Renovating An Older House: What You Need To Know As A Homeowner

When you purchase an older home that you plan to renovate and remodel to meet your modern standards of safe living and comfort, you may not always know quite what you are getting yourself into when you begin your project. After all, old homes are often quite quirky and may have issues that you may not have foreseen when you looked at and purchased your new home.  In order to ensure that your renovations run smoothly and you get your house projects finished quickly and safely, get to know a few important tips about renovating an older home. 

Be Sure to Learn Safety Precautions for Removing Lead Paint

One of the biggest issues involved in renovating an older home is when those renovations include working on walls, repainting, or the like. This is because prior to 1977 or 1978, residential houses were painted using lead-based paint.

Lead paint, of course, is known to be dangerous to a person's health, particularly when it is inhaled. This means that the dust created when you remove lead paint from your home during renovations could be very dangerous to your physical health and that of people around you.

While you can get the gear and take courses in safety precautions in handling lead paint to perform the renovations yourself, you would be better served to hire professionals who have had Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) training to safely handle and remove lead paint from your home. Check the last time your contractor and their employees completed refresher EPA RRP classes, and be sure that they are up-to-date and well-versed in handling the safe removal of your lead paint.

Watch Out for Asbestos

Asbestos is another product that may have been used in your home when it was originally built and/or last renovated. Up until the 1980s (even into the latter part of the 1980s), asbestos was used in insulation (particularly in the attic) as well as in some ceiling texturing or even flooring, walls, and roofing materials.

If elements of your new old home have not been renovated or updated since the 1980s or before, the first step you will need to take is to have your home inspected for asbestos by a professional. This will tell you if any products using asbestos were used in your home and where those products are located.

Then, if you plan to remove or renovate any areas where you may find asbestos in your home, you need to take extreme safety precautions to ensure that it does not become a health hazard when you disturb it. Asbestos fibers released in the air may be inhaled and cause serious damage to the lungs and body as well as possible cancer.

If you work on your own home for asbestos removal, you will need to wear masks and goggles and arrange for the safe disposal of your asbestos products. Otherwise a team of professional can remove and dispose of the asbestos products so that you can then get to the work of replacing them.

Now that you know about a few of the things to watch out for when renovating your older home, you can get started and be sure that you maintain your safety in the process.