By Larry Abbott, Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist, Lead Safe Certified Firm, Abbott Contracting
The most important and often overlooked aspect of remodeling is the care and safety of your home throughout the duration of the project. For good reason, many homeowners are fearful of having workmen in their homes who are not properly trained to prevent mess, disruption, and dust.
There are many hazards that may be encountered when remodeling a home’s interior and exterior. Lead exposure, toxic dust, and noxious fumes are just a few examples of serious hazards that are not visible to the naked or untrained eye. Other hazards include sharp tools, heavy equipment, and exposed nails which can injure your family, pets, neighbors, or passersby.
When planning to remodel your home, have a discussion with your remodeler about your safety concerns. Ask your contractor to walk you through their safety procedures in detail to ensure they have adequate plans in place. Depending on the size and scope of your project, you can decide whether you should leave the home or stay in a safe area of your home during the remodel.
Many homes built before 1978 contain lead-based paint. Lead from paint chips and dust can pose serious health hazards. If you plan on renovations, repairs, or painting it is important to use a Certified Lead contractor to ensure your family’s safety. Recent rules have required additional training for contractors to maintain their certifications, ensuring they are up to date.
When selecting a remodeler for your home, look for a company that prioritizes cleanliness and safety over speed. When a remodeler completes a job, you should not need to spend weeks cleaning up after them. Some strategies a remodeler should implement to keep you house clean include: running a tacky mat to help clean workmen’s shoes when they enter and exit, protecting floors with a layer of paper that is securely taped down, and placing layers of zippered plastic in doorways and hallways to ensure that dust is properly contained. This last step is vital to keep pets and people with allergies or asthma safe. It is important that the areas of the home not under construction are also adequately protected. Interior or exterior, all materials should be cleaned up daily to prevent buildup of mess.
When you choose a remodeler, be sure to check whether they follow cleanliness and safety procedures. When your project is completed you will have confidence and peace of mind that your newly remodeled home is a clean, safe environment.
The Remodelers Council of the Greater Houston Builders Association is an organization of remodelers and industry professionals. We are dedicated to the promotion of excellence and professionalism within the industry, and public awareness of the Remodelers Council. We achieve this through education, certification and service to the membership, industry and the community. Members of the Remodelers Council give back to the Houston community by participating in an annual charity project. The Remodelers Council holds an annual Garage Sale at the September Texas Home and Garden Show with proceeds going to their local charity project. To join the council or to find a professional remodeler in your area, please visit the GHBA website.