Home renovation projects are exciting. You’re finally going to complete the changes that make your house a home. However, renovations are also hectic. As a result, there is a lot of equipment, materials, and hazards lying in wait that can lead to accidents. To make the most of your home renovation, you want to make sure that your home stays safe. Here are our top 10 home renovation safety tips to help things run smoothly.
This is a simple premise, but one that can be hard to follow. Renovations are messy; there’s just no way around it. However, it is possible to keep things tidy if you focus on cleaning as you go. An easy way to do this is to hire a disposal bin rental that many Toronto homeowners use for all their renovation waste. This is the best way to remove everything, including old flooring, torn out cupboards, toilets, and drywall.
Removing garbage is important because it decreases the risk for trips and falls. A floor covered in waste becomes very uneven and can make it very easy to trip. It can also make it dangerous for ladders, as being placed on an uneven base can make it easier for the ladder to wobble. Even equipment becomes more dangerous when placed on uneven surfaces. Throwing waste into the bin, however, and sweeping and vacuuming debris as you go creates a much safer environment.
While there are many things you can DIY for your home renovations, the more complicated the project, the more need there is for a professional contractor. They not only ensure the work gets done right, but they also know how to keep their job sites safe. However, safety goes beyond trips and falls.
Older homes built before 1980 can reveal dangerous elements that can expose your family to hazards such as mould, lead, or asbestos. You might not even realize you’re pulling out asbestos tiles, insulation, flooring, or insulation, or be aware of how dangerous it is to release mould spores into your home. Professional contractors know what to do when they encounter these issues and will ensure your family is safe.
Another reason hiring a contractor is important is that you might not understand how to use tools safely. We’re not just talking about common items like saws, but any tool that operates using gasoline. These tools require proper ventilation, as they produce carbon monoxide. You can try opening the windows, but this won’t be enough.
There are a lot of materials you can encounter when doing a renovation that require proper handling. From paints and adhesives that need ventilation, to risk for electrocution, you want to know you are handling materials safely. Always read the instructions completely, and when renting tools or equipment, speak to the rental company to ensure you understand how to operate them safely.
Surge protectors protect you from electrical shocks. If there are surges while you are working, you protect yourself and your electronics from harm, especially during storms. However, a whole-home surge protector needs to be installed by a licensed electrician.
Another handy tip is to install a smart lock for added security when your home is under renovation. This makes it harder for thieves to enter, especially if you are not living in the home when your renovations are underway.
Never perform renovation work without proper safety gear. This includes safety eyewear, that is fog and scratch resistant. Not only do they protect your eyes, but they also make sure you can see properly while you work. Work gloves are a must to protect you from serious gashes and cuts, but they also keep your hands clean from possible irritants such as adhesives. If using electric-powered equipment, wear earmuffs or earplugs to protect your eardrums from loud, high pitched noise.
Masks are a must when using toxic chemicals or doing dusty work like sanding or demolition. Always read the instructions on items to see what protection is recommended. If you are doing extensive work throughout the home, consider wearing a hard hat. It’s actually required for any renovation that’s considered a construction site. And although steel-toed shoes might seem like overkill, you’ll be grateful if you drop that hammer or heavy piece of wood on your foot.
You’re probably thinking, “Permit? What permit?” However, there is a lot of renovation work that requires a permit, including:
The more complicated the work, the more likely it is you need a permit. This is because such work has a high risk not only during the installation, but also following the installation if it is not done properly. If you aren’t sure, find out. If not, when it comes time to sell your home, the home inspection may discover a long list of issues that have to be repaired. The best way to avoid permit challenges is to simply stick to finishes. This would include things such as paint, basic tile work, installing baseboards and moulding, or even basic drywalling.
Ladder accidents are very common during home renovations. If you must use a ladder, be careful even if you are just using a step ladder. Make sure your ladder is placed on a flush floor with all feet flat so it won’t wobble. You can actually buy a ladder lock that helps keep it from kicking out. If you are using an extension ladder leaned against the wall, a good rule of thumb is that for every four feet in height the ladder needs to be extended outwards by a foot to create a supporting angle.
The messier and stinkier the job, the better it is to be done outside. Although things like painting walls or secured cabinets need to be done indoors, if you can bring the project outside, you’ll reduce the level of fumes you inhale, as well as the fumes left behind.