Sunday, June 1, 2008

Inch by Inch, Row by Row...

Going to get this siding off!

We started on this side:
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Inch by inch...
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Row by row...
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the asbestos siding came off from the top.

As a short person, I started on the bottom with the steel siding:
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Discoveries!
Here you can see how long the far right window is "supposed" to be:
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Going to have to get a replacement in the original size!

We discovered that the original trim around the soffits was green:
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This is one of the colors we have been debating for the trim if we can salvage the brick... I think it is confirmed!

Someone named Murray lived in our house:
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Must find time to dig through the historical records at the library to confirm.

Finally... something SCARY. This is the corner of the wall:
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SCARY. We have no idea if it is salvageable or not... or even if it is structurally sound. We took a risk taking the siding off... hopefully we didn't open a bigger can of worms. I suppose it is better for us to find and fix it than to live in ignorance.

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HOW?
How did we take the siding off? I thought you might ask. First, we donned special protective gear...
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being a petite person, I had to try on several respirators to find one that would actually seal around my face. Most of them went past my eyelids when properly tightened!

Once we were fully geared up, we soaked the wall with water and dish-soap using a garden sprayer. We used nail snips to remove the heads off of the nails, allowing us to pull the shingles off intact with little to no breakage. We sprayed down the backs of the shingles and deposited them carefully in a heavy plastic bag. This is all that is required in my state... yours might be different.

It is very difficult to get the wood strips off of the brick without dislodging chunks of weaker brick... luckily most nails were in mortar. There are quite a few gouges that need patched, now...

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Here is what we accomplished today:
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Back in the saddle tomorrow, and all this week... we will be trying to decide the best course of action as we uncover more and more. Do we salvage? Do we patch and paint? Do we just stucco over it? Tough decisions... but at least the ugly siding is gone!

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Disclaimer: I am NOT a professional. This is in no way a condonement of DIY asbestos containment or removal. Do NOT attempt to remove asbestos siding without consulting with the proper state licensing/permit agency. Do NOT attempt it without the proper safety precautions. And PLEASE do your research!

11 comments:

Di said...

You're so fortunate to have found brick under your siding. Under our vinyl siding is...wood siding. My vote is for repairing the brick. You'll have a nice, solid, minimal-maintenance exterior. Anything else you'd have to paint periodically, which I'm thinking would be a pain. Looking good so far!

Jen said...

I am so impressed with you! I have similar asbestos siding, but I am not nearly confident enough in myself to (1) do it right and (2) not get lung cancer. It really needs to be taken care of, but I think I'm going to just put more siding over it. I can't wait to see how this all turns out for you!

C&C said...

You are doing what so many don't have the courage to do - I am so impressed! The siding is looking really nice, the color you picked is going to look fabulous!

Robj98168 said...

I think the brick looks fabulous! I vote for brick!

Green Fairy said...

I've got butterflies in my stomach just reading about your adventure. It's very brave of you! Good luck! I'm looking forward to seeing more.

Todd said...

Don't be afraid of the brick repair! I was until I helped a friend of mine restore an old building in Brooklyn, NY. Pulling out damaged brick and replacing is more a matter of finding brick to match than it is negotiating the replacement itself. That corner might be tricky though and you may want to get some more detailed photos up when you can. See what people have to say about it.

Allie said...

Wow! That's a lot of work to get done in one day!

Amalie said...

Sigh. You're so lucky to have unpainted lovely brick under there.

I'm really excited to see how it goes-- keep us all posted!

modernemama said...

whatever you choose to do it will be worth it in the long run

Wendy said...

I wonder they put siding over brick? I don't expect to find brick under our aluminum siding, but I'd love it if we did.

Tiny Oak Park Bungalow said...

It's brick. How cool is that? I don't have the guts or finances to begin tearing off our aluminum siding and applaud your efforts! From the photos I can't tell what was originally going on with the window trim but with the right choices and color, it could look great.