Our story so far: We wanted to renovate the 126-year-old Methodist church in a responsible manner since we were going to live in at some point.
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Since we were getting so good at these tests of safety and otherwise, we sprang for a few more.
The Roto-Rooter man scoped our sewer pipes, and his water-proof camera determined our pipes were as clear as a baby’s arteries—no tree roots or obstacles.
So our inside plumbing was in good shape (the little we had of it, what with only a kitchen sink and a half bath). We had our expensive city water tested to reassure ourselves about the quality of the pipe connecting the church from the street. Returning a six-page report, the lab proclaimed our water safe. Yay! (For the price, it should be.) But we also learned it was “very hard” at 25.56 GPG (grains per gallon) and was close to the upper limit set by the Environmental Protection Agency in estimated total dissolved solids. This meant it had a lot of stuff in it (think: dirt). None of the “stuff” was considered a contaminant, but let’s just say it had a little more texture than one might like in a quality glass of water.
This meant we would be investing in a total house filtration system and a Drinkpod purification appliance. A Drinkpod is a countertop water cooler with a four-part filtration system and ultra-violet sterilization system. This appliance would become the centerpiece of our beverage bar, the section of our kitchen devoted to all things drinkable, from coffee and sparkling water to beer and wine.
And we weren’t done testing yet. We tested for radon in the basement. Radon is a colorless, odorless radioactive gas that is the No. 1 cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers. Our result was only 1.2 pCi/L (picocuries per liter of air), well below the EPA action level of 4 pCi/L.
Ah, deep breaths.
When we were done, we’d spent more than $300 on various safety equipment and that much again on various safety tests. But our final test wasn’t about particles and particulates. It was about structural support.
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Tomorrow: Old houses are like old ladies: They get saggy. Read about it here.
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