Renovating an older home will require major changes to the property. Unfortunately, it can also result in exposure to hazardous materials that were used in residential property before the dangerous health side effects were discovered. While the risks of dangerous chemicals will vary based on the age of the house, renovations will require safety precautions against potentially dangerous chemicals.
Renovations come with specific risks related to a few chemical hazards. The two most common concerns related to older homes are asbestos and lead. Both materials can lead to serious health concerns during renovations, particularly when the house might contain asbestos.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the use of lead in household paint was banned in 1978. As a result, newer homes have a lower risk of lead exposure during renovations.
The same is true of asbestos, which is known to cause mesothelioma after exposure. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, asbestos was commonly used as insulation from the 1930s until the 1950s. The agency also points out that it was not until 1977 that asbestos was banned from paint texturing materials used in residential properties.
While new houses are unlikely to have asbestos or lead, all older homes have the possibility of causing severe health problems. Before starting any renovation project, homeowners should always look for the possibility of asbestos, lead or any other worrisome chemicals.
Testing For Chemicals:
Before starting a renovation project, homeowners should have the house tested for lead, radon, asbestos or mold growth. While newer homes have a low risk of serious problems, older homes are likely to have a combination of challenges that make renovations potentially dangerous.
After the testing process is complete, homeowners can determine the next course of action during the renovation process. A home that has asbestos, lead or other hazardous materials should have the element removed by a professional team before taking any further measures to renovate or change the house.
Even after the materials are removed, homeowners should wear appropriate protective clothing and gear during the renovation process. While the material is removed, it is still possible for trace elements to remain behind that will end up in the air during the renovation.
Wearing a mask, goggles and full clothing during the renovation will reduce the risk of breathing in lead, asbestos or any other hazardous material that might be hidden in the walls. Even after completing the work, homeowners should immediately remove clothing and shower to ensure any material left on the skin is not breathed into the system. Ideally, wearing old clothing that is possible to throw out will make it easier to avoid the risk of asbestos or lead exposure during the renovation.
Making changes to a home will require safety measures. Since older homes have the possible risk of lead, asbestos or other hazardous materials, homeowners should take precautions to avoid exposure and ensure the house is as safe as possible before moving in after the renovation is completed.