Every home renovation is like a box of chocolates – you never know what you’ll get. With a little luck, your contractor will do the heavy lifting, but even then, the list of things that can go wrong is extensive. Some renovation hazards will cost you money, others will be annoying and then there are those that can harm you. That’s why you should do everything to minimize the risks. If you know what dangers lurk along the path of renovation, you’ll be better prepared.
Crushed sewer line
Home renovators often focus on the indoor plumbing only, forgetting that the plumbing begins and ends on the street. With many homes that need restoration, the sewer line may become a source of problems. Front yard trees can have roots growing around the sewer line, dislodging it or sometimes crushing the pipe completely. Before modern PVC pipes came about, sewer lines were made from clay, cast iron or transite, a compound material that contains asbestos. All these materials are inferior to modern solutions, so make sure to address the sewer issue as well when replacing the indoor plumbing.
What do interior painting, kitchen remodelling, bathroom renovation, flooring replacement and window retrofits have in common? Apart from being the top five home renovation projects, if done poorly, they can all set the stage for mould and mildew to flourish. They can appear during paint preparation and grow behind walls in the wet areas of your home. They also hide under flooring and around poorly insulated windows. Modern bathrooms are often built with so little ventilation that they practically invite mould spores to invade. Since kitchens are also highly vulnerable, each time you renovate a bathroom or kitchen, make sure your ventilation fan is strong enough to suck all the moist air. For more tips on how to prevent mould, check out this home renovation guide article.
Professional painters and decorators wear face masks that protect themselves from inhaling fumes, but unfortunately, colour compounds contain chemicals which are still present soon after the coat dries. Volatile organic compounds or VOCs are chemical-emitting gases found in a range of renovating materials, such as paints, carpeting, upholstering and even furniture. The smell of ‘new carpet’ that we all like so much probably comes from VOCs. When ordering furnishing ask if they contain these carcinogens. Although low- or no-VOC materials cost more, the price is still low when you consider the health benefits.
Exposure to asbestos
Although asbestos-containing products were phased out in Australia between the 1980s and the 1990s, the total ban on manufacture, use, reuse, import, transport, storage or sale of all forms of asbestos only came into force on December 31, 2003. Many houses built before 1990 in Brisbane and Sydney contain asbestos cement materials, especially in the eaves, internal and external wall cladding and ceilings in wet areas such as bathrooms and kitchens. Perhaps the greatest risk for renovators comes when the asbestos-containing material is demolished, as the highly irritant fibres become airborne. Before starting any type of renovation project, it is advisable to consult professionals like company for asbestos testing in Brisbane that can estimate the risk of asbestos in your home and offer solution to safely take care of it. Responsible removers take all the precautions to handle asbestos components with care.
All electrical work must meet or exceed the certain standards. In other words, unless the work is done by a licensed electrician who adheres to these standards, your electrical installation may not only be unsafe but also illegal. Although maybe nothing will go wrong after the installation, problems and sometimes even emergencies can arise after constant use. Even something as benign as the overheating of wires can cause a fire, making poor electrical work one of the most dangerous renovation liabilities.
Even if you purchase quality materials and do everything by the book, the sheer volume of renovation projects leaves many faucets running. Even if you want to save some money here and there, keep in mind that every corner you cut may soon call for another remodel down the road.