Health and Safety Hazards That Can Affect Your Home Renovation

Once you have all the plans ready and documents signed, you’re ready to start your renovation. However, there are still things to consider before you grab a sledgehammer and go to town on your walls and floors. Home renovations (especially older home renovations) come with various risks to your health and the health of your loved ones. In order to protect your family from these hazards, here are a few things to keep an eye on. 



If you’re repainting, gluing or staining, fumes will fill your house and cause various potential health issues. Health risks are most commonly not life-threatening (headaches, nausea and irritation) however, they are still unpleasant. Keep your rooms ventilated and grab a mask when handling products that off-gas. 



This material is often found in older houses (it was commonly used in the 19th century) mainly in paint products. While it offers a protective coating to pain, it also causes various health side effects. Lead paint is extremely dangerous when cracked since dust particles can get in your air and end up in your lungs. Make sure to handle lead paint with extreme caution. 



This is another very harmful (even carcinogenic) material once used for insulation. While people today don’t put asbestos in their homes, it’s still present in some older houses. For instance, many homes built in Australia prior to 1980s still have asbestos in walls, pipes, ducts and floors. So, if there’s a possibility that your home contains asbestos, make sure to invest in professional asbestos testing in Sydney and check your air quality and test materials for the presence of this harmful material. Never attempt to remove asbestos on your own and don’t start renovations until you see your asbestos testing results.  



Just like your bread starts getting moldy when exposed to moisture and heat, the same can happen to your walls and floors. Dampness can result in a build-up of mold that feeds, reproduces and releases spores that can cause respiratory issues if inhaled. If you notice mold in walls and floors, don’t just cover it with a fresh coat of paint or new hardwood. It’s best to treat mold and reduce dampness in order to rid your house of this hazard and prevent long-term health issues. 



When tearing down walls and removing plaster, you can safely assume your home will be covered in dust. While most people underestimate dust, but even when free of harmful chemicals, it can be harmful to your health. In order to protect yourself and your family from dust, always wear protective masks and goggles, isolate the area of renovation with barriers and block ventilation. 



Even when elevated just a few inches off the ground, working at heights should always be approached with care. There’s no way you’ll be able to finish your reno in time and enjoy your freshly-painted walls and new lighting fixtures when you’re stuck in hospital after falling off your ladder. So, always be mindful, wear a helmet and stable footwear. Also, keep an eye on powerlines and pipes when moving your ladder and watch out for people around you. Touching powerlines with your ladder can cause serious injury or even death, while damaging pipes can set you back a lot of money in damage and prolong your renovation. 



Most paints, solvents, polishes, bleaches and cleaning solutions you might require during your renovation are very toxic. So, make sure to keep all your products visibly labeled and keep them out of reach, especially if you have little kids and pets. Never keep chemicals and toxic products in food or beverage containers—only original packaging is acceptable. Also, use all products in accordance with its label and directions. In case of ingestion, visit a health specialist as soon as possible. 



You might be hoping for pleasant days and calm nights, but the weather is often not ready to cooperate. Sunshine might help paint dry, but it can cause dehydration. Wind can come as a nice refreshment, but it can cause objects to fall and injure people around your site. So, always be mindful of the elements and take good care of your body. 

If you stay safe throughout your renovation, you will get to enjoy the products of your hard work and look back on your project with a smile on your face. 


About The Author:

Derek Lotts is a Sydney based writer and researcher, a regular contributor at Smooth Decorator  blog. He writes about décor, gardening, recycling, ecology and business. He thinks all of these topics fall under the self-improvement category. He believes in the power of sharing ideas and communicating via the internet to achieve betterment.