Avoiding Injuries During Home Renovations and DIY Projects

Although 86,205 single-family homes were sold in the Houston area during 2019 — and nationwide home sales are reaching record highs even during a pandemic in 2020 — that doesn’t always mean that your home offers everything on your wish list. In fact, 31% of people who want a custom home are after a significantly larger property, while countless others opt to perform major renovations every year.

Whether you’ve decided to undergo a massive remodel or you’re simply trying your hand at some simple DIY projects, it’s important that you exercise safety measures during the process. Although 20,000 workplace slip-and-fall injuries were reported in California during 2015, you can just as easily become hurt while you’re at home. Here are just a few ways you can avoid becoming injured during renovations or weekend projects.

Always Use Safety Gear

Even if you aren’t using any heavy power tools, you still need to take precautions. At the very least, you should wear some safety goggles or glasses, some gloves, proper footwear, and a face mask. That way, even a simple paint job or floor sanding session won’t result in any physical harm. Refrain from wearing loose clothing or jewelry, as well, since these items can easily become caught in power tools or structural features.

Use Ladders With Caution

Ladder-related injuries represent a huge portion of emergency room visits (and even deaths). While you might need a ladder in order to reach tall heights inside or outside of your home, you should always proceed with caution. Always use the one-to-four ratio to ensure your ladder is stable; this involves keeping the ladder one foot away from the wall for every four feet of height. You should never use the top rung of the ladder or balance a ladder on top of something else to reach a higher point. You’ll also want to check your ladder for broken or loose joints and to refrain from using metal ladders if you’re doing any kind of electrical work. It’s best to make sure you have a buddy who can spot you when you’re working on a ladder, as well.

Ensure Proper Ventilation

Whether you’re painting, staining, sanding, or using any other type of chemical substance, you need to make sure the space is properly ventilated. It’s not enough to wear a mask with a filter; you also need to guarantee good air circulation. This may involve opening the windows or doing work outside whenever possible. You should also try to use products that are designated as low-VOC, as these will contain fewer harmful chemicals as a rule.

Block Off Work Areas

It’s a good practice to block off work areas or rooms that will be housing any equipment for the time being. Otherwise, kids and pets (or even well-meaning grown-ups) could get hurt or mess up the project. Put up effective barriers in areas that might contain loose nails, power tools, or hazardous materials and make sure to limit all work to those areas. You shouldn’t do any work in other spots around your home to ensure everyone’s safety.

Know When to Seek Help

It happens to the best of us: we bite off more than we can chew. You might have assumed that a DIY project might take only a few hours, but you realize too late it could take days or even weeks. During a pandemic, it’s not so simple to ask a friend for assistance or to find a reputable contractor to hire at the last minute. To avoid this scenario, take your time in planning out your project and do ample research into what it might require. If you don’t feel completely confident in your abilities to take on this project, it’s best to hire a professional or give yourself plenty of wiggle room to complete it without feeling rushed. While some projects can easily be figured out with a YouTube video and minimal materials, that’s not true across the board. Keep your ego out of it and know when it’s time to ask for help. Not only can this keep you safe, but it’ll likely save you time and money, too.

As we prepare for a second wave of COVID-19, it’s likely we’ll be spending more time at home. And as such, we might once again be faced with a slew of home improvement projects that could be taken care of. But before you dive right in, make sure to follow these safety tips. That way, you’ll get great results without increasing your risk of an ER visit during a pandemic.

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