Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Apartment Update: Asbestos and 25 more working days...

We received a couple of emailed memos from our apartment building the other day. The main gist of the first one was that the hold up in accessing the ninth floor had been caused by a release of asbestos during the fire. The second memo (on Dec. 20th) said it would take about 20-25 working days before they would be able to let people know the status of their unit and belongings. Right now they're doing clean-up and air testing.

In the meantime, as of Dec. 17th, Jeff and I have officially rented a new unit in the same building, so we do have a home, even if we don't have furniture yet. I think we'll just go to Ikea and get some replacements, since we were probably due for a new couch anyway.

Below is the full text from the two memos:

December 15, 2010
To: Residents of the Windsor House
From: Borger Management, Inc.
Re: Update

As you know on November 2, 2010, Windsor House sustained a fire in unit 907. The fire department was able to extinguish the fire, however, the unit was consumed, and water and smoke damaged the 9th floor.

As we began our cleanup effort, we found several asbestos-containing materials: fireproofing spread on kitchen and bathroom ventilation ducts located behind the drywall, textured ceiling surfacing, joint compound in sheetrock on various ceiling and wall assemblies. Water from fire hoses washed some of these materials into unit 907 and throughout the 9th floor common hall. These areas are currently contaminated with asbestos, therefore, residents have been denied access to this area.

We recently completed air sampling on floors 8 & 10 to determine if asbestos contamination was spread to other areas. Sample results showed no asbestos in these other areas. We have engaged in industrial hygiene company, Comprehensive Environmental Assessments (CEA), to help us with the asbestos cleanup. CEA has developed a scope of work, and will oversee the asbestos cleanup process. Once unit 907 and the 9th floor are decontaminated, we will inspect the remaining units on the 9th floor for damage, complete limited air sampling, and then allow the residents to enter. We expect the cleanup to begin this week. All cleanup and restoration work is being performed to meet federal and D.C. asbestos regulations.

As soon as the timing for completion of the work is firm, we will advise you accordingly. Thank you once again for your patience with this extremely unfortunate incident.

December 2, 2010
To: Windsor House 9th Floor Residents
From: Niyi Fajana, Community Manager
Re: 9th Floor Fire Repairs

Please be advised, Windsor House will begin repairs on the 9th floor starting Monday, December 20, 2010 which is expected to last over the next few weeks.

The work will be in several different phases.

1. To contain the situation in unit 907.
2. Make the hallways safe - this work is expected to take 20 working days.
3. Once that is complete, the work will shift into the units where we will complete a visual assessment for damage.
4. Depending on what is found, will determine if any immediate repairs are required. If there isn't any damage, then your unit will need an air sample clearance test, to show no residual asbestos entered the unit during hte fire. Once the unit passes clearance, you will be allowed in to claim your belongings.
5. Should there be asbestos contamination; the contractors will develop a schedule for clean-up.

Approximately, we are roughly 25 working days before knowing what the condition of your belongings are.

We apologize for the delay and appreciate your continued patience as we work through this challenging period.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us in the office or email us.

Thank you in advance.

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