I went over today to get a first hand look at this potential mess. As soon as you walk in you are just hit with Very strong fumes. Fumes that actually lingered on my clothes for a few days after I visited. The carpets in the hallway and in front of the furnace closet felt mushy/slippery as you walked. It was a bad scene.
Progress is being made. They have ripped up the carpets/tile down to the cement floor. The carpets here were a bit old, and were actually on top of older tile. At first they had told us they would not be removing the older tile (and go all the way down to the cement), so we were happy they did. The tile was old and cracked, and it is not too hard to see that the oil would be able to work under them. So to see concrete is a good sign that they might just clean this whole mess up correctly.
Too bad it still stinks. If I was to rate the oil spell on a sclae of 1-10 (10 being the same strength I smelled on 10/21/2008), I would say today is an 8. It still is too strong to stay here for too long. And I kept coughing for a few hours after I left.
Up until a few days before these pictures were taken, they had told us that life was grand and the spill was not too bad and that everything would be finished very soon. Even though the smell was down to a 7 (using my scale mentioned above) we were hopeful it was better. We were hopeful right up to when we turned on the furnace for the first time since this happened. The amazing smell (scale is now a 13, yes worse then original stink) from the furnace proved there was still something wrong.. that there was oil somewhere. So they decided to take out the furnace to continue cleaning. Guess what they found? oil everywhere under/in the furnace. Who would have thought?
Progress continues to be made. The thoroughly cleaned the floor, furnace opening. Not sure deep they cleaned into those ducks in the floor though. It was noticeable that the oil had seeped into them. We can just hope its cleaned out correctly/completely.
Too bad the smell is still hovering at a 7, even though the cleaning company says its getting better. Sadly, to anyone with a nose, it's not.
So I headed back over after about two weeks to prep for my grandmom to come home from rehab. I was really hoping to walk in and not smell any oil, and to see everything close to completion. Nope, not today.
To start, as soon as you walk in you are greeted with familiar smell of oil. Maybe down to a 6. But that is because the windows had been open All day. It was still too much to stay in for a long period of time. After a bit, Rose (my grandmoms helper) came home and turned on the furnace. Once again the oil scale went way above a ten (the original smell).
A quick glance around showed that they put in the tiles under the furnace a few days ago.. It looks like the sealant was not dry, the adhesive did not "dry correctly" (is that the correct term?) and the linoleum is not staying down. I don't know enough to know if this is an easy fix later, but I hope it is fixed correctly and not just duct taped back down later.
They sealed the whole floor, so thats good.
They painted the walls, but did not really do a great job. They just painted over all the nails, rather then take the nails out. And they also decided to paint around a tape case that was mounted on the wall (I took down the case so they can see that it also needs to be painted).
Overall it looks like they are moving forward with fixing everything up. But the real problem (the oil fumes) has not yet been completely addressed. So maybe all their "reconstruction" efforts are futile? We'll see.
We have recently been told that construction will start soon. And once it does start the attic needs to be cleaned out so they can run new duct work. Not sure why we had to rush, but we got it done in only a few hours.
This is everything from the attick
This attick was full of 3 years years worth of crap 2 hours ago.
Looking towards the back of the house
Construction has officially started. This is great news. I am a few days late to grab some shots, but at least I got some.
When I first walked in I was a bit surprised (but happy) to see they are blocking off the kitchen from dust and other contaminants.
The big difference is definitely big. They have removed the entire center section of that house. This used contain the water heater / furnace room, large closet, and small closet. Now all that is left is the hole where the furnace pushed its air into the ducts (within the slab), a deep cut outlining where the cement will be removed, and the wires/pipes.
Blocking off the kitchen while working
Wow this looks different
Any oil down tere?
The new temp wall
The cement is cut to make it easier to rip out
This is where the furnace used to be
A few days after my first visit, they are back. This time they ripped up the cement, and did a few simple oil tests. From what I think I may have heard, the darker dirt in the pit is most likely oil.
The cement has now been removed
Dark spots = Oil?
The oil smell from this dumpster is rather noticable.
By now the construction crews have gutted the house, cut a huge hole in the floor, and sucked out the dirt 9 feet down. Its been a busy few days.
Our third dumpster
Here you can see that the walls had a good amount of termite damage
Arrow marks the spot
They had to go rather deep to get all the oil out. Over 9 feet.
Where did the walls go?
Watch your step
Demonstrates the depth of the hole