Renovating your home is a project you can do yourself. However, if you’re a novice around the home, i.e. you’re more comfortable in front of a computer screen than you are with a hammer in your hand, then there are many dangers to avoid. Definitely channel your inner- handyperson’s knack and tackle maintenance and renovation task but first learn about what you need to do for health and safety.
A project like renovating a bathroom or kitchen, digging a dry well, installing a new basement bulkhead door, etc. are immensely rewarding. When they’re done well, they will not only improve the quality of your experience at home but also increase your home’s resale value when the time comes to sell up.
In this article, we look at some of the obvious dangers to avoid when pulling on your DIY cap.
Falling Off Ladders
OSHA says that falling off ladders is the construction industry’s number one death cause. Just because you’re doing a home DIY project, that doesn’t mean you’re about to put on a hardhat and pursue construction as a career. Still, home ladder use is just as perilous.
You might use a ladder during a DIY project for something like:
- Cleaning out an attic
- Doing minor roof repairs
- Switching out security camera batteries
Any time you get up on a ladder, know that a single misstep can prove costly or even fatal. Go slowly, and if you’re working with a partner, have them hold the ladder steady while you’re up there.
Don’t climb to the very top of the ladder, either. Most of them have warnings indicating the last step that you can stand on safely. Make sure you follow those instructions.
You should also watch out for asbestos as you renovate your home. Asbestos is not inherently dangerous if you encounter it. It’s when you start to break it up, and the particulate matter flies into the air that you need to avoid breathing it in.
You might encounter asbestos anywhere in the construction of your home, from the ceilings to subfloors.
Construction companies used it for several decades, so it’s everywhere. The older your home is, the more likely there’s asbestos in there somewhere.
To avoid it, the thing to do is look online and find examples of its appearance. If you locate some in your home, you should either learn how to remove it safely, or you can hire a company to do so for you.
The government would prefer that you don’t remove asbestos yourself, but instead that you hire a removal company. However, these companies can charge a lot of money to remove even a small asbestos amount.
You’re sometimes okay to remove small asbestos sections yourself if you wear a mask, goggles, and gloves.
You might attempt lots of DIY projects, but if no one trained you in electrical work, you should be extra careful in this area. Before you’re going to do any electrical repairs or additions in your home, make sure to locate the fuse box and turn off the power.
In most homes, you’ll find the fuse box in the basement. You should label each room or house section’s fuses if you haven’t done so yet. You can experiment with each one to see the room with which it matches up.
Once the power is off, you can confidently do the electrical work. You should definitely put on gloves when you do so, just in case.
You should also have a fire extinguisher handy if you’re doing any home renovation work where there’s a possible fire risk. That might involve working with flammable chemicals or solvents.
It would be best if you had a charged fire extinguisher on every floor in your home. Have it out and close at hand when you’re starting a DIY project.
If you don’t know how to use it, remember the acronym PASS. It means to pull the pin, aim the extinguisher, squeeze the trigger, and sweep it back and forth till the fire is out.
One other thing you should do is wear a mask if you’re going to use bleach or chemical solvents. If you’re going to use any potentially harmful inhalants, there are masks you can buy that will keep you safe from them.
A small mention regarding plumbing and pipes: always seek professional assistance when it comes to plumbing. While a burst pipe may not be immediately dangerous, it can be catastrophic if it spills water inside your home.
Water damage can be costly when it comes to repairs to walls, floors etc.
Follow these tips, and your DIY project should conclude satisfactorily.
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