15 Health Hazards to Tackle During Your Renovation Project

July 20, 2018

 

 

If you have finally decided to remodel your home, you shouldn’t forget about tackling some of the hidden health hazards that it contains. Whenever you decide to get new flooring or change the windows or the layout, you should look out for these common problems that can cause health issues throughout the years. You don’t usually get access to the areas listed below unless you are carrying out renovation work, so it might be a good idea to spend an extra few hundred dollars and make your home healthier.

 

Mold

 

There is a misconception that only old homes get mold, In fact, it can develop in any property that is not ventilated properly. Whenever you remove the bathroom or kitchen tiles, you might come across black mold that can cause respiratory illnesses and even serious conditions, such as asthma. Mold is often hidden behind the wallpaper or fitted furniture, so you will need to look out for it and get in touch with mold removal services whenever you are clearing your your space for a remodeling project.

 
Condensation

 

Even if you don’t have mold in the house, it might have condensation. If you have double pane windows, moisture can be trapped between the panes, and you will need to find a way to reduce the humidity. Condensation can cause damage throughout your home; ruin your wooden floor, your wall structure, and even your expensive furniture. You might want to find a dehumidification solution that will permanently solve the issues next time you are renovating your house.

 

Dirty Air Vents

 

It is also important to tackle the different pollutants in the air vents of your house. It is best to talk to a heating and air conditioning engineer to find solutions and change the air filters. However, if you are carrying out work in the house that causes dust and other pollution, you will have to give your vents a deep clean before you are finished decorating. You might even have pest infestation in the vents you don’t know about, and this is a health hazard for people living in the house.

 
Lead Paint

 

If you own an older house, you might need to remove some old paint from the windows, doors, and window sills, If the paint contains lead, it is hazardous long term, and you will need a specialist to remove it for you. Lead poisoning can have long term health impacts on children under the age of 6, so if you have kids you should make sure that you are tackling the problem. It can cause learning disabilities, behavior issues, and early mortality. When decorating your home, you should contain the paint and the paint dust, and wear protective clothing.

 
Asbestos

 

Asbestos used to be one of the most common building materials, used for insulation. You can find it in the flooring, the walls, and even the outbuildings of your house. It can increase the risk of lung cancer, as the small particles are getting stuck in the respiratory system. While asbestos is now banned from use, it is still present in some older buildings. Before you start knocking down walls or making any structural changes in your home, you should get a professional to check whether there is asbestos present. It is always better (and cheaper) not to touch asbestos, but - in some cases - this is necessary.

 
Pests

 

If you have a basement or gaps in your walls, under your floor, chances are that you will find signs of pests. From ants and termites that will damage the wooden building materials to rats chewing on wires and mice living in air ducts, there are several risks to look out for. Mouse and rat droppings and dead animals can pose a serious health risk, so you should check the usual hiding places for pest infestation.

 
Unsafe Floorboards

 

An old house can come with surprises. If your floorboards upstairs or downstairs have been cracking for a while, when you remove the floor cover, you might find that some of them are damaged or broken. Whenever carrying out a complex renovation project, it is important to disinfect and clean the floor boards and replace them. You will feel safer and reduce the risk of accidents in your home.

 
Old Pipes

 

Whenever you are renovating your bathroom, you should pay attention to the condition of your pipes. You might have noticed that your plumbing makes a noise whenever you are turning on the hot water, and this is a sign that you might need to get a plumber to replace your old pipes. If your water outlets cause you trouble, chances are that there are some health hazards, such as built up minerals, heavy metal, or limescale. Changing your pipes when you have removed the tiles and flooring makes more sense than dealing with an emergency pipe burst and having to redecorate.

 
Outdated Electrical Systems

 

Old wiring in your house can cause fire and health hazards. If you often experience tripped fuses and your bulbs simply don’t last long enough, you might have an unsafe electrical wire in the house that needs your attention. A small break inside the wall can cause electrical faults and even accidents. If you are carrying out a full scale remodeling, make sure that you consult with a qualified electrician.

 
Uneven Floor

 

Whether it is indoors or outdoors, you will need to deal with uneven floors. If you have a step up to the kitchen or down to the conservatory, you might want to even the flooring, so you avoid people tripping over. You might have used to the layout and the imperfections over the years, but your visitors haven’t. If you have a patio with uneven paving blocks, it might be time to remove and relay it, so you can avoid accidents. If your floor is not even, you are more likely to damage your expensive furniture, too.

 

Radon

 

This is a slow and invisible killer. You can’t see or smell radon, but it can cause several health issues. It is usually released from old heating and air conditioning systems, so maintaining the condition of your units is essential. If you want to find out whether you are being exposed to radon in your home, you will need a professional to test the air quality. In some cases, proper ventilation and sealing can solve the problem and prevent the gas from entering your home. It is also crucial that you fix all the cracks in your foundation and floor.

 
Smoke Residue

 

If you haven’t renovated your home since you moved in, and the previous owners used to smoke or use an open fire, the smoke residue will be still present in the walls, on the wallpapers, and even between the floorboards. You need to deep clean the house and make sure that you get rid of all the toxic smoke particles. One of the areas people forget about is the ceiling; always wash it with disinfectant and soapy water to remove indoor air pollution.

 

Carbon Monoxide

 

If you don’t currently have a carbon monoxide monitor in your home, you should get one installed in each room. You cannot smell carbon monoxide, but it can poison you. If you use your oven for heating, have air leaks in your furnace, or your home is poorly ventilated, you can suffer a carbon monoxide poisoning. It is important that you get your furnace tested regularly and ask the HVAC engineer to look out for leaks and backdraft. The main symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include vertigo, fatigue, blurred vision, and chest pain.

 
Dirty Chimney

 

Even if you are not using your chimney any more, it can contain loads of pollutants, and they can enter your home through the vents. If you are carrying out a home improvement project, you might decide to get rid of the old chimney completely and free up space, or block it off and seal the openings, so you don’t have to deal with pests living there, dust, debris, and other toxic materials.

 
Poor Insulation
 
A home that is not adequately insulated is not only more expensive to maintain, but it can also cause health issues. Draft in the house can increase your risk of respiratory illnesses and infections. Whenever you are carrying out major renovation work in your home, check for cold patches on the wall. Get secondary insulation if possible, install underfloor thermal layers, and replace your old windows with double pane units. Seal the gaps and the cracks in your home, and make sure that all your windows and doors are airtight.
 

Once you are renovating your home, you should look out for opportunities to eliminate health hazards at the same time. Some of the hidden dangers are invisible to the naked eye, so it is important that you take your time and talk to a professional about removing the pollutants or risks from your home. Look out for damp, mold, pollution, draft, and unsafe installations whenever you are trying to modernize your house.


 
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