Renovating My Victorian House


Hello, it’s Catherine here again. This time I’m desperately looking for some advice. I am in the process of having my house completely renovated. I’ve never done any work on the house and my recent retirement has given me the push and the spare time to start making it more beautiful. My house is quite old, from the Victorian era. Like most Victorian houses in the western states of the US, it has 2 floors and the rooms would have originally been very large and airy. Unfortunately, one of the previous owners of the house decided to make more rooms by dividing them up with partition walls made from pressed board.



Partition Walls, Yuck!


How I have lived with these tiny rooms for so long I do not know. Not only do the smaller rooms make no sense to a woman whose family have flown the nest, they also cut off some of the beautiful ceiling roses and cornicing, which are features that really shouldn’t be messed with in a period house because they add so much charm when they can be viewed in their entirety.  I’ve finally bitten the bullet and decided to remove these walls so that I can attempt to restore the house to its former glory. The builders came in to start removing the partition walls last week and, low and behold, they found that the walls are releasing fairly dangerous levels of formaldehyde.



Coping with Formaldehyde:


I didn’t know much about formaldehyde until this discovery. From my subsequent research it seems that this toxic gas can be extremely damaging to my health. Formaldehyde can be found in many household products, including hair products and bed sheets, but only in small doses. At these small quantities, formaldehyde is mostly harmless. With the level being produced when the builders rip down my walls, however, the formaldehyde can cause a range of health irritations including sore throat, runny nose and eyes or nausea. Worse than this, formaldehyde can trigger asthma, create breathing problems and may cause cancer.  Neither I nor the builders want to proceed with the partition wall removal until something is done to clear the air of formaldehyde. Moreover, I’ve moved into a friend’s house until the problem can be resolved.


Finding an Ozone Generator for Sale:


The builders have suggested that I try and find an ozone generator for sale. Apparently this will fix the problem by removing the harmful and toxic formaldehyde gas from the air. The only problem with finding an ozone generator for sale is that I have read that these, too, canbe harmful to humans. This would mean staying on at my friends house until all the work has been finished and I really don’t want to outstay my welcome. I wondered if any of my readers have experience with ozone generators or indeed have any idea where I would find a generator for sale? Is it a case of sourcing one online from somewhere like this? If I buy a generator for sale from a website such as this one I cannot guarantee its safety. Or perhaps ozone generators do not deteriorate, in terms of safety, with age? Besides, there seem to be some brand new ones on this website.



Maintaining Safety:


Or I could play it safe and find an ozone generator for sale at my local home depot store. That way I can ask the advice of one of the technicians within the store. It’s all very daunting and, being the incessant worrier that I am, I’m in a blind panic that the formaldehyde is going to stick around long enough to make one of my grandchildren sick on their next visit. Or worse, that I create an even more dangerous environment for them by creating ozone gases in my house.  In some ways I really wish I hadn’t started this renovation project. I’m keeping everything crossed that a friendly technician or, indeed, one of me readers will reassure about the safety of an ozone generator, the builders will get the walls down once the formaldehyde levels have dropped to a safe level and then I can continue with my renovations as planned. Any help would be much appreciated as I really do feel that I’ve bitten off more than I can chew here and I would really appreciate a second opinion. My builders have assured me that they’ve safely used ozone generators before and encouraging me to find a generator for sale. I’m just a little too nervous, at this stage, to go ahead without some expert advice. I look forward to hearing from some of you and thank you in advance for any help or advice that you are able to offer. God bless, Catherine.