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Remodeling can be a long, stressful, tiring process, but it doesn’t need to be a dangerous one. You can prevent construction crises with these seven steps.
1. Know your utility lines – Some of the worst catastrophes come about when people mistakenly drill into utility lines. An easy solution to this is calling 811 a few days you before you start working—the operator will notify utility companies who will send you info of any gas, electrical or water lines.
2. Survive the wildlife – Though most creatures in and around your house are harmless, there are certain animals – snakes, spiders, wasps etc.— that could be potentially harmful. If you’re crawling around a dark, cramped attic, wear full-coverage clothing to be safe.
3. Proper ventilation – When remodeling a kitchen or bathroom, be sure to install robust, reliable fans to suck out the moisture. David Schneider, an interior designer from Chesterfield, MO, warns that “most bathrooms have so little ventilation that they unintentionally become labs to grow mold and mildew.”
4. Be wary of asbestos and lead – For homes built before 1978, there’s a danger of encountering asbestos and lead. Inhaling or swallowing either can be very harmful, so wear a mask during renovation projects.
5. Walls aren’t invincible – Constant shaking and hammering from power tools can damage walls, causing water leaks, fissures, and cracks. If possible, try to peek inside your walls before renovating and check for weak points.
6. Mind your ears – It might just seem slightly annoying, but loud noises from construction can actually affect your health long-term. Wear earplugs to prevent conditions like tinnitus and hyperacusis.
7. Stay safe from VOCs – Volatile organic compounds (VOC) are known carcinogens, and are found in paints, carpeting and upholstery. Try purchasing low-VOC paint and carpeting to reduce risk of headaches, allergies and asthma.
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