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Published on Feb 6, 2014
Determined property owners take on thousands of home renovation and remodeling projects every year. While these do it yourself (DIY) projects can bring new life to homes, they can also expose building occupants to potential hazards that many people may not be aware of.
Almost every type of renovation and remodeling project will generate a significant amount of dust. Depending on the home and type of project, this dust can not only spread to other areas of the property, but could also be filled with a number of hazardous substances. It is important to minimize exposure to these materials by controlling the amount of dust created, isolating the project area from the rest of the house and wearing proper personnel protective equipment.
• Mold is a concern in any property that has suffered water damage or elevated humidity levels. Removing cabinets or opening walls, ceilings and floors can expose areas of mold growth that can be easily aerosolized.
• Many older homes can have a wide range of building materials both in the interior and exterior of the home that contain asbestos. Materials can range from roofing and siding to popcorn ceilings and some types of flooring to name just a few.
• Homes built before the late 1970s often contain lead-based paints. As these materials degrade, or become disturbed during remodeling and renovation activities, they can become airborne and settle as dust.
• Mercury can even be found in some old home thermostats and small amounts in fluorescent light bulbs. If these are broken they can emit a toxic and odorless vapor.
After demolition of old materials has been completed, and new products are being installed, chemicals such as formaldehyde and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs) can be a concern. Many materials, such as cabinets, carpeting, flooring and furniture, as well as paints and stains can emit VOCs into the air.
These are just a few things to know about potential indoor environmental hazards people may encounter during renovation and remodeling projects. To learn more about these or other indoor air quality, health and safety, occupational or environmental issues, please visit the websites shown in the video.