestos.)

Lead, on the other hand, can damage children with one exposure.  I would be weary of any contractor who doesn't seem to care about lead when you have children in the house and a pregnant wife.  All general contractors are mandated, by federal law, to be lead paint certified.  It is one of those laws that is not enforced so nobody bothers.

The statement above about removing the siding not causing much lead to be released is completely uninformed.  If it were my house I would encapsulate the old siding with new, plastic over the interior of all windows and doors while work is going on, move the wife and kids elsewhere, use sticky floor mats at each entrance, plastic 20' around the foundation and ensure the plastic is wet and rolled up when completed, leaf blower the yard, then Swiffer the entire house ceilings, walls and floors before the family returns.  You can DIY all the lead safety stuff because your contractor won't know what the hell to do, I can almost guarantee it.

Papa bear

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Have you tested the paint on the exterior to see if it contains lead? I would imagine there is a really good chance it does, but you donít really know until itís tested, right?



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Bernard

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Lead paint. . . we've used that for decades, all throughout my childhood and then a few more decades, and I'm still healthy. Probably because I never licked it and never ate it. So make sure your children don't eat it eather. Feed them well and don't let the lil' ones roam the streets unattended and they won't see the need for alternate nutrition coming from your walls.
If needed, repaint the house. Get a contractor for $10K or make it a weekend project. I'm not into home stuff at all, but my wife and I repainted our home, alone, within 4 or 5 weekends, after we got new siding. Cost? Not sure, but probably less than $1K for materials.

Although we had asbestos in homes and schools forever, all of a sudden people panic like it's an explosive. You don't want to breathe it in, so don't use a sander on it. Leave it alone. We have three rooms with popcorn ceilings in our house, so instead of calling the HAZMAT department we covered all ceilings with wood. Looks fan-ta-stic!

Can't help you with the roof, but when we needed to do the roof on our commercial property, the estimates ranged from $9,500 to $46K. Guess which contractor we chose? Yep, and it's still like new. Shop-around.

Siding . . . our home was a mish-mash of rotten wood, plaster, and cheap plywood. We went the extra mile with Hardy board and batton. That stuff is a b*tch to cut, and a bit more expensive, but our total cost for the house, including the contractor who charged us $250 a day, was . . . let me look it up . . . $14,193.83, including paint (material only).

You may perceive my advise as very casual. Perhaps it is. Still driving a car without safety belts (my motorcycle doesn't have any either), let alone ABS brakes traction control, and other stuff people nowadays deem necessary. My main safety device is my brain and common sense. The latter isn't that common anymore, sadly.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2019, 04:12:13 PM by Bernard »

lutorm

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Lead paint. . . we've used that for decades, all throughout my childhood and then a few more decades, and I'm still healthy.

You don't have to search hard to find stories of kids getting acute lead poisoning from paint, either by eating it or from uncontrolled removal. There are even epidemiological studies that appear to show systemic differences on the population before and after leaded gas was phased out. Lead is one of those "there's no safe limit, it'll just make you progressively more stupid the more you get" things for kids. So you don't know how much smarter you would be if you hadn't been exposed to lead when you grew up. I'm not an overprotective parent by any means, but I intend to avoid giving my kid a mental handicap getting started in life if I can avoid it. So far his lead blood tests are coming back normal so we're at least not doing anything obviously wrong.


former player

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As a child I was significantly exposed to asbestos in my house due to the cheapness of my parents who were fully aware of its presence and dangers but still cheaped out and did things (with my help) like pulling up the asbestos subfloor to put down new subfloor without even basic precautions. As a result, I live knowing there is a good chance I'll get mesothelioma (lung cancer) which is pretty damn nasty.

Please properly mitigate the environmental hazards in your home. For your children and for all the others that will live in that house in the future.
I'm sorry you are living with this.  I don't know whether this will help, but I talked to the experts who removed some asbestos from a house of mine a few years ago about the risks.  They said that no-one was known to have ever got mesothelioma from asbestos roofing tiles, which were fairly common here in the UK in the 1930s, and attributed this to two things: working in the open air, and working above the material rather than below it.  Many mesothelioma cases among workmen were from people such as plumbers, electricians and fitters who were working in confined areas such as the basements of commercial buildings and working overhead on pipework and ceilings and so on so that the asbestos fell down onto them.  Going by that I think your risk should be very low.

Trifele

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Regarding ice dams, thatís typically an issue with attic venting and too much warm air leaking from your house.  Putting on a new roof will not fix the issue, unless you plan on redoing the venting and/or insulation at the same time.

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Yes, planning on opening up the attic floorboards, doing 1" of closed cell, putting the existing fiberglass in the remaining cavity, and putting 3/4 plywood over as a floor/fire barrier.

There is a cathedral section of roof that unsurprisingly gets insane ice dams. Luckily, there are 2 layers of sheathing on the roof so we will remove both, spray foam the entire cavity, and replace one of the layers with 3/4 furring strips to provide ventilation to the ridge without having to re-do the entire gable fascia trim (which we otherwise would if we were to build up 3/4" on one side).


Re: the ice dams -- sounds like you are on the right track of sealing/insulating/ventilating.  On the ventilation piece, if your plan to provide air space running up to the ridge doesn't work, you could try stand-up roof vents.  You may have already talked this option through with your contractor, but depending on your annual snow load ordinary ridge venting may not work.  We rehabbed a house years ago in Upstate NY (120" of snow per year) that had horrible ice dam problems.  We ended up putting in in several roof vents specially designed for high snow load areas.  Problem solved.   
 
« Last Edit: August 30, 2019, 11:43:23 AM by Trifele »

merince

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Since you're re-siding and re-roofing, think insulation.

This would be the point to seriously upgrade it. In a building that old it would make a huge difference.

Sibley

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As a child I was significantly exposed to asbestos in my house due to the cheapness of my parents who were fully aware of its presence and dangers but still cheaped out and did things (with my help) like pulling up the asbestos subfloor to put down new subfloor without even basic precautions. As a result, I live knowing there is a good chance I'll get mesothelioma (lung cancer) which is pretty damn nasty.

Please properly mitigate the environmental hazards in your home. For your children and for all the others that will live in that house in the future.

Actually, your risk is probably a lot less than you think. The people who are really at risk worked with/around asbestos daily for years. The DIY-er who did stupid stuff is no where near that level of exposure. Did you get crap in your lungs? Probably. Enough to cause a serious problem? Probably not.

Sibley

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The statement above about removing the siding not causing much lead to be released is completely uninformed.  If it were my house I would encapsulate the old siding with new, plastic over the interior of all windows and doors while work is going on, move the wife and kids elsewhere, use sticky floor mats at each entrance, plastic 20' around the foundation and ensure the plastic is wet and rolled up when completed, leaf blower the yard, then Swiffer the entire house ceilings, walls and floors before the family returns.  You can DIY all the lead safety stuff because your contractor won't know what the hell to do, I can almost guarantee it.

I think you're referring to me, that's not what I said. There is a big difference between SANDING and scraping. There's a big difference between SANDING and flat out removal of the siding. Anything you do is going to make a mess. But SANDING is going to make a very different kind of mess. If you're sanding, dust ends up everywhere. If you're scraping, the vast majority is going straight down. Same with removal of the siding. Which dramatically changes the risk, and thus the precautions that are sensible to be taken.

If you don't believe me, then go scrape paint off your woodwork in the stairway. Then sand it. Then come back and tell me which made a bigger mess. If you're feeling really adventurous, remove the woodwork entirely for comparison.

Jon Bon

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While I agree lead paint is a serious problem and should be mitigated its not like its dust from the Chernobyl reactor you know?

From the CDC Emphasis mine

"All houses built before 1978 are likely to contain some lead-based paint. However, it is the deterioration of this paint that causes a problem. Approximately 24 million housing units have deteriorated leaded paint and elevated levels of lead-contaminated house dust."

So while it is an issue I dont think its national crisis or anything. I mean old neighborhoods all the houses have lead paint right? And many have been updated over the years with zero concern about the paint flakes? Just be careful send the kids away for the weekend. Exterior work I would think is 10x easier then trying to get all the lead dust out of the inside of your house. There are lots of things to be concerned about with having kids, I think this is one you can safely and reasonably cross off the list with a few ounces of prevention.




MayDay

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Hello fellow MSP-ian.

That sounds like a great deal for housing in a great location.

I vote take out a loan and get it done. It wouldn't be worth messing around with for me.


Bernard

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You don't have to search hard to find stories of kids getting acute lead poisoning from paint, either by eating it or from uncontrolled removal.

No doubt about it: eating lead or licking it off the walls is very unhealthy. I would think that a smart and attentive parent can prevent their children from doing that. And if they're doing that when they are teenagers because mommy or daddy removed the glue they usually smoke to get high, something definitely went wrong with their upbringing.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2019, 08:15:35 PM by Bernard »

Poundwise

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Just FYI, it's been found that even "safe" levels of lead make kids dumber. The more lead, the lower their IQs, even after adjusting for things like income, maternal IQ, and education level. So-- if you were exposed to lead as a kid and you're still a smart guy, read this and weep because maybe you should have been a genius!

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2235210/

Poundwise

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Also, lest I cause a digression, I would also agree that you should take out a loan and get it done right.  Also get your soil tested after the work is done. 

I am also redoing our attic insulation which is why I was interested in your question, but it looks like you have done your research so I have nothing to add.

DoNorth

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Regarding ice dams, thatís typically an issue with attic venting and too much warm air leaking from your house.  Putting on a new roof will not fix the issue, unless you plan on redoing the venting and/or insulation at the same time.


Regarding siding, I would just side over your current wood with whatever your plan on doing.

Donít be surprised to drop a lot of coin on this. Labor is expensive right now.

you don't really need to ventilate the cathedral cavities if you do a good job of spray foaming.  Spray foam is an air sealer and if the warm, moisture laden air from your house can't come into contact with a cold roof because the roof cavities have been sealed properly, you won't have ice damning.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Yes, planning on opening up the attic floorboards, doing 1" of closed cell, putting the existing fiberglass in the remaining cavity, and putting 3/4 plywood over as a floor/fire barrier.

There is a cathedral section of roof that unsurprisingly gets insane ice dams. Luckily, there are 2 layers of sheathing on the roof so we will remove both, spray foam the entire cavity, and replace one of the layers with 3/4 furring strips to provide ventilation to the ridge without having to re-do the entire gable fascia trim (which we otherwise would if we were to build up 3/4" on one side).

If I side right over wood... I'll have to replace my 5/4 trim with 10/4 trim and build out my sills. Is that how it's normally done on old houses with original windows?

Adam Zapple

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The statement above about removing the siding not causing much lead to be released is completely uninformed.  If it were my house I would encapsulate the old siding with new, plastic over the interior of all windows and doors while work is going on, move the wife and kids elsewhere, use sticky floor mats at each entrance, plastic 20' around the foundation and ensure the plastic is wet and rolled up when completed, leaf blower the yard, then Swiffer the entire house ceilings, walls and floors before the family returns.  You can DIY all the lead safety stuff because your contractor won't know what the hell to do, I can almost guarantee it.

I think you're referring to me, that's not what I said. There is a big difference between SANDING and scraping. There's a big difference between SANDING and flat out removal of the siding. Anything you do is going to make a mess. But SANDING is going to make a very different kind of mess. If you're sanding, dust ends up everywhere. If you're scraping, the vast majority is going straight down. Same with removal of the siding. Which dramatically changes the risk, and thus the precautions that are sensible to be taken.

If you don't believe me, then go scrape paint off your woodwork in the stairway. Then sand it. Then come back and tell me which made a bigger mess. If you're feeling really adventurous, remove the woodwork entirely for comparison.

Of course sanding is going to make the most mess, but removing the siding does not negate the risks associated with lead dust.  I worked in the skilled trades for over ten years and have renovated hundreds of homes.  I don't need to try your experiments because I have plenty of professional experience.  My experience included taking lead safety courses which detail the proper way to abate and dispose of lead-based paints.   

J Boogie

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Regarding ice dams, thatís typically an issue with attic venting and too much warm air leaking from your house.  Putting on a new roof will not fix the issue, unless you plan on redoing the venting and/or insulation at the same time.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Yes, planning on opening up the attic floorboards, doing 1" of closed cell, putting the existing fiberglass in the remaining cavity, and putting 3/4 plywood over as a floor/fire barrier.

There is a cathedral section of roof that unsurprisingly gets insane ice dams. Luckily, there are 2 layers of sheathing on the roof so we will remove both, spray foam the entire cavity, and replace one of the layers with 3/4 furring strips to provide ventilation to the ridge without having to re-do the entire gable fascia trim (which we otherwise would if we were to build up 3/4" on one side).


Re: the ice dams -- sounds like you are on the right track of sealing/insulating/ventilating.  On the ventilation piece, if your plan to provide air space running up to the ridge doesn't work, you could try stand-up roof vents.  You may have already talked this option through with your contractor, but depending on your annual snow load ordinary ridge venting may not work.  We rehabbed a house years ago in Upstate NY (120" of snow per year) that had horrible ice dam problems.  We ended up putting in in several roof vents specially designed for high snow load areas.  Problem solved.   
 

Thanks for the tip, we have cross gable vents which we can open in the winter (to allow ventilation when the ridge is covered) and potentially leave open year round depending on my soffit situation. We have a decent amount of soffit but not sure if we're going to be able to put venting in very easily.


J Boogie

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you don't really need to ventilate the cathedral cavities if you do a good job of spray foaming.  Spray foam is an air sealer and if the warm, moisture laden air from your house can't come into contact with a cold roof because the roof cavities have been sealed properly, you won't have ice damning.

Well, depends on your region and the R value you are able to achieve, but in the City of St. Paul it's up to the inspector and the shingle manufacturer whether or not you can do a hot roof.

I'm not confident that area has sufficient joist area to achieve the R value needed in St. Paul. If I have to sister to create more joist area to meet the R value, then I have to sister the other side of the gable too so that the fascia trim meets properly at the ridge. Whereas I don't have to modify the other side of the gable if I use furring strips to provide ventilation to the ridge.

J Boogie

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Thanks for all of the feedback everyone.

Leaning towards having my guy do the roof, soffit trim, insulation & ventilation, and getting separate bids for all siding & trim below the frieze boards.

I will probably look into hiring a team of subcontractors to do housewrap and residing as quickly after as possible. Then look into hiring a gutter company to come out late winter/early spring.

affordablehousing

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Jboogie, a long while ago you sent me a link to your Instagram to check out some baby projects (one of which I did, another which I'm looking forward to when my daughter gets a little bigger). In any event, I think you and I are similar in our knowledge of our own old homes, and equally intense in the desire for the home to be a "completely correct" entity. I suspect you have vastly superior knowledge of what needs to be done in 90% of situations at home, and just occasionally need to be told to "stop being a cheapskate" when faced with big projects that require help. My wife tells me this all the time on the occasion when knowledgeable tradespeople present themselves and I hem and haw.

As I have been reminded, you've found a good deal, created a shit ton of value, and need to spend some money to take on some big projects that are hard to do with little kids. You still won! So from one devoted Diyer to another, seems to me like you've met your match and you alone know how much mental load you're taking on by managing the project in stages or all at once, with good contractors or ones you have to manage. For whatever it's worth, compared to our market, $70K is an unbelievably good deal for a new roof and reside with disposal, gutters and some intriguing insulation and guttering details.