October is National Kitchen and Bath Month! As we move into October and welcome the colder weather, you may not be thinking about home renovations. While the summer can be better for completing outside projects, right now is the perfect time to start those smaller interior projects that may have been lower on your list of priorities.
Whether it’s updating light fixtures or changing the tiling in the bathroom, these indoor updates can seem simple and quick to perform. Unfortunately, a lot of quick projects can turn into time consuming ones if you’re unaware of the hidden issues that may lie just beneath the surface! Here are a few home hazards to watch for as you tackle on that backsplash behind the kitchen counter or pull the tile up in the bathroom.
Depending on how old your home is and what type of flooring you have in your home, this may be an update you take on room by room. You never know when the tiling in the bathroom or kitchen may start shifting or giving away! Building a new bathroom may be something you’re considering, but if you’re focusing on simple projects to start, it’s important to look at some smaller details before beginning.
If your home was built before the 1980s, pay attention to the type of tiling you may be replacing. Whether this is a wet room (tiling that covers the entire bathroom), regular bathroom tiles, or kitchen tiling that separates a space, the type you may be replacing could be dangerous to your health if you are not careful.
Vinyl tiling was often used and in most cases actually contained an ingredient known as asbestos, often found in the backing of this material. It’s durable, and can last years. However, if those tiles and backings start to break down, asbestos dust can enter the air, which can then enter the lungs.
This can cause a multitude of health concerns, like tissue scarring, lung cancer, respiratory issues, or in serious cases, mesothelioma. These health issues should be taken seriously, asbestos-caused cancers like mesothelioma only has an average life expectancy of 18 to 31 months. Taking the precaution to inspect and make sure these tiles can be replaced safely could keep you and your family healthy and safe down the line.
While Castle doesn’t take on flooring-only projects, we do work hard to ensure all safety measures are in place when we are replacing flooring in your remodeling projects.
One of the biggest changes you can make to a room is the lighting. It can take room from closed off, to bright and exciting just by adding in a few extra beams of light. It’s important to remember if this is a step you’re going to take, to double check how your current lighting fixtures work.
In some cases, they’re set up with outlets on the ceiling, but more often than not there is wiring to go through in the ceiling. Learning how to change a light fixture can be tricky, but can be done! Make sure you look through instructions, and work with an expert if you’re unsure about a situation. The biggest thing to remember is turning off power to a light source before working on it. More often than not, a big hazard is being shocked due to an energized fixture. Check breaker boxes and switches before changing any of the wiring.
In a space like your kitchen, the lightning can be a little different. Kitchen sink lighting, underneath your cabinets, even the space over a dining table, they all serve different purposes and function at different calibers. Even your windows can provide natural light, which you may not think about when updating your lighting. In fact, updating these can go a long way in keeping your lighting natural and inviting, all while being sustainable.
As a note, only try to tackle electrical projects on your own if you already have some baseline knowledge. Even the simplest projects can lead to disaster if you get your wires crossed. While costly, leaving most of the electrical work to a pro will likely be the route to go down.
Whether it’s your bathroom vanity you’re considering updating or kitchen cabinets that really give your space character, there are still hazards to consider. Again, even small changes can make a huge difference, both in space and in health.
Bathroom vanities can change a space dramatically. However, if you’re not paying attention to the plumbing and pipes underneath your sink, you may have to deal with bigger issues. Leaky pipes can lead to a multitude of toxic molds, the most common known as black mold.
Black mold exposure has a wide variety of health effects, including asthma, coughing, skin rashes, among others. If you plan on updating these spaces for an elevated look, also update plumbing as needed. After all, if left untreated, it can cause rot in your vanity, and make replacements occur more frequently than you’d like.
If your updates are taking place in the kitchen, there are few cabinet do’s and don’ts to consider. Replacing cabinetry isn’t an easy task, and often small repairs can elongate any sort of replacement. If you put damp dishes and other kitchenware into cabinets, even this small amount of moisture can cause rot and similar mold problems.
In any sort of remodel or update, taking the right precautions and wearing the right safety gear can help keep you safe. Dust, mold, and other allergens can get into the air in these cases, so a face mask and goggles can really go a long way.
No matter what DIY project you may take on, it’s vital to think about the precautions you may need to take in order to stay safe. A small fix such as updating a pipe under your sink could lead to a full bathroom makeover if you aren’t aware of the dangers that are right under your nose.