When you begin a home renovation project, the most important thing on your mind should be your and your family’s safety. Home renovation projects can vary in size and scope, but the one thing they all have in common is that they have the potential to cause some serious damage.
While removing a ceiling, or taking out walls, or even doing basic electrical work, you could expose yourself and those you love to dangerous, toxic substances. These materials could be fairly obvious to you, such as old paint or pesticides, but some might be stealthier, such as older thermostats that have mercury in them or insulation materials that contain asbestos.
Protecting Yourself and Your Family
During home renovations, the last thing on your mind might be the kinds of toxic substances that you are exposing yourself to. You are likely to be more concerned about the contractor you hire, or the kind of budget that you have to work with for your project. However, safety is crucial, and the truth is that exposure to certain toxins and materials could cause anything from sore throats to cancer.
Thankfully, there are a variety of steps that you can take to ensure that your entire family remains safe and healthy during your next renovation project.
Deal with Flammable Liquids
If you’ve purchased an older home, or you have been in your home for a long time and are attempting to clean it prior to your renovation, you may come upon various flammable liquids that have been stored in the home. Things like lighter fluid, gasoline, and propane are flammable liquids are common enough in homes, but they’re very dangerous if not handled properly.
All flammable liquids should be marked with a warning, so these items should be easy to identify. It’s particularly important to locate these materials and remove them from the home during renovations as contractors will likely be using equipment that relies on some sort of heat source.
Take Care of Old Paints
Old paint can be very lethal, especially if it contains chemicals such as lead or mercury. If you’ve purchased an older home, particularly one that was built prior to 1980, you may want to ensure that some kind of lead paint testing is done. Breathing in the fumes from this kind of paint has been known to cause a variety of illnesses, especially respiratory ones. If you see that there is old paint stored in a home, this is considered hazardous household waste (HHW), and should be removed professionally.
Hire Professionals to Deal with Insulation
It is a sad truth that many people have contracted serious illnesses from insulation made with asbestos and required the help of lawyers. Personal injury attorneys all over the country have likely spent time on at least one asbestos case in their careers. Asbestos was a popular material used in insulation for many years, but today we know that it can cause serious damage to the human body if inhaled. If you believe for even one second that there might be asbestos insulation in your home, contact a professional who can remove it the right way.
Store Chemicals Properly
When you have lived in a home for a long period of time, you might be surprised to discover how many bottles of different chemicals you have stored under your sink or on a shelf in the garage. The more chemicals that you have stored in your home, the more dangerous it can be. Make sure to remove any chemicals that are no longer in use or have sat for a long period of time. Also, find a secure location to store the chemicals, label them properly, and ensure that their caps are secure. There are a variety of chemicals that you should be on the lookout for, including:
- Car fluids,
- Cleaning fluids,
- Bleach, and
As you renovate your home, consider all of these as tips as vital to the safety of your home and your family. If you’re not sure how to dispose of any particular item, contact your local city office or your waste removal company to learn about ways to dispose of hazardous chemicals and materials.
About the Author
Mark Harris, an Internet marketer and freelance writer, enjoys working from the comfort of his home or at his second office, the coffee shop on the corner. He loves spending time with his wife when he’s not browsing sites like www.bgs.com for his next story. Mark loves the beach, and he is an avid traveler, calling himself a tourist in his own city of Vancouver.
- Avoid Letting Your Home Renovation Drive You up the Wall (olgerfallaspainting.com)
- $97 Bathroom Renovation: from Dreary to Dapper (olgerfallaspainting.com)
- 4 Things You Can Do to Raise the Value of Your Own Home (olgerfallaspainting.com)