Safer Ways to Maintain Your Home

Safer Ways to Maintain Your Home

When you own your home, you’re responsible for maintaining it. You might be prepared to cover the costs, but you also need to be able to make sure the work gets done. For some people, that means simply finding the right person to do the work every time. Others might prefer to try and DIY their way out of a problem as much as possible. Whichever route you choose, the work needs to be done safely. Not only does it need to be safe for your own sake, but if you ever plan on selling, it will need to be safe for the next owner too. Before you do anything around your home, be sure you’re adopting safer ways to maintain your home.

Always Use Safe Contractors

Finding the right person or people to work in your home is tough. You need someone reliable, who actually turns up when you need them to and provides good value for money. You also need someone who will do their work to a high standard and make sure it’s all safe. When you’re looking for contractors and tradespeople, remember to check for any certifications or qualifications that they should have. For example, anyone working with gas appliances needs to be Gas Safe registered.

Safer Ways to Maintain Your Home: Avoid Getting on the Roof

If there’s anything that you want to avoid when maintaining your home, apart from fiddling with the electrics when you don’t know what you’re doing, it’s getting up high. You might have a ladder for some tasks, but getting up on the roof isn’t a great idea without the appropriate safety equipment. Using a professional service is the best way to get a good look at your roof. In fact, with a roof drone survey, not even the professionals need to get up there. They can survey your roof from above, avoiding creating any damage themselves, and detect any problems that way.

Use Protective Gear for DIY

When you do decide to do some DIY around the house, it’s not all about making sure the final product is safe. You also need to keep yourself safe when you’re getting the job done. That means wearing protective gear when it’s appropriate, which might include eye protection, gloves, or ear protection. These things will usually be necessary if you’re using power tools or perhaps anything that could fly into your eyes or face. It goes without saying that you should be careful when using any tools.

Safer Ways to Maintain Your Home: Know Your Limits

It’s always important to know what you can and can’t do around your home. You might be capable of filling in a hole in the wall or repainting a room, but can you rewire a lighting fixture or plumb in a new bath? There are likely to be things that you’re not capable of doing safely, and you probably won’t do a very good job even if you can do it without hurting yourself or anyone else in the process.

Maintain your home, but keep yourself and your family safe too. It’s important to know when you need help.

Health and Home: DIY Awareness Campaign

At this time of year there are a number of campaigns about Christmas light safety, and reminders of what can go wrong when people take part in DIY around the home. DIY can have unexpected results. For example, when I was pregnant with my eldest (we’re talking 2006) I took it upon myself while home alone during maternity leave to gloss a door. No big deal, it’s a door, what could possibly go wrong? Put it this way, despite being super careful I somehow manage to paint the door, myself the living room carpet, the hall carpet, lino in the bathroom and the bath.

I put sheets down and everything so I’ve no idea what was wrong but needless to say it was a DIY disaster and that I am not allowed to paint anymore. On the upside I did manage to get a new carpet out of my misfortune…..

Some DIY disasters however are not so quickly and easily dealt with. Once more we as a nation are taking up our sandpaper, our paintbrushes and ripping back upholstery in a bid to make do and mend, to create bespoke pieces for our homes and to enjoy a spot of upcycling. I am a huge fan of upcycling myself. It saves money, it’s great to put your own stamp on things, it keeps things out of the landfill (the same reason I use Freecycle when I can) and it’s fun!

Judging however by the rising number of mesothelioma claims that have arisen as a result of home DIY, there is definitely a downside if you don’t know what you’re doing.

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According to data offered by Slater and Gordon Lawyers:

  • 33% of people surveyed are happy to upcycle old/antique furniture, yet only a tiny 1% would consider this an extreme risk to their health.
  • 45% of people surveyed would happily drill into walls, however only 5% of people consider this an extreme risk to their health.
  • A huge 48% stated that they were ‘not concerned’ about a health-related problem (e.g. breathing difficulties, nausea, skin irritation etc.)

While drilling, hammering and the usual DIY tasks are all of course potentially dangerous in their own right, what is causing the most concern to professionals is the fact that without knowing it many individuals are opening up old furniture which may well contain asbestos. Asbestos, as you might know may cause a number of health-related concerns if precautions are not taken when handling it.

A recent campaign which looks to open up people’s eyes to the potential for harm that comes from upcycling old furniture while not being aware of the risks is doing great things for spreading awareness. More can be found on Twitter on the #HealthandHome hashtag and via the handy infographic below.

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Don’t give up on upcycling, far from it! Just make sure that you stay safe while you’re doing it.

PS: I did not paint the carpet on purpose to get a new one. Just so we’re clear on that.

Thanks to Slater and Gordon Lawyers for the information and for running this campaign which will help keep us DIY fans safe.

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