Home renovations can be a nightmare when the contractor you’ve hired suddenly realizes that uncovering a wall also uncovered decades of dust and dirt. Or pulling up the carpet revealed more than what you were expecting to see. Contractors know the hazards in major home renovations and know how to work safely. But when you are the one doing the work, you need to know how you can be safe as well. Here are some DIY safety tips for when you are doing the work yourself.
The basic safety equipment for DIY home projects and repairs involves making sure that what you see, breathe, or handle will not injure you or others.
Head: While it may sound like a no-brainer, wearing some kind of protection on your head will prevent any injury to your head. Hard hats are the best protection from bumping your head, or if something falls during your renovation.
Eyes: Protecting your eyes is essential to any DIY home project or repair. Wood chips, dust, insulation fibers, and even mold can fly into your eyes while working on your home. Your eyes can be easily scratched or injured to the extent that you may wind up losing all or part of your vision. Safety glasses are inexpensive but priceless for what they protect. Find ones that fit well and protect your eyes even from the sides. And, no, your normal glasses won’t do to protect your eyes!
Lungs: One thing that is easily forgotten until it is too late is protecting your lungs from what you may inhale while renovating your home. Using a saw to cut wood creates a lot of wood shavings, and whether you are taking down or putting up drywall, there will be quite a bit of plaster dust in the air.
“Dust that is inhaled from asbestos or fiberglass is another matter entirely,” says Jim Jones, CEO of Mr. Maid Residential and Commercial Cleaning. “In this case, a trip to the hospital is imperative and without delay. Unfortunately, there is no cure for asbestos being inhaled but doctors may prescribe breathing treatments and medication to help with the symptoms.”
“This is why companies exist where employees have the equipment and training to remove these materials safely,” Jones continued. “Working with wood and drywall can be dangerous because of the dust these materials can create. Always wear a dust mask to prevent dust inhalation. Extended periods of breathing in the dust will potentially cause lung problems.” ~ Taken from Quora.
While a disposable mask that covers your nose and mouth will protect you from particles of dust and mold, you will want to wear a respirator if you will be working with dangerous chemicals. Even some cleaning agents can be dangerous when combined, such as bleach and an ammonia product.
Ears: Your ears are quite sensitive and continuous loud noise from pneumatic nail guns, saws, or other tools and equipment you may use in your renovations could cause hearing loss. Wearing soft, disposable ear plugs will help to prevent damage to your hearing.
Hands, Fingers, Body: Wearing gloves that are suited to the type of work you are doing is also important for protecting you from cuts, burns, metal shavings, chemicals or solvents. If you are also going to be removing asbestos insulation, flooring, or siding you should also consider protective clothing. Especially if you will be crawling around in an old attic or basement.
DIY home projects and repairs should always include DIY safety.