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Smashing up walls and floors can be a huge stress-reliever and a ton of fun during a demolition.  There may be quite a few steps during a renovation but it truly can’t begin until the old, decrepit or outdated items are removed.  Many folks do the demolition themselves to save money but so many do it because it’s just plain fun to be allowed to destroy something in a controlled setting.

While it may be completely thrilling to wreak havoc on those bedroom walls, there is a lot more to demo than swinging a sledgehammer.  Often overlooked but critically important is how you focus on safety while demolishing.  Every project is unique and may require more effort or different tools to complete the job but there should be a baseline of protection for yourself or those who are carrying out the demolition.

How To Protect Yourself During A Demolition

SAFETY GLASSES – There are so many different types of safety glasses, including bifocal styles, and they are all pretty inexpensive.  The best option would be wraparound glasses because they offer maximum protection and can come with anti-glare or tinted lenses.  Safety glasses are probably the most important of all safety tools to have with you because they not only protect your eyes from sharp materials jabbing your eye or debris flying into them but keep dust particles and pollutants in the air away from your peepers.  Keep a few pairs laying around so you never find yourself without a set.

BOOTS – This isn’t usually a thought when doing demo but it makes the most sense.  Sneakers or gym shoes might protect you from glass particles or general debris but they are useless when it comes to stepping on nails.  You can get a decent pair of thick-sole work boots for a fair price or splurge on more expensive models and steel-toed options.  It is worth it to not feel a nail going through your foot or the horrendous pain and damage caused by a vanity falling on your unprotected toes.

Using Safety Glasses

COVERALLS – If you have a jumpsuit or work coveralls, it is wise to wear them during demolition so you don’t mess up your clothes with all of the dust and debris that accompanies it.  Many folks choose to wear old clothes that they don’t mind getting dirty but then you are bringing those harmful spores or particles back to your own home and into the very air you and your family breathe.  The best way to reduce risk is to purchase disposable paper coveralls that you can put on and take off on the job site.  This way you aren’t tracking anything extra into clean environments.

If your demo is taking place inside your residence, be sure to seal it off from the rest of the home as best as possible.  Plastic sheeting taped to the walls, ceiling and floor are ideal at keeping out debris.  Also completely cover any air vents in the demo space so the harmful particles kicked up don’t fly through your HVAC system.

GLOVES / HARD HAT – Gloves should be something that you have in your toolbox or laying around the job site.  Even if you are demoing your own home, gloves can protect your hands from cuts, scrapes, bruises and burns.  They are pretty inexpensive and can save you from severe pain.  Hard hats on a home remodel?  It may seem like only construction crews or heavy duty work requires the use of a hard hat but take a look at your project and gauge if it might be necessary for yours.  Some smaller residential projects or ceiling repairs might have a particular task or hazard that could come down on top of you.  Better safe than sorry.

TURN IT OFF – Before you start any work, make sure all of the supplies are shut off in that area.  Electric, gas, water, steam, sewer and other service lines might need to be capped off or halted depending on what the project requires.  You can put yourself in a lot of danger or make a hugely unnecessary mess by leaving utilities on while you work the area.  If you need light, run an extension cord and use a utility light.

Demolition Safety

TOP TO BOTTOM – Always work top to bottom during a demolition so you don’t run the risk of having materials collapse on top of you.  While it may seem like common sense, you’d be surprised how many individuals get excited to smash into something and are needlessly injured by not taking a few seconds to plan a clean demolition.  Depending on the materials, they could have used that hard hat, huh?

FIRE EXTINGUISHER – Because you just never know.  A small fire extinguisher isn’t a bad idea to have around a work site, even if it is a small bathroom remodel.  Accidents can happen to the best of us and sometimes circumstances align in a way that we can’t foresee that can cause a pretty big mishap.  It’s better to be prepared and not need it than need it and not have it.

ASBESTOS – This isn’t something to take lightly because asbestos in the air is known to cause cancer.  Newer homes and construction don’t usually have this problem but if you are remodeling an older structure, there may be building materials containing asbestos fibers.  You can always get the area tested by a professional prior to demolition if you suspect your structure is old enough to possess the possibility of asbestos.  Your state and county will have a list of accredited companies you can choose from.  If you are doing a demo and uncover asbestos, leave the area immediately and notify a trained professional so they can come remove the materials.  If the materials containing asbestos are in good condition and undisturbed, it is a good idea to leave them alone.

When you’re ready to start your demo and need to put that debris somewhere, rent Chicagoland’s trusty blue dumpster!  Contact Burr Ridge Dumpster Rental to find out how!

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