Older properties can contain hazardous materials. As such, if you have bought a property of this kind and intend to hire a contractor to remodel it, there are certain safety precautions you should take. Read on to find out what these precautions are.
Test for asbestos
If your property is several decades old, there is a chance that it may contain asbestos. The reason for this is that this substance was routinely used as a domestic building material up until about thirty years ago, when researchers discovered that it was a carcinogen.
Undisturbed asbestos is not particularly dangerous. However, if your contractor tears up or breaks apart items that contain this material during the course of the remodelling process (for example, if they pull down some old ceiling tiles or remove old pipe insulation), there is a risk that the asbestos particles will become airborne and end up being inhaled by one or more of your remodelling team members.
As such, it is important to test your property for asbestos prior to beginning the remodelling process. This is quite a simple task. All you need to do is extract some samples from areas of the house where you suspect there might be asbestos and send them off to a laboratory for testing.
If the tests come back positive, you should hire a licensed professional who offers asbestos removal services to extract the material from the property before you attempt to move forward with your remodelling project.
Whilst removing this substance will delay your project and increase your costs, it could potentially prevent you and your other remodelling crew members from being exposed to this substance and thus reduce your risk of developing a serious and potentially life-threatening illness in the future.
Take steps to minimise your exposure to mould
Older properties are usually poorly insulated. As a result of this, many of them have damp problems.
Damp can encourage the growth of mould. If you spend several weeks (or even months) remodelling a property that has a mould problem, you will probably end up inhaling large amounts of mould spores. This could result in you experiencing respiratory issues, throat irritation and congestion. If you already suffer from asthma, exposure to mould could potentially worsen the symptoms of this condition.
Given this, if there are visible signs of damp and mould in the house, you should take some precautions to reduce the number of mould spores that become airborne during the remodelling process.
There are several ways to do this. Firstly, spritz any visible, accessible mouldy patches with a specialist mould spray. Then, rent or purchase a dehumidifier, and allow it to run continuously for several days before you intend to begin the remodelling project. This will reduce the amount of moisture in the air, which should help to kill off some of the mould spores.