Whether it’s for safety, work, or play, many of us are spending more time in our homes. Renovations and DIY projects are great ways to enhance your living space.
Whether it is just a new coat of paint, wallpaper, or something more involved like updating your kitchen, safety should always be priority number one.
Here are six tips to keep you and your family safe during renovations:
1. Gather the appropriate personal protective equipment. Protective gear may include gloves, a proper mask or respirator and safety glasses. Product labels and additional instructions included with the product may provide more detailed information on what you need to wear, including special types of masks or respirators. Remember – a dust mask will not protect you from chemical fumes.
2. Some building materials (like wallpaper, cleaning products, glues, particle board, paints and sealants) can emit harmful gases called volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into your indoor air.?So be sure to buy low- and zero-VOC emission products wherever possible.
3. Keep your work areas well ventilated. This is especially important when refinishing furniture, using paints, varnishes, glues and adhesives, or doing other renovation projects that may create dust or release chemical fumes. Open windows and doors, run your exhaust fans and work outdoors, if possible.
4. Asbestos can be found in older building materials like insulation, cement, plaster, ceiling and floor tiles, house siding, and automobile parts. Hire a professional to test for asbestos before doing any renovations, remodelling or demolitions if you think you have some in your home. Never disturb or try to remove asbestos materials yourself. Hire an asbestos removal specialist.
5. Hire a professional to check for lead-based paint in homes built before 1990 as it can release harmful dust if disturbed or removed during renovations.
6. Find all mould and sources of excess moisture throughout your home. Depending on where you’re renovating, check basements, closets, windowsills, roofs, and around sinks, tubs and pipes. Consider hiring a professional to clean it up, especially if there is a large amount of mould. If the mould keeps coming back after you clean it, seek professional advice for help identifying and repairing persistent moisture issues.
Now that you’ve done your all-important safety homework, you’re ready to get down to business with picking colours and designs. Find more information on keeping a healthy home at canada.ca/healthy-home.