Renovations can bring a fresh new look to your old home. They can also increase the value of your home, especially when you want to sell it. But while you renovate your home, dangerous substances and contaminants lurking behind the walls, beneath the floors and above the ceiling can find their way into food and drinking water in your home. So, before you give your kitchen, bathrooms and the living room a facelift, you will need to learn how to keep the contaminants at bay.
Contaminants that lurk behind the walls could harm your health
When you demolish your kitchen walls, floor or ceilings, you never know what hides underneath. Most of the old homes were built with materials that are dangerous to our health. For instance, the majority of the homes built before 1978 have been found to have lead-based paint. Therefore, the likelihood of finding lead-based paints increases with the age of your home.
You can easily find the lead-based paint on both the inside and outside of your home. If you disturb the paint during renovations, painting activities or repair, dangerous amounts of lead dust can be released in the air. Activities such as window replacement, demolition, and opening up walls can release an enormous amount of dust that is harmful to our health, especially if it finds its way in drinking water and food.
Lead is harmful to your health and that of your family
Lead gets into the body when we breath the dust or when it is swallowed. Children are the most vulnerable since they can easily swallow the lead dust as they play. Adults can also breathe the dust containing lead from the site of renovation. Besides, pets can also be poisoned when they breathe or swallow lead.
Lead can have significant effects on your health once it is in your body. It damages the nervous system in children and also causes behavioral and developmental problems that can negatively impact the life of your children. In adults, lead poisoning causes severe health and reproductive problems. Pregnant women are the most vulnerable to lead poisoning. Some research indicates that exposure to lead can trigger various types of cancer.
Other common contaminants during renovation
Some common contaminants that can be uncovered during renovations include asbestos, radon, mold and mildew, and formaldehyde. These contaminants can be found in and around pipes and plumbing, flooring, wall and attic insulation, fireproofing materials, adhesives, and furniture.
Although contaminants in these places may not pose a problem if left untouched under the floorboards, or behind your walls, these substances can scatter chemicals and fibers into drinking water and air if you disturb them. These materials should be removed and handled safely by Conrad Martens Plumbing in Brisbane to prevent contamination and health problems. Besides, you can consider the following tips to prevent contamination of drinking water during renovations.
Planning ahead of renovations
If you are considering renovating your home, there is a chance that you might interfere with the plumbing system. To ensure that you have sufficient clean water supply, you need to store enough water in clean containers. Most families can survive with quarts of clean water in a day. However, the quantity can double depending on the weather and physical activity. A family with kids or a nursing mother may need more water. Always ensure that the water containers are clean and covered to prevent any contaminants from getting inside.
Call a professional to test your home for harmful substances
Before you start the renovations, look around to see if you can find materials with asbestos or other harmful substances. You can check out the labels for important information such as how to handle these materials. Have a professional inspect and test your home for potentially harmful substances that may leak into your water supply system.
It’s worth noting that some of these materials are hazardous and therefore they require a professional to handle them. Lead and other hazardous material can be found in piping systems, fire insulators, roofing materials and most of the old plumbing systems.
Seal off the doors and openings of the working area
Use protective covering to seal all the openings leading to the working area. You can achieve this by using rolls of plastic sheeting that blocks dust and other contaminants from reaching other areas in your house. It will help to keep contaminants from getting out of the working area and finding their way into your water supply. Dust, mold, and mildew are some of the harmful substances that can easily find their way into the drinking water. Remember that contamination can come from dust from the area of renovation, mold, and mildew, and also debris. So, it’s important to ensure that water containers and plumbing systems are covered.
Turn off the water supply
The last thing you want is for the contaminants to find their way into the water storage units. The best way to prevent dirt from getting into your water supply is by turning off the main water supply into your house. During renovations, you can talk to your contractor so that they can do the messy work outside. If they need water, you can find an alternative water supply. This also explains why you should have enough drinking water stored in clean containers.
Renovating your house is a dirty business, and therefore you must be prepared to deal with it. One of the soundest ways to deal with it is by cleaning the area under renovation regularly especially if the construction work will take place for several days. Make it a habit to clean your house every day after the construction work. This will help to combat the excess dust and other materials that may pose risks to the health of your family.
Besides, you should ensure that you treat or boil drinking water regularly. This will help to kill microorganisms such as molds and bacteria that may be present. If possible, you should consider having your meals outside until the renovation is completed.