It’s a fact that British people love their DIY. There’s nothing better than a spot of home improvements on a Sunday. Ah I can picture it now, a flat pack from IKEA, a set of allen keys and a drill…. and a hell of a lot of swear words!
Upcycling or “make do and mend” attitude seems to be all the rage. Buying an old piece of furniture and reupholster or buy new piece of furniture and “distress it”. I must admit this is a concept I have never understood! Either way, as a nation we’re big into the DIY movement.
Personally I’m not a big DIY-er. I’m more of the “would love to re-do this, that and the other” but never get around to doing it. My DIY skills extend to doing painting, and even that is a bit off limits now because of my asthma. The last time we did painting in our house I ended up having to call out the paramedics! Although hubby did do a good job at it – I’ll even forgive him for the paint spill on the carpet!
But does anyone ever consider the risks associated with DIY? A survey recently conducted by Slater Gordon Lawyers found that almost half the respondents were unconcerned with the DIY risks.
The risks are everywhere from chemicals found in MDF which could cause respiratory issues to risk of asbestos poisioning. The infographic below shows where in the home could have hidden dangers.
The Biggest Risk?
It would appear that the biggest risk to those who have houses built between the 1930s to 1980s is the risk of asbestos being in the walls. Mesothelioma claims whilst historically were more likely to be made by industrial workers who would’ve been exposed in their workplace, it now seems that the rest of the country is at risk due to DIY projects.
How Do You Minimise The Risk?
Before embarking on any DIY project assess the risk and make sure you are properly equipped to undertake the task in hand. Purchase gloves and masks to avoid toxins from entering your system via your skin and breathing.
As you know, we have been doing work in the buy-to-let house. It wasn’t built in the time period mentioned above but I am concerned of asbestos. Mainly because Taid would do a lot of work in schools and our house was filled with old bits and bobs he had acquired from jobs. In all honesty, an asbestos survey is what I need – just to make certain that the house is asbestos free. Of course, if there is any asbestos in the house I can’t touch it as I need a regulated person to do the job.
I mentioned above that I’m not a big DIY-er but hubby and I managed to tile the kitchen in the buy-to-let house. We didn’t have any prepping to do as we were working with brand new walls (plasterboard walls) so had a blank canvas. However, I was told off for doing so because I was about 4 months pregnant at the time! But, I was prepared! Had my mask and gloves on – see photo above!
Are you a DIY-er? What precautions do you take before commencing on a DIY project? Or are you of the ilk, “let’s do this” and don’t consider the DIY risks?
(This is a collaborative post with Slater Gordon)