After a really bad few days last week with this site getting hacked and stresses about moving house we finally got some good news – our mortgage had been approved so fingers crossed and knock on wood we’ll be moving again in the New Year. This means we’ll have moved house two times in less than twelve months which is….well it’s kinda stressful if I’m honest. Both our previous home and the new one that we’ll be moving into have required quite a lot of work to be done to them – our old home was in such bad repair that when we first looked around it the estate agent wouldn’t even come inside! I also tend to upcycle lots of furniture as a cheap way of making our home a bit more unique but despite all that I’ve never really questioned if what I’m doing is safe, let alone if my DIY is actually dangerous.
Is my DIY Dangerous?
There’s a really interesting bit of research out today that’s been supported by Slater Gordon that shows how in 2015 alone the average Brit spent £210 on DIY but 48% of people are unconcerned about risks to their health from DIY projects. In the house we’re buying I think I need to redecorate every single room as it hasn’t been touched for years (although the vintage wallpaper does look kinda awesome. The survey showed that like me 86% of people are planning on doing this next year and 40% thought there was no risk to this and before I saw the survey results I would have been inclined to agree with them! Painting and wallpapering though can lead to exposure to asbestos which can cause mesothelioma and mould which can cause respiratory issues – a problem for our family as both my husband and daughter are asthmatic. Slater Gordon recommend that you clean mould with a mould removal kit, don’t break any boards or tiles and make sure you get a registered professional for any damaged asbestos boards or extensive mould.
What about upcycling?
With two small kids I learnt quickly that it really wasn’t worth me spending large amounts of cash on nice furniture and my rather expensive dining table was very quickly replaced by vintage dining set from a charity shop that cost me £25. We repainted it and revarnished it and it’s done us good for three years now and I’ve been thinking of repainting and re-upholstering it again when we move, I’ve got a really old post here where you can see me originally painting it while my toddler rolled around on the floor! 43% of the people surveyed said they were thinking of upcycling some furniture in the next year and 37% didn’t see any risk to this. The research by Slater Gordon though showed that sawing, sanding down or re-upholstering could potentially put you at risk due to exposure to MDF carcinogens and asbestos. They advise that if you are taking part in a bit of upcycling then you wear a mask, make sure the room is well ventilated and dampen the wood to avoid dust while cutting. They also suggest that you don’t use a vacuum cleaner to clean any dust up. It’s certainly made me think a bit more abut what I do and while I will continue to decorate, DIY and upcycle I’ll certainly be a bit more thoughtful in future about the materials that I use and how I use them too.
Do you do much DIY or upcycling at home and do you make sure that you do it safely? And if you or someone you know has been affected by exposure make sure you visit http://www.slatergordon.co.uk/personal-injury/ for guidance.