When you finish renovating your home, you want to kick back with a cold one and enjoy the fruits of your labor. You don’t want to shake your head in frustration. Worse, you don’t need an ER visit — particularly during a pandemic.
How can you prevent accidents during a remodel? It begins with common sense and knowing your limitations. You also need to exercise judgment and understand when to call a professional. Here are seven small details that can spell disaster and tips for preventing catastrophes during your next DIY project.
1. You Neglected Your Safety Gear
Always wear a hard hat when working at any construction site — including the one at your house. Treat your work area with the respect it deserves, acting with caution as you navigate chemicals and heavy tools.
You also need to remain aware of particulates. Even sawdust can cause significant issues and scratch your cornea. Bits of metal can become embedded and require surgery. Always wear protective goggles when using saws or welding equipment.
2. You Failed to Turn Off Your Furnace
Dust from construction projects can injure more than your eyesight. If you leave your HVAC system running during a remodel, you could accidentally suck debris into the central unit. This dirt can cause severe damage and compromise the functionality of your appliance.
To protect your HVAC system, turn off your furnace or air conditioner while you undergo renovations. You don’t have to shiver or swelter all night, though. Once you finish work for the day, close off the area with plastic sheeting and let the climate-controlled air flow. Avoid the urge to shut off the vent in the room you are renovating. This action sounds logical, but it can strain your system and cause damage.
3. You Didn’t Use the Right Materials
Maybe you’re renovating an office, and you want to hang a heavy piece of décor you’ve just now found room for. When you thought you had it mounted, it crashed to the ground.
Avoid this mistake by using the right materials to hang pictures exceeding 40 pounds or priceless works of art. You need a sturdy enough cord to support the weight of your portraits evenly, and you need to make sure you secure the nails into studs.
4. You Applied a Power Tool Incorrectly
Before you break out that circular saw, make sure you read the instruction manual — including if you are a skilled tradesperson. Even trained professionals suffer countless injuries each year due to power tool misuse, and some prove fatal. Fully half of all finger amputations in the U.S. are the result of such accidents.
Jokes about high school woodshop teachers aside, you don’t want to risk permanent disfigurement. If you aren’t sure how to use your new gadget after reading the manual and perhaps looking up instructional videos, ask for assistance.
5. You Didn’t Use a Ladder
Your kitchen chair is not a stepladder. Neither is that teetering stack of old books and magazines. If you don’t have the right ladder for the job, it’s time to take a trip to the hardware store.
Don’t risk falling by trying to improvise. Check with your local retailer for rental options if you don’t have the money to buy, or you don’t want to invest in an expensive ladder for one job. Some stores, like the Home Depot, offer such amenities, and they can save you considerable pennies.
6. You Didn’t Set Down Towels
Water can become a dangerous hazard when you’re tackling DIY projects. Even as modest a chore as shampooing your rugs can prove dangerous if the slippery soap gets on your kitchen tile.
As amusing as they may look to a spectator, slip-and-fall injuries can prove severe, so make sure to keep the floor around your project dry. For drippy jobs, like plumbing fixes, bring ample towels.
7. You Stirred up a Hornet’s Nest
It’s best to call a professional exterminator if you suspect bees or wasps in a potential work area. Using DIY methods like trying to smoke the nest out can result in a devastating fire.
At best, you might get attacked by frenzied insects fleeing their home. Severe stings can prove fatal, so let the folks with the protective gear handle the job.
Preventing Accidents When Renovating
It’s crucial to avoid accidents when attempting any DIY remodeling project. Remain aware of these small details so you can enjoy your refreshed home and not risk an injury.