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Old 02-02-2013, 08:11 PM   #31
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Re: old buildings


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Originally Posted by mt999999 View Post
Roof on this building certainly needs re-done, or very heavily tarred then re-done shortly there-after.

http://www.eastliverpoolhistoricalso...20Building.htm

Don't start going the"temporary" route with an eye of fixing it right "later", 9 times out of 10 the "later" comes and it's still temporarily fixed and now needs to be fixed AGAIN.
By all means PATCH the visible holes and areas of leaking for now, but I wouldn't waste the money to re-tar the entire roof only to tear it all off a year later.
The roof is going to be your most important surface of all, concentrate on getting that fixed right, quickly, the first time.

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Old 02-02-2013, 09:40 PM   #32
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Re: old buildings


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"If it only heats the Lowe building then you have a new problem-the condition and size of whatever else is heating the Thompson building, it could be bigger and worse, bigger since the Thompson building is bigger, exposed on an additional side with more windows."
Never thought of that. Hopefully it was added when the buildings were connected. One of the three exposed sides used to be covered, before the top two floors of a neighbor building were torn down after the 1968 Diamond fire (historical district) as I think I had mentioned once.
 
"The stores could be heating themselves with space heaters or some alternate due to a larger boiler in there going defunct besides the one in the pictures"
The two stores that have been used recently (Lowe building) and the Liberty Tax bellow a portion of Thompson building have seperate Forced-air furnaces. Halfway down page five on the historical society website shows both store fronts inside. You'll see new heating vents installed on ceiling-level in both. I believe both have their own new furnaces, gas bill likely paid by the renters. Probably because they didn't want to pay for each other's gas. Neither did the owner. The listing info said seperate utilities were paid in the storefronts.
 
"I did, it could have been whitewashed or painted, seems difficult to imagine anyone spending the tens of thousands it would have cost to sandblast the paint off the entire facade, especially since the total neglect of these buildings is so obvious and has been ongoing for years."
Above those windows is the only white spot, so it shouldn't be too hard to remove it. The Columbiana courthouse (Lisbon, OH) might have those records with property records as well.
 
"I would never suggest adhering a veneer of brick over the existing, fake or otherwise. If you really REALLY feel the need to do something to blend it in more, I don't know, maybe you can paint just the top floor to a color that's matched up by a pro to what's below it, but adhering stuff to the brick facade 4 floors above the sidewalk is a real bad idea and it too won't perfectly blend either, not in texture or color."
I am not worried about that fourth floor. I had mentioned earlier it would be best removed. I am talking about the very small amounts of brick visible beside the storefront windows of the Lowe building. Seems very damaged at street level. Might be a cheap idea to just cover the lower storefront level, while appearing decent to a possible renter.
 
"The water is running down inside the wall cavities then and exiting there, it's still saturated everything above, yet there's enough water left after doing that- to wind up inside the ground floor store windows."
When the roof is sealed, the storefront level could be easily repaired in that small area, considering the rest of the groundfloor is in perfect shape. The plaster didn't look too bad at all in the picture above the less-damaged side. Didn't remember seeing a picture above the other side. I didn't know it would be that expensive to have a floor knocked off. I could just brick up a few doorways, but I hope water runoff from the Lowe building wouldn't damage the Thompson building. They certainly aren't going to start renovating the Lowe building if they keep it.
 
"You would not need to use oil paint"
I have used it, and I know it's tricky. I just assumed it would buy me more time inbetween paint jobs because it is usually more durable. The old paint is probably so worn, with a bit of scraping and sanding, anything will stick. If it really donesn't make a difference, I'll just stick with primer and latex. If I decided to purchase this building one day, I may just come to you for the woodwork.
 
"Once you have the exterior looking good and the roof has stopped leaking, I'm pretty sure you can take your time on the interior a bit."
That's exactly what I would intended on doing. Completely patching then taring the roof, and afterward restoring woodwork and windows from the top down, thus making the exterior look like it was well taken care of. I am hoping the few boarded-up windows have the original sashes inside. If not, wooden sashes are still pretty much the same if they are sized properly. New shash cords and glazing/paint are obviously a must. If time allows, I'd love to strip the paint from the interior of the windows and refinish to a nice wood grain. Hopefully the original wasn't a faux grain. That would be a real pain. I am sure scaffolding would be necessary for painting above the ground, or possibly the second, level. What would renting some be, price-wise? Renting one rolling section wouldn't be too much, I'd imagine. As you stated, I'd have to check if the rental areas needed inspected before occupation. I attached a picture bellow to clairfy which area was the seperate back section. From pictures, I think the second and third stories would each comfortably house a two bedroom apartment unit. While I don't know alot about boiler systems, I have helped install duct work, and could handle that if small forced-air furnaces were installed in those apartments.
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Old 02-02-2013, 09:41 PM   #33
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Re: old buildings


[QUOTE=RWolff;1108172]2QUOTE]



"That boiler almost certainly replaced the original one from the 1800s when the building was built, it's almost a sure bet they burned coal, and there would be (have been) a coal bunker under one of the sidewalks, or a shute in the sidewalk near the wall leading to a storage area in the basement."
I am sure that is the case, as well. You can see the interesting tunnel-looking areas and bricked off areas on the 6th page on the historical site. They talk about the possitiblity of underground coal tunnes. Or, more likely, coal storage bins under the sidewalk. How I wish this building was still coal-heated! It would be worth the extra work, especially if there was a hopper attached to the furnace so it wouldn't have to be banked with ash at night. I saw a private residence through a youtube video that had a small hopper attached to a coal furnace still in use. If it were coal heated still, that would save so much in utility bills.
 
"I only wish your dream building was just one building and a bit smaller!"
Me too! But I have just become so attached to this one. Something sets it apart from any of the rest of the buildings I have seen downtown. I'm sure it would add up. I hope a rubberized flat roof would be easier and cheaper than shingles. I have done roofs before with three-tabbed shingles. Not fun! I would save the original toilets whenever possible. Didn't know that PVC joints or valves cost that much. Certainly would save the cast-iron claw-footed tubs! In rentals, linoleum would be fine inplace of tile, laminate/carpet in place of hardwood (unless the original boards could be sanded and re-finished), drywall in place of new plaster, pressed wood cabinets and laminate countertops in place of hardwood or solid stone slabs, etc. Likely, the owner of this building bought it intending to make cheap rentals (stores and apartments) as a slum-lord, and got in over his head. Probably is sick of paying property taxes too. His brother owns alot of property as well, according to local public property records. They may have had a grand scheme in mind, and it didn't work out. Now he just wants out. Concerns me somewhat, but this building must be saved, and I don't see anyone else interested; considering it's been on the market several years.
 
"Cast iron doesn't usually go bad unless it's hit by something and cracked, otherwise PVC works fine for drainpipes, personally I never use plastic pipes for water. Copper can be soldered but it has to be CLEAN to bright metal and fluxed, it also can't have water in the pipe when soldering, even small amounts act like a major heat-sink."
I heard cast iron eventually rots out. It does seem to last forever though. I would never use plastic for supply either. I have installed copper pipes. Sanded, immediately fluxed, fitted, then soldered with map gas. Soldering with propane is no fun, it's so much slower. Water once leaked into a pipe while we were soldering, made a good mess of the joint.
 
"...as far as occupancy permits, I can't say for sure, but I am 99% certain you DO need one in some form for any building that is to be occupied as a dwelling, or where the public will access."
Who should be contacted for these permits? Where would you start when you plan to map out apartments. Are there steps to be taken before one decides to renovate into apartments, or should an inspector be called in after all work is complete? What if the dwelling is not rented, if the owner intended to live in a portion of the building?
 
"The roof must be water tight before you put in ANY insulation anywhere, or the insulation will suck up water like a sponge and be ruined"
I know this; after a leak in our roof, a good section of batts was entirely ruined. How big was the machine you used? I have seen bare brick walls plastered directly over them. That would really bite, considering you'd have to put up 2 by 4's from scratch just to insulate and re-plaster.
 
"You'll definitely want to shop Menards, Lowes, or Home Depot, as well as Amazon.com and Ebay. You can buy almost anything on Amazon and Ebay, including electrical, plumbing, construction materials, appliances, flooring, and even roofing."
I am all about shopping around looking for savings, but I'd never imagined that you could buy rolls of new electrical wire over the internet. Hearing it, I was even more shocked that buying it and paying shipping would be saving compared to shoping at a local hardware store. Definately have to look into that, wouldn't want to over-pay. Shipping to the door sounds very nice, too.
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Old 02-02-2013, 09:45 PM   #34
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Re: old buildings


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Originally Posted by RWolff View Post
Don't start going the"temporary" route with an eye of fixing it right "later", 9 times out of 10 the "later" comes and it's still temporarily fixed and now needs to be fixed AGAIN.
By all means PATCH the visible holes and areas of leaking for now, but I wouldn't waste the money to re-tar the entire roof only to tear it all off a year later.
The roof is going to be your most important surface of all, concentrate on getting that fixed right, quickly, the first time.
I didn't think that tarring the roof would run that much. It it were patched on the more solid Thompson building roof, then tarred with a few 5-gallon buckets, would that hold out several years? I'm sure the drainage system needs cleaned out to keep water from pooling on the roof. The Lowe roof would probably collapse under the weight of someone standing on it; I'm sure it needs entirely replaced the first time, preferrably after the fourth floor was ripped off.
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Old 02-03-2013, 12:14 AM   #35
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Re: old buildings


[QUOTE=mt999999;1108232]
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Originally Posted by RWolff View Post
2QUOTE]

How I wish this building was still coal-heated! It would be worth the extra work, especially if there was a hopper attached to the furnace so it wouldn't have to be banked with ash at night. I saw a private residence through a youtube video that had a small hopper attached to a coal furnace still in use. If it were coal heated still, that would save so much in utility bills.
The main reasons coal went out of general use for heating is it's dirty, dusty, the cost has gone up, and you may not even find a supplier any more who delivers coal to residences and buildings. Its been relegated to powerplants and that sort of use these days.
It's certainly not cheaper, if it was everyone would be using it now, it used to be cheap because there was so much, all the railroads used it etc but now it has to be trucked in with trucks using $4 a gallon diesel fuel.

I burned coal when I lived in NYC in the 80s, I also used to grab some 5 gallon cans full of the pea coal long abandoned in bunkers under the sidewalk, but it's not the easiest to get burning, you need a good hot wood fire to get it started, and I remember using up one ton of coal in one week (when it was in the teens) in my Brooklyn loft which was in a former comemrcial bakery building that had no insulation.
The loft was 1-1/2floors, about 25x100 and 25x50 connected by an open staircase. It had lots of big skylights in the roof, brick walls, concrete floors. Even burning one ton of coal in one week and the coal stove actually glowing red, it wasn't enough to get the room more than about 50.
While I was at work one night the coal fire which I banked down, went completely out and a 3" main fire sprinkler pipe in my place next to the exterior wall FROZE.
Coal firing is an art too, you need to shake down the ash at the right time, too soon or too late the fire can fizzle right out and the "dome" of burning coal falls into the hollow space left by the removed ash and then goes out.
Coal, unlike wood- also produces an enormous amount of ash, and the ash has to be disposed of. You fill a 5 gal bucket with coal and burn the coal, the resultant ash might fill the bucket half if not 3/4 the way back up, that's how much ash it makes.
Trust me, coal may be a "romantic" notion, but these days it's best left to the powerplants.

Quote:
I hope a rubberized flat roof would be easier and cheaper than shingles. I have done roofs before with three-tabbed shingles. Not fun!
You cant use shingles on a flat roof, I just used that as an example, your choice for flat roofs is extremely limited- tar and tar paper, PVC membrane or a rubberized sheet.
My building has a PVC membrane roof, it's a thin, flexible sheet of white material. The thing is, it comes in rolls and there's seams to deal with, the seams have to be heat welded with a special machine and if that's done properly its a good water proof seam. They also use the welding to piece sections around vents, skylights and other roof openings and obstructions.
This is almost certainly not a do-it-yourself job, the rolls are big and heavy, you need the special welding machine and the skills and know how to use it.
The thing is, just for laughs I looked up what a roof like this costs, for a roughly 20' x 96' area, it also needs to extend up the parapet walls- so I might say 24' x 100' is required for my roof, would cost me today more than I paid for my building. I forget the exact estimate the roofing company web site who does these types of roofs showed for a simple normal roof of that size, it was either $21,000 or $24,000.
Complex roofs, or adding insulation board under it carries additional costs.
I almost choked when I saw that figure.
Mind you this does not include a new roof DECK, I believe it included something like 1/2" thick insulation board, and if you wanted 3/4 or thicker it was extra, and it included the PVC membrane installation on a simple roof.


Quote:
I would save the original toilets whenever possible. Didn't know that PVC joints or valves cost that much. Certainly would save the cast-iron claw-footed tubs!
You really need to take a little trip to Home Depot soon and start walking around and looking at prices. Some of the bigger pvc pipes- the 6" size seems to be where the price goes WAY up v/s the 4" size, I saw 6" elbows at Menards for around $50 EACH. I doubt you would ever need 6", though a roof drain in my building which is cast iron is that big.

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In rentals, linoleum would be fine inplace of tile, laminate/carpet in place of hardwood (unless the original boards could be sanded and re-finished),
In my building there were 2 layers of linoleum glued to the original wood floor, and then carpet which had been removed had been glued to that, I entertained briefly sanding the floor after removing the linoleum, but I figured those old linoleum tiles likely have asbestos in them, so I covered them with new plywood.


Quote:
 I heard cast iron eventually rots out. It does seem to last forever though. I would never use plastic for supply either. I have installed copper pipes. Sanded, immediately fluxed, fitted, then soldered with map gas. Soldering with propane is no fun, it's so much slower. Water once leaked into a pipe while we were soldering, made a good mess of the joint.
Nothing lasts forever, but castiron is what has been used for lots of things on buildings, lampposts etc.

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Who should be contacted for these permits? Where would you start when you plan to map out apartments. Are there steps to be taken before one decides to renovate into apartments, or should an inspector be called in after all work is complete? What if the dwelling is not rented, if the owner intended to live in a portion of the building?
You would start with the city or county, depends on the size of the town, one or the other will be able to help you.

 
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I am all about shopping around looking for savings, but I'd never imagined that you could buy rolls of new electrical wire over the internet. Hearing it, I was even more shocked that buying it and paying shipping would be saving compared to shoping at a local hardware store. Definately have to look into that, wouldn't want to over-pay. Shipping to the door sounds very nice, too.
You can buy anything on line and a lot of places have free shipping and things, I've even bought metal roofing on line, a refrigerator and gas stove I bought on line because I wanted a small apartment sized gas stove and refrigerator.
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Old 02-04-2013, 12:13 AM   #36
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Re: old buildings


I know how tricky coal is, but I heard it was cheaper still. Maybe not anymore, though. My grandfather would always talk about how cheap it was, and what good heat it provided. Then, he would talk how he hated shoveling it into the furnace, banking it at night, and messing with the flue and damper. I know it's messy too, but the ash makes for great traction on a driveway in the wintertime. Grandpa said they always took the ash out of the furnace and spread it over the driveway. I would have no problem making use of it. Makes great fertilizer for gardens, too. I guess it would be a bit more problematic dealing with the ash in the city, though.

I know you can't use shingles, I was just refrencing what you said. Tar and Tar paper sounds doable, but it probably wouldn't last too long. I just went out and looked up flat roofs a bit, and the new DIY-friendly peel-and-stick sounds good, but it usually only has a ten year warranty. That price you qouted was crazy! I'm sure if the bubbles were sliced open, dried, and patched, and rips were patched with roofing cement and tar paper, the roof would hold out longer. If you then bought several 5 gal cans of specialized roofing tar sealant, the roof would probably last even longer. Honestly, it doesn't seem too bad right now. Can you tell what it's made out of? I thought it was some type of rubber, but then I saw that it was white under the tar they once put over it. See a close-up of the roof in the attached picture bellow. You can see the roof access that I believe is the small blocked-up staircase on the website. That chimney doesn't look too good either. A few pictures of rooms bellow chimneys show that alot of water is leaking around them.

I suppose I never have really paid attention to plumbing pieces before. I have never really paid attention to even the price of lumber. Funny, because I love to visit the hardware store. I'll have to take a better look around next time. Four inches is the standard for toilet drains, right? That's the biggest one would usually need, I'm sure. I think showers and sinks are usually 1 1/2 inch. That's what the kitchen sink took when I replaced a rotted out chrome U-trap and an elbow piece. However, our tub drains incredibly slow. A wider pipe might help.

Even if there was asbestos in it, I would have used a mask and a heat gun CAREFULLY to remove the linoleum to get to the original hardwoods. I think it would be worth it to sand them, and have them showing nicely. The plywood could add too much thickness for doors. Historic houses are worth more with original hardwood floors intact; of course if they are in nice shape.

So would I just have to see the city planning department for occupancy permits? We have a good 11,000 residents in East Liverpool now. Down from 25,000 or so in it's heyday in the mid 50's. I'll have to look up the local codes and restrictions tomorrow. I'd imagine it would beg for trouble if one were to simply sign a lease with a renter without any occupancy permits. I don't know how tight the restrictions are here on these type of things. However, I have heard horror stories from friends who used rent apartments designated for those in the poverty level around here. One went that the building's electricity went out from time to time, winters were always cold, there was no hot water (Imagine all cold showers in the winter), and the worst part... they woke up around midnight one night to the floor "moving" (Cockroaches were having a party). Not pleasant. I would plan to provide a better experience.
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Old 02-04-2013, 01:05 AM   #37
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Re: old buildings


[QUOTE=mt999999;1109037]

Quote:
I know how tricky coal is, but I heard it was cheaper still. Maybe not anymore,
Definitely not any more, or people would be burning it in protest of high oil and gas heat.


Quote:
My grandfather would always talk about how cheap it was, and what good heat it provided

I know it's messy too, but the ash makes for great traction on a driveway in the wintertime. Grandpa said they always took the ash out of the furnace and spread it over the driveway. I would have no problem making use of it. Makes great fertilizer for gardens, too. I guess it would be a bit more problematic dealing with the ash in the city, though.
Oh yeah, well you won't be able to spread the ash around driveways much longer if at all in some places, it's being considered a toxic waste, and only a matter of time before it will have to be dealt with like the "toxic" lead paint and "toxic" mercury in thermometers- both so toxic we're led to believe, that just seeing a picture of them will all but give you cancer or something:

Coal ash pollution contains high levels of toxic heavy metals such as arsenic, lead, selenium, and hexavalent chromium. The public health hazards and environmental threats to nearby communities from unsafe coal ash dumping have been known for many years, including increased risk of cancer, learning disabilities, neurological disorders, birth defects, reproductive failure, asthma, and other illnesses.

Coal ash contains arsenic, lead, mercury, and selenium, as well as aluminum, barium, boron, and chlorine. All can be toxic. Particularly where there is prolonged exposure, these toxins can cause cancer, heart damage, lung disease, respiratory distress, kidney disease, reproductive problems, gastrointestinal illness, birth defects, impaired bone growth in children, and behavioral problems. In short, coal ash toxics have the potential to injure all of the major organ systems in adults (including pregnant women) and children alike.



Quote:
I'm sure if the bubbles were sliced open, dried, and patched, and rips were patched with roofing cement and tar paper, the roof would hold out longer.
The thing with tar is it's BLACK, and black absorbs all the sun's heat, it's not uncommon for black roofs to get well over around 150 degrees in the summer sun, that starts breaking it down. In the winter it gets brittle and can crack, and between sunup and sundown the differences in temperature, expansion and contraction do a number on it too.

Quote:
Can you tell what it's made out of? I thought it was some type of rubber, but then I saw that it was white under the tar they once put over it. See a close-up of the roof in the attached picture bellow.
Looks like a typical tar and tar paper roof with different patchings going on in attemptes to stop leaks, the white stuff is probably that roof coating liquid you get in 5 gallon pails, it's little thicker than house paint and about as effective, it's just cheap stuff meant to do temporary patching just like the "Blackjack" tar you get at the hardware store in 1 and 5 gallon cans.

Yes, that chimney needs pointing for sure, and chimneys are always a big headache for flashing, especially if the original metal installed when the building was built corrodes, then you find multiple layers of ineffective patching with tar and caulk and more tar and more caulk in a desperate attempt to stop the leaking without replacing the flashing properly.

Quote:
Four inches is the standard for toilet drains, right? That's the biggest one would usually need, I'm sure. I think showers and sinks are usually 1 1/2 inch. That's what the kitchen sink took when I replaced a rotted out chrome U-trap and an elbow piece. However, our tub drains incredibly slow. A wider pipe might help.
I believe so, it may vary depending on a few things, there's where a plumbing book will come in handy to tell you much of those types of questions. The tub draining slow can be from more than one cause, including a plugged up or no vent, but it's unlikely since I'm sure there is a cast iron vent stack sticking up above the roof. The bottle neck is in the actual tub's drain itself, it has a little screen and more and that restricts how fast the water can go.

Quote:
Even if there was asbestos in it, I would have used a mask and a heat gun CAREFULLY to remove the linoleum to get to the original hardwoods. I think it would be worth it to sand them, and have them showing nicely. The plywood could add too much thickness for doors. Historic houses are worth more with original hardwood floors intact; of course if they are in nice shape.
Not me, not 900 sq ft worth! the floor in my building had hole for multiple floor outlet boxes cut through it for workstation desks, heat grates and returns, and the front 8 feet had been replaced with plywood along with the joists under it as it appears the original show windows had been changed and the doors maybe were in 8 feet.
The original wood floor had too many defects and holes cut in it, screws and nails plus 2 layers of linoleum glued down to be worth trying to salvage. You'd never be able to patch and fix it so it looked right in that case, you'd always see every little hole that was patched and every repair.

You can't just remove asbestos tiles and toss them out, they are a hazardous waste now and anything with asbestos these days has to be removed and disposed of as hazardous waste by a contractor basically.
Trust me, you DON'T want to sit there with a heat gun and deal with the nightmare of removing layers of old asbestos tile! A lot of the floors used in these buildings was just the cheapest grade of wood they could put in, you don't find mohogany, cherry etc you find softwood, and if lucky maybe oak or maple in the upscale places, but a lot of the times they put oil cloth sheets down or similar down to cover the cheaper wood.


Quote:
So would I just have to see the city planning department for occupancy permits?
I would start there, they either do it there or will refer you to the county, these things can very which has jurisdiction and control. In my town the city issues building permits, in yours maybe the city does or it might be the county, ditto for permits etc.

Quote:
I have heard horror stories from friends who used rent apartments designated for those in the poverty level around here. One went that the building's electricity went out from time to time, winters were always cold, there was no hot water (Imagine all cold showers in the winter),
I don't have to imagine it, I lived it for 4 years in a 9 story 100x200' commercial building that had no hot water anywhere, whose heat was turned off at 5 pm, and went off at 1pm on Saturday and didn't come back on untill Monday 7 AM unless the outdoor temperature was 1 degrees or lower, in which case one of the 2 boilers turned on to keep the water pipes and sprinkler pipes from freezing- where when it was in the single digits I'd pray it got below 1 degrees so that boiler would come on.
After that came 2 years in a loft in Brooklyn, the former commercial bakery I mentioned, where I burned coal, and I've awakened in the morning to see ice floating in the dog's water bowl, it was where the main sprinkler pipe froze and flooded me out one January.

Quote:
and the worst part... they woke up around midnight one night to the floor "moving" (Cockroaches were having a party). Not pleasant. I would plan to provide a better experience.
Yeah well, roaches, rats the size of kittens and mice are a way of life in the big city, you bring the roaches home from the supermarket or your neighbor does and then the whole building has them. Not pleasant, but it could be worse- like my waking up to a broken 3" sprinkler main I figured was putting out about 200 GPM or more @ 200psi, and then having the fire dept tell me they can't find a shut off valve for it... they did manage to shut it off though, about ten hours later.

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Old 02-04-2013, 02:44 PM   #38
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Re: old buildings


Oh yeah, well you won't be able to spread the ash around driveways much longer if at all in some places, it's being considered a toxic waste, and only a matter of time before it will have to be dealt with like the "toxic" lead paint and "toxic" mercury in thermometers- both so toxic we're led to believe, that just seeing a picture of them will all but give you cancer or something
Don’t mean to sound like an old man here, but that is just silly. Everything causes cancer according to the government, they pump lab rats full of chemicals until they have cancer, and then, oh no, that causes cancer. Lead paint dust will cause lead poisoning, but only if you are sanding years worth or high lead paint off of woodwork. Wear a good mask, keep good ventilation, and be smart. I used to play with the mercury when one of those thermometers broke, it was smooth and fun to play with. I’m doing just fine now. If I had a coal furnace, I’d spread the ash on the driveway weather the man told me I could or not. What, are the kids rolling around on the driveway eating the black snow?

The thing with tar is it's BLACK, and black absorbs all the sun's heat, it's not uncommon for black roofs to get well over around 150 degrees in the summer sun, that starts breaking it down. In the winter it gets brittle and can crack, and between sunup and sundown the differences in temperature, expansion and contraction do a number on it too.
If I am not mistaken, they sell white roof sealant that you can roll on with a brush. I’ll have to look into that. How about those new peel-and-stick roofs? Any thoughts on them? They sell them with white mineral coating too.

Yes, that chimney needs pointing for sure, and chimneys are always a big headache for flashing, especially if the original metal installed when the building was built corrodes
I probably would not attempt repointing brick on the main building, especially street level. However, I think I’d give the chimney a crack at repointing while I was up on the roof. An ugly job wouldn’t really be visible from street level, and it would be more water-tight. I would defiantly re-do the flashing around the chimney, seems to be a lot of leakage around the chimneys on lower levels. I think installing a liner on a chimney is more than a DIY job, but if the chimney is not in use, I would simply cap it up top and keep it water-tight.

I believe so, it may vary depending on a few things, there's where a plumbing book will come in handy to tell you much of those types of questions.
I would invest in a book as well, but I would probably also replace with the same sized pipe that was already present, unless it was obviously incorrect. I know some things about plumbing, but I need to touch up on the code. I am not sure quite where it is supposed to vent to the roof. Here’s to hoping it’s already done right for a guide.

Not me, not 900 sq ft worth!
Well, that’s a different story. I would not attempt that much area either. However, if it were a kitchen or a bathroom (10x10 ft. or so) then I would most likely attempt it. Then again, unless I was installing tile and grouting, there would be no need to remove it all. If it were a new kitchen or bathroom floor, and it weren’t too thick, I would clean it, level the holes with putty, and put a new layer of linoleum down. I am speaking of, maybe a small mudroom floor that one would want recovered. Shame they put that much linoleum on your floor.

I lived it for 4 years in a 9 story 100x200' commercial building that had no hot water anywhere, whose heat was turned off at 5 pm, and went off at 1pm on Saturday and didn't come back on until Monday 7 AM unless the outdoor temperature was 1 degree or lower
Man, that must have stunk. Wonder why they wouldn’t heat it all the time. And where you mentioned about the sprinkler in the other building you lived in; I can’t believe they let it run for 10 hours! That must have trashed the building. How high up did you live in the building? Bet the landlord was mad. Or did you own it?
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:05 PM   #39
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Re: old buildings


As I had mentioned earlier, I looked up the white roof coating. I posted a link here for you. Don't know how many five gallon drums a roof like this one will require, but it has great reviews. $72.50 per 5 gal. seems like a good deal for a leak-free enegry efficient roof guarenteed for 7 years.

http://www.homedepot.com/Building-Ma...specifications

Also, for $73/5 ga. is a very similar product with similar reviews. If the roof were first patched, then this was applied, I think it would make for a great roof over the corner building. Now, the Lowe building... probably too far gone.

http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1...&storeId=10051

Last edited by mt999999; 02-04-2013 at 09:16 PM.
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:24 PM   #40
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Wear a good mask, keep good ventilation, and be smart
Yeah the paranoia over lead and mercury has reached epic proportions, just don't EAT paint or swallow the thermometer.
The problem is, the LEGAL problem is, this building is not your private home or bedroom, it would be a rental/commercial building other people use, that means if you create a hazzard or know something like asbestos or lead paint is present and start sanding and removing, and contaminating the place you can be held legally and even criminally responsible for not only the cleanup/remediation costs, but for any damage the tenants etc might have.
There was a building owner in Des Moines who knew there was asbestos in a high rise older building he bought and was renovating:

Jun 22, 2011

Developer Bob Knapp is expected to serve slightly less than three years in federal prison for his role at the head of a conspiracy to ignore federal asbestos regulations during a three-year renovation project at the Equitable Building in downtown Des Moines.
Knapp, was sentenced today to 41 months behind bars.
Paul Wilson, a longtime Equitable Building engineer, testified this morning that Knapp paid him to work 10-hour shifts on the weekends, with no overtime, to remove pipe coverings and hide them in a dumpster.
Wilson, Knapp and construction supervisor Russ Coco took pains not to ever use the word “asbestos” in public, Wilson testified. Instead, they referred to the need to remove “the product.” That was done, Wilson said, “so that the tenants wouldn’t hear about it and word wouldn’t get around the building.”
Justin Cannon, a $13.50-per-hour construction worker who testified that he helped remove asbestos-containing material and went home wearing clothes caked with construction-related dust.
“If I get sick that’s one thing,” Cannon said in court. “But in 15 years, if one of my kids gets sick, how do I look them in the face? ”

On May 5, 2009, Equitable L.P. was ordered to pay a $500,000 environmental civil penalty for conducting extensive renovations of the historic Equitable Building in downtown Des Moines without taking required precautions for the presence of asbestos-containing material. “This is the largest civil penalty by far in Iowa for asbestos violations,” said Attorney General Tom Miller. “We alleged Equitable L.P. completely ignored asbestos-handling requirements during renovations from 2005 to 2007, until the Iowa DNR became involved.”

Asbestos – which often is present in older building materials – is regulated as a hazardous air pollutant. It can cause lung disease and cancer, especially if it is contained in dust when asbestos-containing material is crumbled, pulverized or reduced to powder. State and federal laws and regulations have stringent requirements for handling regulated asbestos-containing material during demolition or renovations.
The Attorney General’s lawsuit alleged that Equitable L.P., while renovating the top 13 floors of the Equitable Building from 2005 to 2008, failed to inspect for asbestos, failed to provide notice to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, failed to remove asbestos-containing material before renovation, failed to properly handle the asbestos-containing material disturbed during the renovation, and failed to properly dispose of the material. The first six floors were occupied during the renovation.
The DNR issued an administrative order requiring Equitable L.P. to stop activities until all floors were thoroughly inspected and all asbestos-containing material was removed by a licensed asbestos-abatement contractor – but Equitable L.P. continued with renovation in violation of the order, the suit alleged.


Quote:

If I am not mistaken, they sell white roof sealant that you can roll on with a brush. I’ll have to look into that. How about those new peel-and-stick roofs? Any thoughts on them?
Its little more than thick housepaint, I know it well, it's not worth the trip to the hardware store to buy in my opinion. I never heard of peel and stick roofs...
Quote:
However, I think I’d give the chimney a crack at repointing while I was up on the roof.
The original old metal flashings were usually installed so the metal went in permanently between the mortar joints, and the rest of the wall or chimney was built on top of it. These days most all flashing I've seen sold in do-it-yourself places is paper thin aluminum, like the aluminum cans- it's so thin you can cut it with paper cutting scissors, it will never last like the thick tin plated or usually copper flashing did, but the flashing needs to be let into the mortar joints, just tacking it to the surface of the brick and globbing some caulk and tar over the joint isn't going to last and that's what a lot of people do..
You ought to be able to do the work yourself, just don't get that cheap paper thin aluminum to do it!

Quote:
I would invest in a book as well, but I would probably also replace with the same sized pipe that was already present
That's another thing,you can't always go by what is there now,because there can be codes that had grandfathered in older systems but state once you start altering the system, it ALL has to be brought up to code, and the code may demand a larger size pipe, or more vents, or whatever.
So follow what the book/code says to use not what is there now.


Quote:
Shame they put that much linoleum on your floor.
Yes, but that was likely the cheapest solution they had, linoleum tile was always cheap junk but it looked good and was smooth, so a mop could clean the floors well.

“I lived it for 4 years in a 9 story 100x200' commercial building that had no hot water anywhere, whose heat was turned off at 5 pm, and went off at 1pm on Saturday and didn't come back on until Monday 7 AM unless the outdoor temperature was 1 degree or lower”

Quote:
Wonder why they wouldn’t heat it all the time.
The two high pressure boilers in the basement were huge, once fired with coal with 9 others, all but 3 were long ago removed, 2 were converted to oil and the 3rd was junk. The building once made it's own power, and had the steam machinery to power the cable car line on Broadway. It was the powerhouse and barn for the cars, and offices and rentals above for revenue.

The 2 boilers burned 5,000 gallons of heating oil a week as it was- heat M-F 7 am -5 pm, sat 8 AM to 1 pm. I know how much they used because I also worked in the building on weekends.
It's a 9 story building with high ceilings huge single pane windows, 2 large airshafts more windows faced, skylights etc. It's 100'x 200' and I had a 1,000 sq ft loft on the 7th floor.

Here it is in 1978





And a view from 1894 from down the street looking North

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Old 02-04-2013, 09:24 PM   #41
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And where you mentioned about the sprinkler in the other building you lived in; I can’t believe they let it run for 10 hours! That must have trashed the building. How high up did you live in the building? Bet the landlord was mad. Or did you own it?
Brooklyn, yeah, it wasn't like anyone had a choice, the story goes- the landlord I rented my space from had bought the place dirt cheap at a city auction, and then rented spaces out advertised as live-in work-in artist or mixed use raw space. He put in a minor amount of work with new bathrooms but they were only framed with studs and outfitted with a toilet, sink and metal shower.
You were to make it livable and provide you own heat if you wanted more.
I rented the top 2 floors in one building (it was 3-4 interconnected buildings) 25'x100' and 25'x50' roughly, for $550/mo. I moved out of the above pictured building to there because my rent had gone from $331 to $656 a month when the lease ended. My main day job at the time paid $5/hour and I worked a full time job and 3-4 part time jobs for a time.

So in that building I had the 2 top floors, floor 4 and 5, the lady below me on the 3rd had a dance studio there and put in a brand new floor 25'x100', the 2nd floor was another guy's place he was fixing up and the ground floor was a storage garage.

What we learned soon enough was the landlord we rented from soon vanished when the city, buildings dept and fire dept started issuing violation notices for hundreds of violations- everything from a wall in one building that was cracked vertically and actually leaning out of plumb, to non functional fire sprinklers, elevator doors with no safety switches/open elevator shaft, no lights in the stairs, floor joists in one building rotted from the wall and falling in and braced with temporary shoring by the tenant, roof leaks etc etc plus not having approval, variances or occupancy permits for residential use of a commercial building.
We further learned he leased the building to another guy, who was a contractor who started some work to appease the violations and get time extensions.
He repaired the whole sprinkler system and got it functional again which was the biggest major violation, but he got in over his head and quit!
Months went by, no landlord, nothing, then we soon discovered the original guy had simply turned the electric on before he rented the spaces out.
The power company one day discovered none of the buildings even had a METER, and that all the power was coming in directly from the street unmetered, so they shut all the power off after demanding the landlord who had already vanished- pay the estimated $35,000 bill then due.
The city foreclosed on the property since the jerk didn't make payments any more, or taxes, and the power was off which meant my elevator was non functional too.
It was shortly after that, some time in January 1984 that it got down near zero for a week and while I was at work the main riser for the sprinker system that passed along the exposed exterior wall in my loft's top floor- froze solid and cracked in half. I didn't know that untill I came home from my Saturday night shift and went to bed, and was awakened by ice cold water dripping on my face around 10 am, and when I was completely awake I hear a big bang upstairs followed by the unmistakable sound of rushing water, and all of a sudden all this water started pouring down from the ceiling like niagara falls.
By the time I got to the back of the place where the stairs were and looked up, I was standing in 2" of water and the water looked like an open fire hydrant on full blast.

I opened my back stairs door and the front elevator shaft door to let the water run out, and it cascaded down to the street in the back, and started filling the basement up from the shaft.
Because the sprinkler system worked, it sent an alarm to the fire dept around the corner and they sent a hook and ladder truck out.

They told me that the amount of water pouring out actually caused a severe pressure drop for the entire block. Since I also agreed to be the building's superintendent and make minor repairs, collect rents etc for the first landlord for $100/mo off the rent, I still had some authority with the other tenants and all, and when the firemen were looking for the shutoff valve I had them break the door in to the garage/storage space as I knew there were no shutoff valves upstairs.
That was when we discovered the guy who repaired the sprinklers had replaced a broken valve near the ceiling with a piece of straight pipe!
About then, a crew from the city water works dept came out and they looked around and found no valve either, and they said that they would have to bring out a crew in the morning and dig up the street to shut it off out there, and that if they do that the water will STAY off.

I noticed a grate on the garage floor and looked in with a flashlight and could see there was an open space under there, so I pulled that up and discovered the water mains and valves under there, the firemen went down to turn the valve off but it hadn't been closed in decades, it took four firemen to shut the valve off!

The system had 200 psi behind it and was originally a pressurized dry system with a special valve that kept the water on one side via air pressure out of the pipes due to their going into unheated areas, but the contractor guy bypassed that and made the system a wet system because the wet/dry valve was defective and it was going to cost thousands of dollars to replace it.

So the water was on about 12 hours I guess before it finally got shut off, of course it totally flooded my place, the danmce studio below me- their new $10,000 floor was totally ruined, the garage/storage on the ground floor had pallets full of newstand magazines- all ruined, the water was 4 feet deep in the basement and also migrated over into the other buildings to some degree.
A business in one of the buildings had bags and bags full of powdered latex and ingredients, all paper sacks, all wet.
In my place everything was soaked and I didn't even have dry clothes, one of the downstairs neighbors who used his space for thigns like teeshirt decal transfers etc loaned me his dry overcoat and I slept that night on a door laid flat over 2 cement blocks in my place.

Now that the fire dept, water dept and others had become involved, it attracted the attention of the city buildings dept and fire headquarters, and a couple of days later I came home from work to find a vacate order from the city and fire dept taped to the building's front door.

Well, us tenants got together and said HELL NO we won't go! and we tore the thing off the door and went about our business.
The city moves slow and it was weeks before anyone did any kind of followup and we all tried negotiating and working with some guy in the city offices, but it was going to be a losing proposition due to all the code and other violations, now a non functional fire sprinkler, use of the commercially zoned building for residential, so I wound up moving out of the city entirely soon after.

There's a whole other story for another time about how I was able to run the building's freight elevator up and down 5 floors without electric so I could move all my stuff out.
See if you can figure out how I might have run an electric freight elevator up and down 5 floors in a building without electric, I think you'll be very surprised. I was 22 at the time, and certainly did not work in the elevator field.
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:45 PM   #42
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Re: old buildings


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Originally Posted by mt999999 View Post
As I had mentioned earlier, I looked up the white roof coating. I posted a link here for you. Don't know how many five gallon drums a roof like this one will require, but it has great reviews. $72.50 per 5 gal. seems like a good deal for a leak-free enegry efficient roof guarenteed for 7 years.

Yeah but notice that all of the reviews there only rave about how the temperature in the rooms below has decreased- it is a result of applying this white colored material over a black roof, that's what this stuff does best- helps lower the temperature in the attic and rooms below by reflecting the hot sun light instead of absorbing it as black does.

It cant hurt, but dont expect this stuff to plug up cracks and holes so the rain won't come in, it's far too thin to fill any holes.
For your purposes I guess it will buy you time, me, I'd rather fix the my roof right the first time and not dink around with the cost and labor of patching and coating that has to come off again in a year or two.
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Old 02-04-2013, 11:20 PM   #43
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There is alot of this building to go around. If all goes well, I'd love to live over part of the main portion as my main residence. Unless there are asbestos floor tiles put in at a later date, this building is pretty well before the era of asbestos, so that really isn't much to be worried about. I would cover over old asbestos floor tiles with new linoleum in any rental area. I would want windows in my residence to be stripped/sanded to original wood and refinished, but I would likely just repaint windows in a rental, unless they were so caked with paint that they would not open. Regardless, I would get any lead/asbestos removal done before any type of inspection on a rental area.

The man you posted about ought to have done renovations before renting out those units... unless the people were already living in them. In that case, asbestos is best left alone unless in damaged/dangerous condition. Even a little ducttape as cover-up would have been a better solution than what he did. If it is in good shape, why would you want to get rid of it? It is an amazing insulator, and it certainly is irreplacable once gone.

Well, you seem to have much more experience than me, so I might just take your word on the white sealant. Are those prices I qouted for you ($72-$73) much more than those of a five gallon drum of tar? They said the white stuff could be painted right over old tar; so, if affordable, the roof could be tarred after being patched, then painted with a coat of the white stuff simply for energy efficiency. The reviews said that it keeps their whole house cooler, and I'd imagine the white coating would also help keep the tar from expanding/contracting and cracking as much in high heat because it reflects the sun. I also saw a pricy coating with a 50 year warranty (bellow). $2000 + is alot, but it comes to a total of 25 gallons to coat a commercial roof.
http://www.bigpaintstore.com/gac-gr1...FQSf4AodI2cASw
I couldn't find much on those new peel and stick roofs, but check out the link bellow. Don't know if this would go well over the current tarpaper roof, but people said it was sturdy enough to replace rusted out floor panels in their cars. Maybe it would even seal the Lowe building roof if done carefully. Tell me what you think about it.
http://www.lowes.com/pd_154017-81326...tick&facetInfo=

So, basically, first install new flashings that are not thin aluminum around the chimney INTO a worn mortar joint like the original one, then repoint the chimney bricks is what you are telling me? Even if that were done, it still couldn't hurt to run a seam of tar or roofing cement along the joint where the flashing is covered, just for an extra good seal. If the original flashings aren't in too bad of shape, it looks like that peel and seal could be used to cover them better than roofing cement for a watertight seal.

So, for the plumbing, just always follow new codes. As previously stated, you can learn an awful lot from just a few youtube.com videos. If the system still works and doesn't leak, I would just leave it alone if it is grandfathered. I'm sure I could get away with replacing a few rotted chrome u-pipes, though, if that is the only real issue. I'm going to have to sit down here and follow up on the local codes to get the hang of them soon.

Do you ever wonder what became of that second building that you told me about? Sounds like it had some serious issues. If the landlord was still gone after they tried to evicted everyone, it probably went abandoned and could have even been torn down by now. I hate slumlords like that... so, who did you pay rent to after the landlord vanished? Free rent sounds fun. Who even kept up with paying the oil bills for the boilers after he left? Now for the elevator... hmm... did you get in the elevator shaft and run the cables manually? Weight the elevator down? I have absolutely no clue, but I am eagar to know now.
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Old 02-05-2013, 02:21 AM   #44
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[QUOTE=mt999999;1109798 Unless there are asbestos floor tiles put in at a later date, this building is pretty well before the era of asbestos, so that really isn't much to be worried about. I would cover over old asbestos floor tiles with new linoleum in any rental area[/quote]

Asbestos has been in use for longer than that building is old, it was used extensively for steam pipe coverings- that white plastery powdery stuff encased in a cardboard-like sleave covering steam pipes and valves. Then they started adding it to mortar and concrete, floor tile, roofing. Asbestos building materials have been used in U.S. construction since the 1800s. Asbestos building materials were cheap, strong, and durable.

Although the link between asbestos and serious health problems was known for centuries, the construction industry continued to use asbestos building materials in most homes, schools and commercial buildings prior to 1975.

asbestos was used in office buildings, public buildings and schools. It insulated hot water heating systems, and was put into walls and ceilings as insulation against fire and sound. Asbestos has also been widely used in transportation and electrical appliances, frequently mixed with, and encased in, other materials.
Asbestos has also been found in many products around the house. It has been used in clapboard; shingles and felt for roofing; exterior siding; pipe and boiler covering; compounds and cement, such as caulk, putty, roof patching, furnace cement and driveway coating; wallboard; textured and latex paints; acoustical ceiling tiles and plaster; vinyl floor tiles; appliance wiring; hair dryers; irons and ironing board pads; flame-resistant aprons and electric blankets; and clay pottery. Loose-fill vermiculite insulation may contain traces of “amphibole” asbestos.


Quote:
The man you posted about ought to have done renovations before renting out those units... unless the people were already living in them. In that case, asbestos is best left alone unless in damaged/dangerous condition. Even a little ducttape as cover-up would have been a better solution than what he did. If it is in good shape, why would you want to get rid of it? It is an amazing insulator, and it certainly is irreplacable once gone.
The man was a crook to begin with, there's a lot he ought to have done, but then crooks and con artists don't follow the laws anyway. That was a 19 story building, he just didn't want to bother removing the asbestos properly, so he willingly exposed all the workers, people living there, and the public to unknown quantities of asbestos he had yanked out and thrown into the dumpsters.
The use of asbestos in buildings was the biggest mistake people ever made, and what's worse- the W.R. Grace Company's mine in Libby Mt that they used for decades to mine vermiculite rock to make home insulation from- they KNEW for years their mine was contaminated by high amounts of the worst form of asbestos there is, and they sent their workers into the mine with no respirators or anything. Millions of tons of the stuff was shipped all across the country- contaminating every port of entry where the railcars unloaded. There are millions of homes and businesses that have their contaminated vermiculite insulation in their attics.
They contaminated the town by the mine, the water, air, land, mine workers brought it home in their dust filled work clothes in large quantities, and their homes became contaminated by that too.

When the lawsuits started, they simpy filed for bankruptcy, and then reorganized as a new company and popped back into business again leaving the town, Govt and everyone else holding the bag for the cancers, contamination, and their mine which is a federal toxic superfund site.


Quote:
Are those prices I qouted for you ($72-$73) much more than those of a five gallon drum of tar? They said the white stuff could be painted right over old tar; so, if affordable, the roof could be tarred after being patched, then painted with a coat of the white stuff simply for energy efficiency.
Probably close, a little higher maybe.


Quote:
I couldn't find much on those new peel and stick roofs, but check out the link bellow. Don't know if this would go well over the current tarpaper roof,
That appears to be a flashing substitute, I don't hold very high of an opinion on self stick things.
Quote:
So, basically, first install new flashings that are not thin aluminum around the chimney INTO a worn mortar joint like the original one, then repoint the chimney bricks is what you are telling me?
Yes

Quote:
If the original flashings aren't in too bad of shape, it looks like that peel and seal could be used to cover them better than roofing cement for a watertight seal.
If you are going to go down that route, I would not use that stuff, you might just as well run a bead of silicone caulk around the top of the flashing.


Quote:
Do you ever wonder what became of that second building that you told me about? Sounds like it had some serious issues. If the landlord was still gone after they tried to evicted everyone, it probably went abandoned and could have even been torn down by now. I hate slumlords like that... so, who did you pay rent to after the landlord vanished? Free rent sounds fun. Who even kept up with paying the oil bills for the boilers after he left?
I don't need to wonder, it's still there in Google Street view, and the front building that was originally a 5 story freezer which was the one with the cracked wall and the rotted joists- now has several windows in that wall, and it appears it is occupied.
The rear building facing the back street that I was in is still there but difficult to tell what might be in it, the top floor wall which had a dangerous looking bulge in it is still holding up. We paid no one any rent for probably a year. The building's boiler was shot, there was no heat supplied, we all supplied our own.


Quote:
Now for the elevator... hmm... did you get in the elevator shaft and run the cables manually? Weight the elevator down? I have absolutely no clue, but I am eagar to know now.
I remembered reading an old NYC building code book from 1901 several years before, and where it described the requirements for elevators. It wanted the elevator car to be counterweighted to a 60% load so that when the average load of passengers were on the elevator the car and the counterweight would be approximately balanced, leaving little work for the motor. So I realized an empty elevator made more work for the motor to lift than one with a load of passengers to 60% of the rated maximum capacity.
The elevator's capacity was about 3000# so I knew if I loaded it up with 1800# it would be about balanced, but if I added more weight it would be heavier than the counter weight.
Since I knew the motor had coil spring activated brakes on the drum which the electric would disengage when the car moved, I knew all I had to do was pry the brake shoes away from the drum with a crow bar and I could make the car move up or down.
The motor room was in a room on the roof of my top floor, so that was 2 flights of stairs to get up there and down 7 flights to the ground.
So I loaded the car up and then pried the brakes off the drum, and the car started slowly down the shaft, emphasis on slow- it probably took 10 minutes to get to the ground floor and then I had to just eyeball through the grating to estimate when the floor of the car was close to even with the floor of the hallway and it wasnt easy since it was trying to judge this from 7 floors up looking down a narrow open grate thru a dark shaft.
The first few times it was a foot or more off, but I set a flashlight on the floor to help guide things better.
Once the car was unloaded, it would come back up the same way by prying the brakes off.
I guess it took maybe 50 trips up and down those stairs to empty the two floors out, there was a total of about 25 tons worth of stuff to move out, it was a real nightmare but the elevator trick worked great.
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Old 02-05-2013, 08:04 PM   #45
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.

I hadn't realized asbestos was used that extensively before the 1920's. I haven't seen anything yet in this building from pictures that I can directly say was asbestos, but there is bound to be some here. I think the main hazard here is lead paint, but that can be controlled with respirators while remodeling. The insulation on the boiler pipes looks more recent, a DIY job where someone ducttaped a foam material or rags to the pipes from the looks of the pictues. Does not look like asbestos there to me.

I will post a few pictures of an area in the back portion of the building that I think would make a great space for the first rentals. Remember the picture I sent you where I had the back portion circled in red? These pictures are inside that area on the second floor. The first picture shows the "wall of windows" on the second floor from the inside. The damaged wall on the left is a brick division wall between the main and the back portion of the building. I believe the badly damaged spot on the third picture is where a chimney comes down on the opposite side of the wall. Probably could put 2 X 4's over the brick up to the height of the partial wall in the middle of the room and hang drywall. These ceilings are too high and inefficient for a rental. If I knocked out the damaged plaster and lathe (assuming the floor joists above were solid), do you think I could get away with just hanging a drop ceiling down around where that average-hight wall stands? I see where waterpipes are coming in on that wall... with some new electrical it would be ready for a tenant in no time. The fourth picture shows what I believe is the third floor in that back portion... likely the top-left window from the outside of the building.

My dad has original loose-fill vermiculite insulation in his house from the late 50's. Don't know where it was from, or it's R-value, but in recent years he put inexpensive R-19 rolls of batts insulation overtop of the old vermiculite. He figured that the added value of the old insulation to the new would be enough for a decent overall R-value.

You had mentioned that because the tar was black, it will expand and contract and crack after a few years, not to mention holding lots of heat, so if it is affordable, I may just patch and tar the roof, then apply a layer of the white stuff for energy efficiency and hopefully to extend the life of the tar. I am sure the tar will fill holes and stop leaks. Sounds like a good idea, or do you think the white stuff on top is still a waste of time/money?

I agree, self adhesive things don't seem to last as long. But that adhesive ice guard put down over tar paper around the edge of a roof seems pretty good. I will most likely entirely re-do the flashings as you suggested.

Well, at least they fixed that old building up. Or, perhaps, just made it liveable. Wow... that elevator... I would have never thought of that. Wonder how anyone else got their stuff out. Do you think you totaled it, or was it still serviceable? Just when I thought I was border-line hoarder... man, you sure had alot of stuff!
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