One of the biggest shocks most DIY renovators encounter is the realization that renovation is not as easy as all those television shows make it look. But did you know that your renovation might actually be making you sick? There are a wide variety of risks that come along with doing any kind of remodeling or construction, especially to an existing building. Here are some of the dangers that come along with renovating your home:
Asbestos and lead paint – If the building you are working on was built before 1980, it is possible that you are going to have deal with both asbestos fibers and lead paint chips, both of which can be extremely hazardous to your health. If you’re not sure whether or not you need to worry about these two substances, contact a remediation team that can inspect the area before you get started.
Paint – Lots of brands of paint and other similar coatings will contain VOCs. These are essentially chemicals that are released into the room where that paint was used. If the product you are using has a smell, this usually means that it is a VOC. Take proper precautions to make sure your space is well ventilated and use a face mask and protective clothing when dealing with these products.
Carpets – Did you know that your carpeting can contain VOCs, too? Both the carpeting and the padding underneath can contain volatile compounds that can cause you headaches and even nausea. Cheap carpet especially has this issue. Like with new paint, make sure that your space is properly ventilated and remains properly ventilated until the compounds have completely outgassed and there is no longer a danger.
Flooring – Your vinyl flooring can be a source of both VOCs and asbestos, depending on how old it is and who manufactured it. Old vinyl flooring is likely to contain asbestos, while even the newest flooring is going to be rich in phthalates and VOCs.
Wood dust – It might not seem that dangerous, but it actually is one of the most toxic substances on most work sites, especially because many types of wood have been treated with formaldehyde and similar chemicals. When you breathe in the dust, you are breathing in those chemicals, too, so wear protective gear!