Hey all, against my better judgement I decided to open up another can of worms in my Chicago 2 flat by starting another rehab project: the basement. Now, I'm no Sherlock Holmes, but I suspected that some of the steam pipes in the basement were covered with some asbestos insulation.
Being as mentally deficient as I am, I of course am going to do the rehab work myself, but I did rub together the remaining few brain cells I have and had some experts take care of the asbestos remediation.
Turns out there was 200+ feet of steam pipe running through the basement all covered in the nasty stuff. I just had it removed today, and followed up with an independent air quality test (passed with flying colors). They removed and disposed of all the potentially contaminated drop ceiling tiles, which gave me a good look at what was going on up there. The original ceiling is plaster and lath, but there is a virtual road map of steam pipes, gas lines, electric of all varieties and weekend warrior quality phone/etc. wiring up there. In other words, I'm going to go with a drop ceiling again; way too much stuff up there to drywall over without some major refitting.
If there wasn't all that stuff going on up there, I might just insulate with batts, and drywall the ceiling with isolators, but that's not going to happen. I need to re-drop-ceiling it. So it's time to start researching how I can isolate the basement from the 1st floor unit a little. Right now, there is very little in the way of noise, temperature, or air (i.e., dust) insulation between the basement and the 1st floor unit. While I don't expect an 18" concrete barrier, I do think I can do something to separate the two levels by a bit.