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  • Writer's pictureMike Roberts

How To Stay Safe During Home Renovations

Finding inspiration to update and renovate your home is easier than ever. From tutorials available online to shows centered around the process of home remodeling, more and more homeowners are taking on the task of completing projects themselves. Although conquering these projects on your own may help your renovation budget, it’s important to be conscious of the unexpected dangers that may arise throughout the process. . If you’re thinking about taking on a project like this, here are a few tips to help protect you as well as give your home the upgrade it needs.

Be Prepared From The Start

Despite taking protective measures, accidents are likely to occur and it’s important to be prepared. At the start of your project, make sure you have a first aid kit nearby. Never start your project while tired and be aware of the area you are working in. Your workstation should be equipped with an updated fire extinguisher in case of a possible electrical or chemical fire. For any serious injuries, seek care from a medical professional as soon as possible. Do your research to make sure you feel confident about starting your DIY project, but if you are unsure of what steps to take next, look into hiring professional help.

Have The Right Equipment

At the start of your DIY renovation, research the necessary safety equipment and protective gear to wear. Safety gloves and eyewear will help protect your skin and eyes from irritation. For projects that require sanding, plastering, or painting, invest in a mask to protect your lungs from harmful fumes. Make sure to wear noise-cancelling headphones and earplugs to protect your hearing from loud and noisy power tools.

Power tools make the renovation process easier but can be dangerous when not used properly. Take additional steps when possible to avoid any mishaps or injuries. When you’re not using these tools, make sure to turn the safety on, keep it unplugged and out of reach from small children or animals. Always be aware of the tools proximity to your body and make sure you’re not wearing any loose fabric. Taking extra precaution when utilizing power tools can help ensure your renovation goes quickly and safely.

Protect Furniture and Valuables

Before starting your renovation project, prepare your space with the proper coverage to protect against potential stains or damage. Invest in tarps and plastic coverings that can help keep furniture, flooring, counter tops, and other surfaces neat and clean. This task may seem tedious and unnecessary, but ultimately taking the time to cover your belongings can protect against  possible DIY accidents.

Be Cautious of Harmful Substances

It’s important to know the year your house was built as well as the history of previous renovations completed prior to tackling your new project. In houses built prior to 1980, the natural mineral, asbestos was used in building products such as insulation, floor tiles, plaster, and cement. When asbestos is disturbed, hazardous fibers are released into the air and can cause inflammation as well as tumors to develop within the lungs. This form of lung damage could potentially lead to the rare cancer known as pleural mesothelioma, which can be found in the lining of the lungs. Homeowners should never attempt to remove asbestos on their own. Prior to the start of a renovation, homeowners should seek out a licensed and certified asbestos abatement professional to inspect the home for asbestos containing materials are present.

If you’re working in spaces that are prone to dampness, be aware of the presence and threats caused by mold. Basements, drywall, and bathrooms are a few of the top places mold thrives and are most likely to put you and your loved ones at risk of exposure. Exposure to this harmful substance can lead to future health concerns as well as structural damage to your home. A professional removal service can evaluate the damage caused by mold, as well as formulate a plan to remove the mold safely.

If your house was built before 1978, there is a chance that lead-based paint was used in the interior and exterior of your home. If lead paint chips or dust is ingested, the toxic metals in this paint can cause serious health problems. Although these toxic metals are dangerous for everyone, lead paint can have a significant impact on pregnant women as well as children. If you live in an older home, consider hiring a professional to test the paint, water, and dust in your home for lead.

Common Mistakes

At the start of a project, there is inspiration and motivation to complete the job the best you can. Homeowners often begin to realize their renovation is taking longer than they had planned and begin to rush. Rushing can lead to an incomplete final project  which could be costly to fix and potentially dangerous to you and your loved ones. Take your time and make sure all of the details are in order before moving forward.

Construction projects release a variety of fumes and debris into the air. Breathing in these particles can be extremely dangerous for your health, especially if exposed for a long period of time. Make sure the space that you are working in is properly ventilated with an open window, air filters, or a fan to disperse toxic fumes. Wearing a mask is helpful but you also want to make sure that your space is clear of all dust and smells when your work day is finished.

At the end of your project, make sure you clean up. Leaving behind small materials like nails, glass, or splinters can lead to big hospital trips in the future. Unplug and put away all power tools as well as harmful chemicals that may be fatal if ingested. Taking these steps to clean up your work space can further eliminate the dangers you worked diligently to prevent during the renovation process.

Do-it-yourself projects can be fun, save you money, and be immensely rewarding. For major renovations or projects that affect the overall value of your home, it’s best to seek out the help of professionals. Your home is a large investment and through taking necessary precautions you can do your best to minimize potential risks of a DIY project gone wrong. Do your research and don’t be afraid to reach out to a professional for a quote on a project you might feel unsure about.

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