'Mike Holmes' rants? I'll start...

ks_toolgirlJune 26, 2011

Hi, all - been a long time since I chimed in, but I've been periodically lurking.. So much has gone wrong, here, there are at least a dozen (more important) reasons I should have been posting for several months...

But, this guy! (WHY do I keep watching? WHY do I have my dvr set to record this "Holmes Inspection"? Argh!).ÃÂ

Anyone else watch this show? I just watched part of one - I usually get angry & stop before show ends - a part of pipe had asbestos insulation.. Ok,ÃÂ that would have to be tested & removed due to tv show's liability if nothing else, (& I do recognize theÃÂ insulation is serious stuff)... ÃÂ So, they have a testing company come in... & results are that asbestos is in everything??? Including the OLD PLASTER. ÃÂ Now I have THAT to worry about? They had to gut the wholeÃÂ house, spacemen & all manner of nuclear holocaust fallout drama.ÃÂ

I've 2 little boys, here, ages 4 & 11 - both have lived here since birth. I worry! ÃÂ All the time! Lead here? Asbestos there? Then I watch this guy, & he's so convincing! Sounds so knowledgeable!ÃÂ

I watch, I snort with derision, I (secretly) worry...ÃÂ

So, anyone else have a Mike Holmes "rant"? Is he a jackass? Am I a naive fool? Little bit of both, lol???

And... (here I go), anyone else, um, heard of old house plaster containing asbestos fibers???? (just asking....).ÃÂ

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if you leave the plaster intact, you will not be inhaling fibers. If you leave the lead paint and don't eat it or burn it off, you will be fine. The danger of lead paint is ingesting the dust from deteriorating surfaces or eating it--or absorbing it when burning off old paint.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2011 at 12:38AM
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I watch him. It's educational and he obviously knows what he's doing. But the show focuses on people who have major problems in their homes...although there seem to be quite a few of them. Most houses have some defects, but that doesn't mean they pose a hazard. What you see on the program may have no relation to your house. To me it's just a good way to be alert to some things that may be non-obvious but could be problems.

Maybe you should ration your Mike Holmes viewing. It's like anything else. If you watch the Health channel all the time, you might convince yourself you have a dread disease. Or if you watch the True Crime channel too much, you might think your husband is going to murder you or your children will be abducted by satanists. Or if you watch the Kardashians at all, who knows what could happen? Everything in moderation...

    Bookmark   June 26, 2011 at 1:24PM
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First off you need to realize Holmes is not working in the USA. He's working in Canada.Different set of rules and regs for what happens and is acceptable in a house.
Next you need to stop and think about the station you are watching this on. HGTV. They aren't in it to teach or educate they are in the business of SELLING product.Of course they are going to go the extra mile and rip everything down to the studs because it makes EVERYONE else think they should too. What works on HGTV isn't always what works in real life. It does however line the pockets of it's sponsors very nicely when people choose to follow suit.
If you have to watch HGTV watch it for the entertainment value and get your education in household repairs and renovations else where!

    Bookmark   June 26, 2011 at 3:04PM
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Show is totally boring, like most of HGTV - used to be great, now it's just...lacking. Especially when they run an hour show and then repeat it. Who wants to watch all that? My attention span for electrical wiring, etc. is not very long. You could just watch the first and last five minutes and get the show.

That said, I would love to get into Mike's roomy overalls for a quick inspection of his plumbing...I just want to see if it's up to code, ya know?

    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 3:02AM
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I've been watching his old show for several years. For some reason, he is just escalating the scope of repair with each episode. He used to just fix problems caused by bad contractors. He's slowly increased until he'll pull down everything in the house for little or no reason.

As for the show motivation, they want to make money. They make money by getting viewers, not by selling products. They do outrageous things because viewers will tune in. His show is way more popular now than when he just fixed a plumbing leak.

Part of me is extremely sympathetic to the "tear it out" mantra though when it comes to electrical and plumbing. We're 2 years into our remodel now and if I find another buried junction box from some hack "electrician", I think I'm going to go nuts! Just snip off the ends of the K&T and leave it live in the walls? Sure, why not, what could go wrong with that plan? Anyone who can build a house that lasts 100+years with it still feeling perfect for a "modern" family - they must have been great craftsmen. The people who "improved" it over the years? Not so much.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 8:35AM
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Asbestos is a big deal in Washington state! I know someone, who had a difficult time selling a house, when the home inspector said the attic insulation MIGHT contain asbestos. Three families passed on the home, until a construction worker bought it. He said it's only a problem, if you remove the insulation...and don't do it properly.

If you're opening up walls, removing insulation and generally tearing stuff up...you might want to have someone come in and take a look at things. It might be worth it for piece of mind. Even with the extra cost, it would be better than finding out it was a problem, some years down the road.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 9:00AM
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"Asbestos is a big deal in Washington state!"

The EPA has panicked everyone with exaggeration.

Even they have admitted that the program the foisted on everyone that encouraged the removal of all asbestos from schools was ill conceived.

Schools wasted billions of dollars on abatement by removal instead of simple encapsulation in place.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 10:05AM
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HGTV, use to be Home and Garden TV. Now, it is largely Real Estate TV. The Holmes Inspection is rather contrived. I can relate to the Holmes on Homes show. My son and I are master electricians, and we've seen some real wiring nightmares. Wonder more homes haven't burned to the ground.

Holmes mainly comes in after Joe Blow Contractor has created a mess of some sort. Seems like the "inspectors" always pass on Joe Blow's work. Bottom line, Mike and his crew comes in and basically does enough work to pay for a new house. Holmes pays for all of this out of his deep pockets. Maybe he goes after Joe Blow and the inspectors, but the show does not tell you this.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 12:16PM
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Kudzu, lol - I could easily get "House Hypochondria" from this show.

It's his latest show, "Inspection" that bugs me, I shouldn't have been so general about him per se. (Holmes on Homes, DH & I both liked). I also think it's really cool how both of his kids are on the show - working hard & seem to know a lot about what they're doing. He deserves kudos for that, I can't even get my kids to pick up their dirty socks w/out Kardashian-style drama!
I have seen him, in the past, show a great respect for old houses & go out of his way to preserve when possible. That, I liked very much. The recently viewed episode where 100 year old wood floor was destroyed, splintered & tossed into dumpster was what sent me over the edge. Perhaps I missed part, where it had been remuddled & it was a newer floor?
It just seems to me that the most commonly heard thing, on all of these shows, is "That's gonna have to go".
Nicole, (Renovation Addict, something like that?), seems to be one exception - she's not perfect, but seems to think more like "we" do.

Hgtv.. Real estate tv? I like that! If I were forced to watch an entire episode of Whiny Rich People Hunting For A House Good Enough For Them.. Well, there'd be no more complaining about Holmes - because there'd be a prybar sticking out of the tv screen... :-0
I realize asbestos is everywhere, including flooring in my house. The ONE thing I'd never heard of containing the nasty little fibers was PLASTER! Maybe a Canadian plaster mix? How many people do you know (myself included) who had to remove crumbling wall plaster? Definitely "friable", certainly airborne, I know I took precautions but that was for dust & filth in general. Nothing haz-mat about it. Has anyone heard of this, or thought to have plaster tested?
Btw, texasredhead, I've always wondered myself, if he went after the contractors (& hoped he did! Wished he'd at least "named names" if not! I'd assumed the network picked up the tab - had no idea he paid for it. I've changed my mind... Mike Holmes rocks!
(Still no way I'd let him inspect my house, lol!!!).

    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 3:03PM
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"I've always wondered myself, if he went after the contractors"

Probably not.

Many of them will be 'suite proof' and if they followed the letter of the codes they are likely off the hook.

It then comes down to showing they breached a contract, and those are often drawn out fights that cost more in legal fees than simply doing the job over correctly.

you can spend your money fighting about who will pay, or just fixing the problem.
Lawyers earn a lot more then carpenters, electricians, plumbers, drywall installers, etc.

Most developers set up a shell company with few (if any) assets that can be seized.
They then supply services to the shell company.

It may not even own the sales trailer.
They are often rented.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 3:53PM
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Asbestos is found in a wide variety of building materials and if disturbed poses a long-term health risk. Asbestos can be found in acoustical plaster, acoustical tiles, roofing felts and shingles, drywall joint filling compound to the mid '8os, coatings and mastics and fillers such as roofing cement caulk, floor adhesives, gaskets and packings.

Or, if you're a homeowner, you can usually say, "WTF. A little dust never hurt anyone." Take a deep drag on your fag, then dump your used motor oil down the sewer and get on with life.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2011 at 4:52PM
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Before I tore down the fiber ceiling tiles and the old insulation on the 2nd floor (kneewalls and pitched ceiling = roof) my DH insisted on having everything tested for asbestos because the house is from 1938 and who knows what was done or added. The test came back clean, so I was able to do the work myself. The cost is nominal and it gave him peace of mind.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2011 at 10:32PM
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The thing is that you, the average homeowner / DIYer are not really at risk for asbestos exposure-related illness when you rip out a duct over the weekend or tear out some insulation over a week long project. Now, Holmes and other contractor crews who may deal with those same types of projects in homes day after day, year after year - that's where the exposure risk comes in.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2011 at 2:50PM
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I liked the old Holmes' show, but not 'Inspection'--they are all newer houses that seem to be built very crappily--has Canada no schools for contractors?

Of the three houses I've lived in, a '58 ranch, was built by the landowner, an 1880's victorian, and my current '08 foursquare--all were well built though the victorian was suffering from benign neglect as a two-rental property at OSU. Why don't contractors have to take a course in pride and craftsmanship? My dad built a couple houses and neither was done lightly--he took care to make everything right and at very least meet standards. I can just picture what is really inside the skins of those modern 'McMansions'--makes me shudder!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2011 at 5:22PM
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You're entitled to do what you want with your own do-it-yourself asbestos removals, but, for the sake of others on this forum, I have to disagree with your implication that a homeowner can simply go in and tear out asbestos insulation without concern. Yes, your risk is higher the more you are exposed to it. But that doesn't mean that you don't incur unnecessary risk and long term contamination of your house when you tear into asbestos-laden materials without knowing what you are getting into. I worked as an environmental engineer for many years, and I can't tell you how many calls we got from people who got halfway through their own removal project without proper knowledge, procedures and protection, and then got in a panic when they began to realize what a mess they'd created. I'm not saying that a single asbestos exposure will kill you, but I am questioning taking a risk when it's avoidable. I'm also not trying to start a debate. I'm simply saying I have enough experience in this area to know that asbestos-containing materials should be treated with respect, and that there is a reason that asbestos-removal companies exist. Some simple asbestos removals can be safely accomplished by the homeowner, but not without first researching what's required to do that.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2011 at 1:53PM
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Christopher Nelson Wallcovering and Painting

Not to get too far off topic but this quote from brickeye caught my attention

"Schools wasted billions of dollars on abatement by removal instead of simple encapsulation in place."

Schools? Don't you mean we the tax payers??

    Bookmark   July 2, 2011 at 6:12AM
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You're not too far off topic, but you may be under a misapprehension. I have some familiarity with EPA's Asbestos-in-Schools program. For your benefit I will point out that it was not something dreamed up by EPA to panic schools. The Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act, which requires this program, was signed into law by Ronald Reagan in 1986. All that AHERA requires is for local education agencies to inspect their schools for asbestos-containing building materials and prepare management plans to prevent or reduce asbestos hazards, if there are any. While some schools may have decided to spend money on asbestos removals, EPA's focus was to educate school officials about the simplest ways to avoid asbestos problems, and to not encourage unnecessary removals. I thought I'd put in my 2 cents before this does go off the rails. But I want to reassure those who believe that government agencies always try to do the most illogical things to purposely waste your -- and their -- tax money, that I won't trouble you with any more info on this topic.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2011 at 2:04PM
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Ok, I'm not gonna touch this debate - but will continue to read all asbestos comments, in this thread & any others. Someday, I REALLY want to get rid of living room carpet. Under carpet pad are 6" tiles. Old. Ugly. Hard as rock. Probably asbestos. Adhesive under it, probably asbestos. Under that, very old linoleum & below THAT a thick tar-paperish layer. Probably all asbestos. All I can do for now, is hope the carpet & pad are doing enough to keep it "down there".
I'm nervous about having it tested. I've heard stories.. Mostly about lead, yet.. They say testing is confidential - but how long before new laws are passed requiring positive results to be reported to Big Brother, so he can look out for you - by making you and your family pay for alternate housing (which you can't afford) while making you pay for professional remediation (@ which time you have to sell your car).
Am I paranoid? You bet! I don't want the government in my home, or my YARD for that matter! (Touchy subject - city building inspector stopped by yesterday to "chat" about my kids inflatable pool. 2' of water, but since maximum fill line is 30"... I have to drain it, submit a full to-scale site plan with an application for a BUILDING PERMIT. For a little rubber kiddie-pool!). So, I can see how government can get a little "Big for it's britches", local or federal. (Off topic, I know - I needed to "rant", tho - & that's part of the subject line).

    Bookmark   July 2, 2011 at 3:35PM
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ks_toolgirl -- we just faced a similar situation in a home we purchased last summer. Old asbestos tile in the bottom floor with linoleum underneath. We had it checked out and the resolution was simple. A good moisture proof pad and carpet would effectively encapsulated it. Since we wanted carpet anyway, it was a great solution.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2011 at 10:32PM
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Christopher Nelson Wallcovering and Painting

To kudzu, just one comment Don't we as tax payers pay for the school systems?

To toolgirl,the part about the building inspector for sure sucks

    Bookmark   July 3, 2011 at 6:50AM
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"Schools? Don't you mean we the tax payers?? "

Ultimately yes, but there are many different ways schools are funded (though eventually it always gets back to taxes).

Schools spent the money under pressure from the EPA.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2011 at 10:21AM
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