Toxic Woodworking and is that wall load bearing? Lets find out! - Around the House® Home Improvement

Episode 1366

Toxic Woodworking and is that wall load bearing? Lets find out!

Woodworking projects can be a lot of fun! However there are woods that you can easily purchase that can make you sick while working with them if you are not careful! We discuss some of the large ones that can cause health problems to you and what you can do to work with them safely.

Are you moving walls? Is that wall load bearing? We dicuss some of the things that you can look for before you call in that structural engineer to see if it is a load bearing wall. All this and more in this weeks first hour of Around the House Show!

Thanks for listening to Around the house if you want to hear more please subscribe so you get notified of the latest episode as it posts at https://around-the-house-with-e.captivate.fm/listen

We love comments and we would love reviews on how this information has helped you on your house! Thanks for listening! For more information about the show head to https://aroundthehouseonline.com/

We have moved the Pro Insider Special on Thursday to its new feed. It will no longer be on this page. You can find it and subscribe right here: https://around-the-house-pro-insider.captivate.fm/

Information given on the Around the House Show should not be considered construction or design advice for your specific project, nor is it intended to replace consulting at your home or jobsite by a building professional. The views and opinions expressed by those interviewed on the podcast are those of the guests and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Around the House Show.

Mentioned in this episode:

Buy Me A Coffee, Beer, or Drink

Transcript
[:

[00:00:06] Intro: around the house.

[:

[00:00:23] Intro: If they say yes, great. I go down below and see, is there a wall or a post underneath where that wall is? So I figure out where the wall is upstairs. Mm-hmm I go down below and figure out where that is. And if it's an unfinished basement, it's so easy. Cuz you can see if there's anything that's carrying that load.

[:

[00:00:46] Intro: When it comes to remodeling and renovating your home, there is a lot to know,

[:

[00:00:54] Intro: around the house.

[:

[00:01:03] Eric Goranson: Thanks for joining us. We got a great show ahead. Hello Caroline. How's it. On the other side of the country.

[:

[00:01:13] Eric Goranson: Oh, man, this is gonna be a great episode. And we've even got one following this. That's gonna be absolutely amazing where we're taking it outside. But today let's talk about in this least first couple segments, toxic wood.

[:

[00:01:32] Caroline Blazovsky: that's pretty funny. I actually learned something in this episode. I did not know this. And I mean, I sort of knew it, I think in the back of your mind, you know, that woods can be very aromatic and we're talking about all kinds of lumber mm-hmm and the types of lumber that you use. But I didn't really think.

[:

[00:01:53] Eric Goranson: whatnot, you know, I've been a woodworker over the years, not like had the huge full wood shop, but working in cabinet shops and [00:02:00] stuff. As on the design side of things, there are some woods that you just don't use because it can be a problem.

[:

[00:02:28] Eric Goranson: And then you're kind of outta work. Mm-hmm so it's one of those things. If you didn't wear your respirator over the years, many times, boom. There's one day you wake up and you're sick. You can't get anywhere near it.

[:

[00:02:48] Caroline Blazovsky: Wow. So their father was owned pizzerias and he had worked in a pizzeria his whole life. And then halfway through, uh, working there, he developed this, I guess, an allergy to the flower, you know how you throw the pizzas [00:03:00] around and he couldn't be around it anymore. Yeah, couldn't do it.

[:

[00:03:06] Eric Goranson: Interesting. Yeah.

[:

[00:03:22] Eric Goranson: from. Absolutely. You know, and it's funny. You know, wood can be interesting when you're making sawdust, right.

[:

[00:03:50] Eric Goranson: You know, cured or RI like kiln dried wood is gonna be more likely to be, to cause a sensitive area with you than not [00:04:00] because many times, uh, you can have like between the bark and the wood, there can be, you know, things in there that are allergens that can get you sensitized to that. So that's some of the things you gotta start out with that could be very problematic.

[:

[00:04:17] Caroline Blazovsky: me when they're, when you're out and they're cutting up trees and they throw it into the chipper and they start throwing that air, all that stuff in the air. If they chip that fresh wood, oh my God, my eyes start water. And I feel like it's in my throat. I feel like I've got. Some kind of asthma.

[:

[00:04:32] Eric Goranson: you think about it, you know, excessive exposure to certain kinds of wood dust, you know, that's sawest can cause ailments, you know, like bronchial asthma, you know, a consistent runny nose, um, you know, a hypersensitivity type to a pneumonia mm-hmm and, uh, ODTs, which is organic dust, toxic syndrome, bronchitis allergic dermatitis.

[:

[00:05:22] Eric Goranson: And, um, some of the woods like beach and Oak can cause that. Those are common woods

[:

[00:05:38] Eric Goranson: with. Yeah.

[:

[00:06:17] Eric Goranson: So like even Western red, Cedar Sequoia, Redwood, Coca polo, you know, woods like that are the most likely to cause problems where woods from temper climates are much less extreme. So, you know, like large Walnut Oak beach, UN pine. Have a less of a reaction. Cause pine

[:

[00:06:42] Caroline Blazovsky: So organic that comes off pine. We can tell when people have done remodeling and things like that, because they'll have a lot of it in the air. Yeah. So these things have these VOCs, but like Redwood throws me because I love Redwood. I mean, I think, and it seems to me, like, I always thought of that as being like a non sort of toxic, [00:07:00] very aromatically benign.

[:

[00:07:04] Eric Goranson: on the list. Think about this. Redwood is used and Western red, Cedar is used for fences and decks, right? It's because bugs don't eat it.

[:

[00:07:15] Eric Goranson: too. You see what I mean? That's if the bugs don't eat it then guess what? Maybe there's a reason we shouldn't shouldn't eat it either too.

[:

[00:07:27] Intro: Maybe that's the issue, right? I've often.

[:

[00:07:40] Caroline Blazovsky: Some people say, oh, I love a Cedar closet. I have it. You know, I have multiple Cedar closets. I don't like that aromatic smell that it gives to my clothes, like after I put them in there. And then also I always felt like, well, if it can kill a bug. Is it really good for me to have in the house exactly. On my clothes all day.

[:

[00:08:16] Eric Goranson: Is is a little interesting, you know, Alder, which is another softer wood, you know, used in cabinetry furniture. It's, uh, you know, 20 years ago was kind of known as the cheap man's cherry, cuz you could stain it to look a lot like, you know, a mm-hmm a cherry wood. But it's common. It's fairly dangerous to work with as a tree, cutting it down.

[:

[00:09:00] Eric Goranson: And again, that's a big one there now, boxwood, which is another one. That's a sensitizer. So you get dermatitis, irritant to eyes, nose, and throat. Remember our

[:

[00:09:22] Caroline Blazovsky: 50% of that air is coming up and you're breathing it.

[:

[00:09:40] Intro: in

[:

[00:09:55] Intro: So.

[:

[00:10:03] Intro: your home. I hid your life. You got me thinking about the day we move. You have me singing in your head like your family.

[:

[00:10:17] Eric Goranson: Thanks for joining us well. During the commercial break, I decided to go out and take a COVID test. Since I had people, I was at my concert with a few weeks ago here. All of a sudden people are coming down with it. Uh oh.

[:

[00:10:32] Caroline Blazovsky: Yeah. Yeah. So we'll know by the end of the show, does Eric have COVID? Well, no,

[:

[00:10:39] Caroline Blazovsky: I don't think you've got it. I think he's just got a cold. I don't think so either.

[:

[00:10:51] Eric Goranson: Worth taking a look at, well, we've been talking about toxic woods and you know, I love woodworking, but you gotta be a little careful with this. Right. Mm. And. [00:11:00] You and I dove into this off air like last week and we're like, this is such a great subject. Cause nobody

[:

[00:11:17] Caroline Blazovsky: Yeah. A one time instance I'm instance is not gonna make you sick. But if you're a continu, you know, someone who works around it continuously, then yes, you gotta worry and take proper PPE.

[:

[00:11:38] Eric Goranson: So not just the sawdust, but even touching the wood and working with it as a sensitizer irritant to skin, nose, and throat, you can get, uh, conjunctivitis, nausea, bronchial, asthma wheezing, chest tightness, and headache. Wow. And that's from the dust and contact with the wood. Interesting. [00:12:00] Ebony, you think about Ebony, you know, used dark wood, beautiful.

[:

[00:12:10] Intro: Manufacturing.

[:

[00:12:31] Eric Goranson: So a lot of times you'll see in cabinetry that mahogany with the wave in it, that's got a really cool look. I use that SAPI mahogany all the time in projects. Uh, love it in kitchen cabinets, skin irritation, sneezing, you know, and it's crazy how much of these things when you're doing it. Um, you know, Ash.

[:

[00:12:56] Caroline Blazovsky: too, like if you have a sensitivity to any of [00:13:00] these woods and you put Coventry in your house, could it cause an issue like we know woods have formaldehide in them all the time, which can contribute. That's a naturally occurring thing.

[:

[00:13:13] Eric Goranson: Probably not just because you know, you, when you, when finished cabinetry is really sealed on all sides. Mm. So it's got a layer of finish over it. So there's not much to that where you would still see that. Now, if you're in there cutting moldings and stuff.

[:

[00:13:48] Caroline Blazovsky: We are talking, um, in the midweek special. So if you are listening on the radio or the podcast, my mom had an instance where she put in new flooring. And they

[:

[00:14:07] Eric Goranson: let's let's

[:

[00:14:17] Caroline Blazovsky: But she did have an instance. They were cutting all of the wood in her home and she got wood dust everywhere and she woke up the next day, like short of breath. and, you know, and with a big mess on our hands. So this can easily happen when contractors come in to do work, you can end up with a nightmare.

[:

[00:14:57] Caroline Blazovsky: me at go septic in splinters go [00:15:00] septic.

[:

[00:15:08] Eric Goranson: that I here's one that I knew that I don't, it's a, it's a very exotic wood, but a bur and again, not one, not a common wood that you could get at the home center. That one from Dustin spliners causes vomiting, nausea, GIDE irritation, and the short splinters are nearly impossible to remove.

[:

[00:15:31] Caroline Blazovsky: See,

[:

[00:15:50] Caroline Blazovsky: issue.

[:

[00:15:51] Eric Goranson: there's always that. And, and you're a hundred percent, right. I know guys that worked in wood shops for 40 years that had not a single issue with [00:16:00] this, but, and then somebody that works in there for seven could have major health issues. Well at any. So this is not an exact science at any

[:

[00:16:10] Caroline Blazovsky: You can get a piece of wood in your eye. I mean, that I've hap it's happened to me so many times, like a little splinter or just, you know, debris from the wood in your eye turns all nasty and you get conjunctivitis is, yeah.

[:

[00:16:27] Eric Goranson: Uh, that's nasal irritation, nausea. I've had that happen to me, uh, spruce another one, respiratory problems, irritation to nose and. Pine irritant decrease in lung function, allergic bronchial, asthma, rhinitis, and dermatitis.

[:

[00:16:47] Intro: we'll get to that. We'll get to that.

[:

[00:16:48] Eric Goranson: working down the list. We're not gonna cut and cutting in line here. So American cherry common wheezing gidiness that explains all the craziness that [00:17:00] happened out in the wood shop at times. ,

[:

[00:17:07] Eric Goranson: Yeah. Might might explain our show sometimes. and then . Here we go. Caroline, Doug fur see dermatitis, nasal cancer.

[:

[00:17:20] Intro: I use a lot of Doug fur.

[:

[00:17:24] Intro: over there.

[:

[00:17:28] Intro: Negative. Of course you got a cold. I got a cold. I'm glad I'm, I'll be fine. I'm glad about that,

[:

[00:17:40] Caroline Blazovsky: that's the one guys. Don't get spliners. So how do I protect myself? What do I need?

[:

[00:17:49] Eric Goranson: you know? Carolyn. That's a really good question because safety precautions are big when you're working with wood, you know, and again, that traditional basement woodworking is [00:18:00] not the best place in the house due to, like we talked about earlier, everything going up inside the house mm-hmm but the best rules are working in a well ventilated, well ventilated area with adequate dust extraction system.

[:

[00:18:34] Eric Goranson: Can you open that space up or not? Sound good.

[:

[00:18:38] Caroline Blazovsky: I'm both of these topics. I'm learning something. I

[:

[00:18:44] Intro: returns.

[:

[00:18:55] Eric Goranson: around the house with Eric, Jean Caroline, B Zeke sky. And I'm gonna [00:19:00] show you how to shred

[:

[00:19:11] Eric Goranson: Welcome back to the, around the house show where we talk home improvement every single week. Hey, if you want to get ahold. A lot of different ways you can do that. Head over to the website around the house, online.com. You can contact us there. We're on social media. We're just about everywhere out there.

[:

[00:19:48] Caroline Blazovsky: And it's always confusing, cuz I like am the type of person that loves to take walls out.

[:

[00:19:55] Eric Goranson: Which could be, how many times do you see that on HDTV? Yes. I mean, it's like, it's, it's like the [00:20:00] beginning of every demo day show, right? Mm-hmm , they're in there with the sled Shaer and the saw all, and they're pushing the wall down and they've got the glasses and the boots and half of these people, you can tell, they don't even know how to use power tools they have in their hands, but that's just what it is.

[:

[00:20:28] Caroline Blazovsky: of the criteria that I look at online, so we were looking at like, what they tell you online, don't go buy it because it's absolutely false. Like they were saying, if it runs parallel to your choice, it's okay.

[:

[00:20:45] Eric Goranson: Yeah. And here's, here's what it is so that you think of load is load is where you have a point that is carrying weight from the top all the way down to the foundation. But the problem is, is that you can have beams that span below [00:21:00] that carry the load that move that over to the side.

[:

[00:21:22] Eric Goranson: There's always a little load on everything. Almost always. There's a little bit of load there. Interesting. So here's one of the rules that I have. And again, I've been doing this for years and. You know, that's the common thing is okay. If the, if the Jo, you know, above or the ceiling above runs parallel, maybe, but what can happen is, is that floor joist or anything else up there could have a, a, a wall that's above that.

[:

[00:22:07] Eric Goranson: Right? Of course. And that wall is carrying that down to the basement. So, oh, it's running perpendicular. Yeah. It's no problem. Ah, you might have to put a, you might have to sister up that floor joist. It's above it and make it thicker, like a beam to carry the load and move it out to the outside walls. And that's where you need that engineer to specify.

[:

[00:22:33] Caroline Blazovsky: I like to take wall. Does that make sense? Yeah, no. I've taken out the wall between my dining room and living room. I've taken out the wall in the. Basement, which was sort of like a utility room that went into a, like, not a utility room, but a room that was sort of attached to the utility room that went into the living area space.

[:

[00:23:05] Intro: cut.

[:

[00:23:11] Eric Goranson: I'll walk in as a designer there. Oh, we're gonna blow this out and do this. It's like, all right, well let's explore this real quick. So, what I typically do is say, Hey, is there a basement down below? And if they say yes, great, I go down below and see, is there a wall or a post underneath where that wall is?

[:

[00:23:46] Eric Goranson: Okay. There's nothing. That's carrying that down to the foundation down here. That's outta the ordinary. So that's a good sign. And then you have to go up and kinda look in the space above it, whether it's the floor above, or if there's an attic space, you know, many [00:24:00] times if you have an older home, that's like Pret trusses, right?

[:

[00:24:28] Eric Goranson: Now you got, uh, You know, hundreds of pounds of load versus thousands of pounds of load. I

[:

[00:24:47] Caroline Blazovsky: And I'm like, oh my God, that was in the, and so he had to, they had to brace that. So that's a good thing to look for too. Like if you're ever up in your attic or places where you can see this type of structure basement too, you know, you should always check out for this kind of stuff, cuz it can happen [00:25:00] over time storms, you know, distribution win.

[:

[00:25:03] Eric Goranson: Let's, let's dive off on that for a second. Cuz one of the biggest problems you see out there with load like that is those posts in the basement. So you think about the post that goes up, you know, your typical basement, old basement floor. So you got a wood post that's, maybe a four by four or six by six.

[:

[00:25:46] Eric Goranson: 32nd shorter. And all of a sudden it's getting shorter, which means you've got now a dip in the floor. Mm-hmm so that's the key right there is to make sure. That, that post isn't sitting down there [00:26:00] with some kind of a, a vapor barrier piece underneath it, it could be a piece of tar shingle. It could be, you know, a piece of tar paper, something to keep moisture from ING up in the bottom of that post orgo steel.

[:

[00:26:26] Eric Goranson: Yeah, so great example. I think I've talked about this on the radio before we had a house that I was in and they had a sump pump that was pumping that troughing system around the outside mm-hmm and it was faulty.

[:

[00:26:55] Eric Goranson: Oh, a foot. So it would've just like been a back breaker, right? Just, [00:27:00] it would've shoved the middle of the house. Would've been like jacking the middle of the house up by a foot. Would've been like a pyramid

[:

[00:27:06] Eric Goranson: on the side would come down. Yeah. Would've just shoved everything up. Destroyed the house.

[:

[00:27:34] Eric Goranson: Correct? Because if you have an earthquake or something happen, mm-hmm , you don't want those things to kick out. You want them to stay exactly where they are. And that's one of the things. When you pay to have an earthquake retrofit done in these old homes, they will brace those down to the floor below they'll screw into the concrete.

[:

[00:28:07] Caroline Blazovsky: because I think in my attic, going back to this reinforcing of the, of the sport beam, That probably happened from a storm or wind she or something that we had during, I would suspect one of the big hurricanes that we had.

[:

[00:28:32] Eric Goranson: Okay. Well, when we come back, let's talk a little bit more about that, and I think that's a good topic to tie into this.

[:

[00:29:06] Intro: Hi everybody. I'm

[:

[00:29:10] Intro: froms, bam. And you are listening to around the house with. She and the beautiful Caroline.

[:

[00:29:40] Eric Goranson: Right.

[:

[00:29:54] Eric Goranson: Yeah. Stop. Yeah. I wanna talk about this.

[:

[00:30:14] Eric Goranson: No, not necessarily could be that. They just built it that way. Doesn't have to be that they built it one way to be load bearing. I mean, it's, it's a clue. These are all clues, but those are things to take a look at. But many times we have to be careful with is if you start to see like a low a, a, a hallway, like down the middle of the house, right?

[:

[00:30:55] Eric Goranson: I've had soffits in the kitchen where they're built down, [00:31:00] be structural. I've had that little pantry cabinet be structural, cuz they had to hide a post and it's in the side of the pantry. So they, oh, let's make a pantry out of it. And you're thinking I'm just taking a closet out. How bad can it be? Well, it can be pretty bad.

[:

[00:31:17] Eric Goranson: So really the first thing you want to do is, is have that, you know, have your structural engineer come out and take a look at it. I don't even trust a lot of contractors on it. I will really want if you're taking out a wall that could be structural. I want that absolute. Nope. You're good. Take it out.

[:

[00:31:48] Caroline Blazovsky: Structural engineer. Yeah. He's on my speed dial.

[:

[00:32:05] Eric Goranson: So the more windows, the more shear. So sometimes you have to put steel in. There's a perfect, I've had to do steel walls.

[:

[00:32:15] Caroline Blazovsky: take stuff out. No, you gotta have professionals to make sure you can do it. No.

[:

[00:32:30] Eric Goranson: And brackets that would be normally used in code today, like Carolina and your neck of the woods. I would start as I'm remodeling. I would start putting in some of the hurricane tie mountains that you see maybe down in Florida, the Carolinas, right? Mm-hmm so I'm gonna be speaking of Florida, I'm gonna be down for the Southeastern building conference MCing down there, August 3rd and fourth.

[:

[00:33:21] Eric Goranson: It goes in and ties that top plate down and the cable goes down and attaches to the foundation that holds the it's basically a tension tie that holds the top of the roof down onto the foundation. Amazing. So that's where those, you know, those it's like giant

[:

[00:33:41] Intro: absolutely.

[:

[00:33:41] Eric Goranson: it's dripping. Yeah. So it goes through it, bolts up, it grabs the side of the truss in your roof. You drill a hole and that quick tie goes all the way down and ties in down below. So it makes it, so you've got something that's gonna be really strong. It's not just that little hurricane clip. That you have, you've actually got a [00:34:00] cable that's holding the whole thing down and you're not pulling that apart.

[:

[00:34:06] Caroline Blazovsky: When would you install that? Like if you're putting in windows, taken out a window, like a big project,

[:

[00:34:23] Eric Goranson: I need to put some of those in.

[:

[00:34:30] Eric Goranson: platform. Let's just say, you know, it, that's hard. It, you really have to engineer that in there. And code's gonna tell you that too, like in Florida, but I would at least want to have it around doors and window openings and in the corners, you know, each corner tying that corners down and then in the middle around doors and openings interest.

[:

[00:35:15] Eric Goranson: It was just sitting on the foundation.

[:

[00:35:22] Eric Goranson: toss a coin. You have a place where you can see up there, it's unfinished in the ceiling, or you can see the floor dress.

[:

[00:35:33] Eric Goranson: a look. Laundry room, utility room.

[:

[00:35:38] Caroline Blazovsky: But, I mean, I've, I've been up there. I don't think I've ever looked for that particular

[:

[00:35:49] Intro: Oh, I'll have to,

[:

[00:35:55] Caroline Blazovsky: Oh yeah. You can see up onto the so plate and all that I'll look. Yeah. I'm just looking for a, I've never seen it [00:36:00] though. Would I notice

[:

[00:36:08] Eric Goranson: If there's not, then yeah. Then that's just the weight of the house, holding it down to the foundation. Uh,

[:

[00:36:16] Eric Goranson: Yeah. But then mm-hmm, , that's an easy fix though. You can go through now this requires drywall patching. You can go through and put those hurricane straps, which you bolt into the concrete, into the top of the wood and you can strap the whole house down that lamp.

[:

[00:36:42] Caroline Blazovsky: And you know, a friend of mine just told me today, I was texting with him this morning. They just had a tornado and got substantial damage in Maryland.

[:

[00:37:03] Eric Goranson: Yeah. I mean, it just happens.

[:

[00:37:22] Eric Goranson: That's just a, a great example of that. You know, where the wind came through. And literally blew it right off the foundation. And that's only because, oh, look at

[:

[00:37:42] Caroline Blazovsky: Yeah. So I had to look and this whole, the whole house is in the back of the foundation. But it looks like it's like a Decker porch now.

[:

[00:37:58] Eric Goranson: And, and these are things that I want you to [00:38:00] think about while you're taking out walls and doing this stuff, make sure that you've got, you know, add those right footings down below if you're moving stuff, you know, that's part of the process too, is when you get that structural and engineer involved and I just kind of wanna wrap it around this really nicely.

[:

[00:38:43] Eric Goranson: So it doesn't ever move. Cuz you think about many old homes that concrete on your basement floor is only inch or two. It could be a rat slab where it's less than an inch

[:

[00:39:04] Caroline Blazovsky: It's like, you

[:

[00:39:10] Caroline Blazovsky: If you're building now. I mean, in these times, I think it would be smart just to have this as a, as an extra added thing. Yeah. I mean, it just doesn't, it doesn't seem,

[:

[00:39:20] Eric Goranson: It's time to go. I'm Eric G. And I'm

[:

[00:39:24] Eric Goranson: B and you've been

[:

About the Podcast

Show artwork for Around the House® Home Improvement
Around the House® Home Improvement
Help for your remodeling, renovation, healthy home, interior design, and home improvement project for your kitchen, bathroom, and house!