Renovating a home, whether a newly purchased one or one you’ve owned for many years, can be a very exciting project for homeowners. While trying to decide what color paint to use in one room and what kind of carpeting to use in another, there can be many hazards that may be encountered along the way. Whether it’s removing materials after an asbestos inspection or ridding a home of lead paint, there are steps to be taken that can make removal much easier and safer for all involved.
Asbestos can be found in a variety of places, such as ceiling tiles and floor tiles. Known to cause cancer, if asbestos is discovered it should be removed as soon as possible. Found almost exclusively in older homes, prolonged exposure to asbestos can damage the lungs and respiratory system. The major risk factor associated with asbestos removal is the dust it creates, when if breathed in can be hazardous. To safely remove asbestos tile, it’s best to try to keep it in one piece and not let it crumble. If it falls apart, dust is let loose on the surrounding area. Any dust that becomes airborne will settle into the general area, and the space should always be cleaned with soap and water afterwards. While removing asbestos, a respiratory mask should always be used to prevent breathing in any dust. Doorways and windows should be covered with drop cloths, and clothing that can be thrown out afterwards should be worn to cover the skin, eliminating the chance to be exposed. An asbestos inspection afterwards can let you know if all the substance has been removed.
Removing lead paint, particularly from older homes, is also hazardous. The goal when removing lead paint is to create little if any dust and fumes. Using a chemical stripper is best, because it gives a person more control over how much and how quickly the paint is removed. Lead paint chips or fumes, if inhaled over time, can damage major organs and the nervous system, in addition to causing cognitive and behavioral problems with children. Drop cloths should be used to catch falling paint chips, whether working inside or outside. Wearing protective clothing such as respirators, protective goggles and gloves should always be a high priority. Wear clothing that can be tossed out, and wash off with soap and water after finishing. Once the job is finished, dispose of the paint at an approved landfill. After that, you can sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor in a newly-renovated home.