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Beware of hidden dangers during do-it-yourself renovations

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Beware of hidden dangers during do-it-yourself renovations

With the influx of do-it-yourself shows on television, the average person may get a false sense that home renovations are a pretty simple and straightforward.

And though these shows do provide some entertaining moments and helpful tips, do-it-yourself renos can be dangerous if you don’t know what you are doing. Art Johnson, Operations Manager of Canstar Restorations, explains.

Art Johnson: One of the things I do worry about when I see these television programs is that they may not be aware of things like, what happens if you expose mold while you’re doing your renovation in your house? What happens if there’s asbestos containing drywall mud, or HVAC tape surrounding things, or flooring that contains it?

I have to say I think the awareness is being brought forward by things like WorkSafe and things like that, to help home owners become aware that they have to be concerned about that.

What it’s really done for us as a restoration company has really slowed down our type of work. We have to be very, very, almost forensic in determining are we going to expose people to some of these things?

Now that everyone can do everything they need to be aware though there’s a lot of hazards that may exist in their home. One of the things I notice, a lot of people do renovations with their children present. Young ones or maybe they do the renos when they are looking after an elderly parent. Or there’s someone in the home who’s sick. And when you start to expose them to the type of dust and contaminants that are involved in some of these demos and renos, you expose them to asbestos, lead, mercury and it’s really not healthy.

Anytime I see these shows on TV, where they’re not wearing a proper respirator, a proper respiratory protection system, it really concerns me, and you see that a lot.

Narrator: Aside from physical health risks, renos can take an emotional toll

Art Johnson: One of the things as an industry I have to tell you, when people renovate their houses, a lot of times they probably end up signing the divorce papers at the same time because renovations don’t work well for marriages or things like that.