Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Old House Horrors

Besides the occasional haunted house, there are some pretty scary things we old house rehabbers have to deal with right? And, no I'm not talking about the bills this time.

In honor of Halloween, I thought I'd post some of the scariest things in our building. Of course they are all in the scary basement now since we've renovated almost everything else. The back porch should really be on the list because, well, because it's very old and it starting to separate itself from the building. I can't help but think of my mortality when I'm on it- especially on the 2nd floor.



Then, of course, we have the area of our basement that I like to call our own personal Blair Witch project. Otherwise known as...the crawl space under the back porch.


Go on, I dare you, Crawl around in there and see what's up. I think C.H.U.D. lives there. And yes, I did see that movie (in the theater!).



Of course the most terrifying would be anything that is a serious threat to our health and safety. I'd say the crumbling asbestos insulation in the basement more than qualifies in this regard. (Don't worry- we never ever touch it- except when I accidentally bump my head on it a few times a year)



This one looks like something from Star Wars. Can you hear it? It's saying "Danger Danger Will Robinson!! Danger!!" Now....I hope you'll share the scariest things in your home so I can rationalize how not bad mine are- won't you please?

Happy "Old House Horrors" Halloween from Chicago 2-flat!

8 comments:

Derek C said...

If you take a piece of r13 insulation (faced) and pull some fiberglass off it to reduce its bulkyness, you can wrap it around those pipes that have crumbling asbestos. Don't WIND it around, rather just wrap it and then duct tape it in place. When you do that you can then use a thick heavy plastic sheet to fully wrap around the pipe and then tape that. This will not only permanently contain the danger, but provide more insulation as well. I did it, and, well, I'm convinced its a good idea, my wife thinks I'm nuts. You decide.

amanda said...

Even scarier than that is when you live in a house in which all the asbestos insulation had been removed from the pipes by the previous owners, and you've never seen any evidence of it, so you feel safe to do some demo around the area where the old furnace was. And you pull something off the wall that is right where you need to put a stud, and you find that it was concealing some. And it's now crumbling in a big friable pile on your floor. Eek! I hate the previous owners.

Jessica said...

There is a giant rusty ice pick in my 2-flat basement. It was left by the previous owners and I am scared to touch it. My basement is SOOO creepy. There used to be all these hangers...did they hang laundry down there to dry??? I can't figure it out...very Blair Witch-ish. And, I won't even open the door to the crawlspace under the porch - who knows what may be under there. ;->

Nick said...

The creepiest thing about our house was the fact that it was levitating when I bought it. This wasn't disclosed to me by the seller, and the inspector said nothing about it either. I first noticed when I found one of the front corner posts completely rotted through at the ground. Then I found 5 more. They've all been replaced, and I can mostly rest at night. I dont know how it didn't fall over!

misschrisc said...

Our basement is just as horrible. It's the most sinful part of the house. Believe it or not we have plans to make a tv room down there one day in the very, very distant future. Now that's renovation fever for you!

derek said...

I covered some our asbestos covered ductwork with that aluminum insulation. Our basement is only half underground, and has lots of windows, so it's not as creepy.

Allison said...

From everything I've heard, it's a really bad idea to try to wrap anything around the existing asbestos, because in doing so you can cause fibers to fly off... I'm a tad paranoid, I know, a good friend's dad just died of mesothelioma... We've got it around our boiler, but it will come out before too long...

Cate said...

Somehow the asbestos got removed by the house flippers I bought the place from. The multiple partitions in the basement, however, are still in place and creepy despite the white paint on the floor and walls.

One friend remarked that my basement is a CSI episode waiting to happen.