Posted by Brian Turner
Renovating a home can be an exciting time, but there are also potential health risks that are involved with these types of projects. This is certainly the case when it comes to older homes. With a few simple precautions, the renovation can be completed without any problems.
One of the main safety concerns would be the dust and any fumes that can be released into the air. This can occur when cutting wood, ripping out carpet, and applying glues, sealants, and paints. Dust and fumes can be limited in a few ways. The use of masks and eye protection is a must for anyone in the house. Opening windows and having proper ventilation will help in this matter as well. When painting, there should be adequate ventilation as well. The use of low Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) paint is one way to limit the exposure to harmful vapors.
In older homes, two main concerns would be asbestos and lead based paint. Both can be removed safely, but extreme care should be taken. Both can cause serious respiratory health problems. Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that is specifically caused by exposure to asbestos.
For the removal of lead paint, care should be taken in regards to the creation of dust. During renovation, it is sometimes best to move out while the work is being done. Items should be moved out of the room being worked on. Furniture and larger things should be wrapped in plastic. Ventilation systems should be turned off and the room being renovated needs to be sealed off and isolated from other areas of the home. Proper breathing protecting should be worn at all times as well. When the work is completed, a proper and thorough cleaning will ensure there is no lead dust remaining. The cleaning is one of the most important steps, so care should be taken to do this thoroughly.
If there is asbestos in the home, a homeowner should not take on the task of removing this toxic material. Asbestos removal should only be done by a company that is specifically licensed in asbestos abatement.
By taking a few precautions, home renovations can be done safely. If in doubt about how to proceed safely, it is always best to seek out the assistance of a professional.