If you’re currently planning a renovation for an older property, it’s understandable that you might be in a rush to get started and get it over with. After all, if the property has been sitting without a renovation for that long then chances are it probably looks and feels pretty outdated on the inside. While you might be tempted to run through the halls with a sledgehammer and replace everything that’s removable, it’s important to understand that there are certain hazards to be aware of during the renovation process. More specifically, here are four critical precautions you should try to take before you start renovating any home that was built more than a couple of decades ago
1. Know Where Lead is Found in the Home
Disturbing walls that are coated in lead-based paint can have some nasty health effects that can be avoided with some simple due diligence. However, it may not be wise to rely solely on your own research and independent inspection to accurately ascertain whether your home contains lead. Instead, you may want to hire someone who has obtained a ZOTApro lead certification. If you’re a contractor or you plan on renovating multiple older homes in the future, then you may even want to become certified in this area of expertise yourself.
2. Have an Asbestos Survey Done
Right behind lead, asbestos is another considerable occupational hazard that needs to be checked for before you start tearing up surfaces in your home’s walls, roof, or attic. While there are kits that you can use to test for asbestos yourself, it’s usually wise to depend on the inspection of a trained professional rather than take any unnecessary risks.
3. Ensure Optimal Ventilation
Promoting continual airflow throughout the building is an important step to take any time you’re renovating an older home. Minimizing airborne pollutants should be one of your main goals, as the two aforementioned hazards – lead and asbestos – aren’t the only concerns you have to worry about. There were a lot of substances and materials used construction decades ago which were later found to be unacceptably toxic, so it’s best to thoroughly ventilate any room that is being renovated inside an older home.
4. Obtain the Appropriate Gear
Before you even take the first step in renovating, it’s important to make sure you’ve already purchased the necessary protective gear. This would primarily include a respirator mask, work goggles, and gloves, but you may also want to get a hard hat and a knee/elbow pad set if you’re going to be moving heavy materials or crouching down for extended periods.
Don’t Forget to Go Easy on the Structure
Finally, always remember to double-check the structural integrity of what you’re working on, as older homes are easier to accidentally damage during a renovation. If you plan on performing significant modifications, such as adding an extra room or knocking down walls, you may want to consult with a structural engineer to make sure you’re not taking the risk of damaging your property