Home Improvement Safety for Summer Projects


The summer is a popular time for home improvement projects. Team Newman has a few safety tips to help make sure your home renovation is a success.


Be on the lookout for hazardous building materials – Asbestos and lead paint can be harmful even in small doses. If you are renovating a building built before 1980, be aware of asbestos. Asbestos can be found in drywall, textured surfacing (popcorn ceilings), siding, insulating materials, laminate flooring, floor tiles and mastic. It is best to contact an asbestos expert before starting a renovation on an older home. Newman Restoration can help identify possible asbestos containing materials and conduct asbestos testing. Along with asbestos, lead paint can be found in older homes. At home lead paint test kits can work if administered properly. However, contacting a lead paint professional is never a bad idea.


Wear proper clothing to protect yourself – Use safety glasses when cutting or drilling. Wear a respirator when sanding. These are good steps to help keep your lungs and eyes protected. Be careful of baggy clothing which can catch on power tools. Also, if working outside, take frequent breaks to avoid dehydration and heat exhaustion. 


Follow instructions and safety recommendations – Use power tools and equipment only in ways for which they have been designed. Improper use of tools and ladders is a common cause of injury. Having a first aid kit and knowing where it is located is crucial before starting a home improvement project.


Know when to leave it to a professional – There is a reason why it takes years of training to become a plumber or electrician. Plumbing and wiring, especially in an old house, can be complicated and dangerous. While it may be an unwanted upfront cost, leaving plumbing and electrical work to the professionals can often save time and money. 


Develop a plan first, don’t start with digging or cutting into walls – Home renovation can cause a big mess. Do not cut or tear walls without having a plastic containment system. It is very easy to create a large mess in only a few minutes. Be aware of possible electrical and plumbing built into walls, as a small cut can cause major damage. It is also a good idea to have a plan before digging. Even professionals can make a mistake when digging outside. If you aren’t sure what is underneath the ground, call 8-1-1 before you dig. Please look at the forecast before you start a major outdoor project. Loose dirt and gravel can wash away into window wells during a heavy rain storm. 

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