New Year Stable Renovations

In many ways, Houston still resembles the wild west. One thing the city is known for is farmland, and with any good farm comes stables. Stables are full of many things. Horses, usually, are on that list. But things like hay and feed, as well as other animals can be on the short list. One thing that is normally not on that list is asbestos. That substance is most likely reserved for structures like old buildings and homes. However, the team at asbestos abatement houston knows that the hazardous material is found in many older structures, including stable in houston

One of my dearest friends had a beloved farm complete with horses, pigs and chickens. She planned to do a few upgrades to her stable before the work came to a halt before it even began. It turned out that one side of her stable contained asbestos in the insulation. She was devastated because she was concerned that her animals had been exposed to the toxic material. However, once the asbestos removal crew came out for a quick assessment, she was happy to learn that her animals had not been exposed at all. That is because the asbestos they found was still intact and undisturbed. In that state, asbestos poses little to no health risk to people or animals. It is when the substance is disturbed that it releases toxins into the air that can cause health issues such as difficulty breathing, coughing, wheezing and asthma attacks. Exposure over time can lead to cancer of the lungs, including mesothelioma.

She was able to have the asbestos safely removed after having a team come out and assess her stable. One of the funniest things she had to deal with during this renovation was the relocation of her animals. Even though Houston is full of stables, there are few that have openings to house extra animals, even for a night. She had to arrange transport of three horses, four pigs and half a dozen chickens. Of course, the chickens were the easiest to relocate. She actually had room in her backyard to house them. It was a bit awkward having the there temporarily, but it was the best option. She had to make sure her dog and cat did not sneak outside to mix with the chickens though.

Her pigs and horses were a bit harder to relocate. Eventually, she split the two animals up between a close friend who took her horses and a neighbor with a farm located down the road from her. The asbestos removal process took about four days and was successful. She had her animals back in their stable in no time.

Asbestos abatement in Farms

Are there any farms in the US old enough to need asbestos removal? Sure there are. Are there any farms left in the deep south that would need asbestos testing? Again, that’s a sure bet. That is why when my friend decided to buy a farm, I told her she needed to click this link and call them in order to really know if she was getting a good buy.

Now, let me back up a bit. My friend grew up in Kentucky on a farm. She comes from a long line of equestrians who breed, show and love horses. So, her interest in buying a farm made perfect sense to me. After all, there is this little thing called The Kentucky Derby that my friend grew up admiring and wanting to recreate for her own life as an adult. For some of our city-bred friends, the thought of owning a farm is like stepping back in time. They would rather visit a vineyard than ride a horse. And, I get it. Farming is a lot of work. It is not like having a garden that you tend to on the weekends and in your free time.asbestos in farm

Also, owning horses is a large responsibility in its own right. Even though my friend grew up on a farm, she had been out of that world for a long time. She went to college and transformed herself into a city girl. She even lived in a high rise condo in downtown Atlanta. So, for her to get back to her roots, so to speak, she needed to find a property that would keep her close to the city, but far enough away to really allow her the space to have a horse farm with some real land.

I went with her to look at real estate on the outskirts of Georgia. When we got to some of the properties, I served as the voice of reason to temper her expectations. That is why I brought up the Atlanta asbestos testing idea. My dad is a contractor and one of his largest clients bought an old structure with the intent to make it into a shopping center. When the client began the demolition process, he realized that he had gotten more than he bargained for when he purchased the structure. It had a bit of a termite problem, mold issues and tested positive for asbestos as well.

My friend ended up buying a horse farm and hired an asbestos testing team to test for the presence of the substance on the premises. She talked to me about the asbestos abatement company she hired and let me know they did a great job. They explained everything they were doing with the testing, why they were doing it and what the positive and negative results meant for her moving forward. In the end, she did not have to hire a removal team because her place did have any traces of the substance.

I have to admit that I never thought I would like visiting a farm, but because it is my friend’s farm, I happen to think it’s pretty cool. Thank goodness she still lives close to the city though. A girl can’t get too accustomed to the smell of country life.

Solar Powered Barns in Austin, TX

solar panel installWho puts solar panels on a barn? Well, if you are like me and care about saving money, then you do. In fact, lots of unconventional structures like barns, farmhouses, and fire stations are all going green with solar panels.

There are many reasons that farmers and other barn owners are deciding that solar panels are right for them. For the most part, equestrian farm owners are long-term thinkers and planners. They have to be in order to ensure they acquire the right horse breeds, trainers and clientele to keep the business going.  Although it may seem like contradiction, installing solar panels on a barn makes a lot of sense. Barns have ample roof space and open ground space too, so installers can choose a traditional roof placement or less common, but still effective ground-mount system. These are just some of the reasons more and more equestrian farm owners are going solar.

Here’s a short list of what solar energy can do for a farm:

  • Protect operations from rising energy costs
  • Lower and stabilize energy costs by working with utility company
  • Generate additional revenue from a barn, unused ground space, etc.
  • Increase the property value of your farm
  • Make you eligible for tax benefits and incentives from installing solar panels
  • Reduce carbon footprint and conserve energy in other forms

You might think that solar companies are really grasping at straws by installing on barns. While there are not many farms in bigger cities like Washington D.C. or Seattle, there is an entire Midwestern and Southern market that could use solar as a long-term strategy for their business. Solar panels in Austin. Solar panels in Omaha. I could go on and on listing the places where solar panels would benefit farm owners. Overall, with technology changing, farm owners who take advantage of will undoubtedly reap the benefits of solar energy for years to come.