Some of our clients look to save a bit of money on their project by completing some of the demolition work themselves. It can be fun to gather a group of friends and have a demolition party but there are a few things to consider before starting. The start of a renovation can often be a dangerous undertaking that requires a great deal of safety precautions. There are lots of known hazards that have the potential to occur, especially when the renovation includes demolition work. In this blog post, we’re going to focus on the hazard of falling objects like work materials, tools, equipment or other debris. These types of falling objects can cause serious injury so it’s important to learn how you can protect yourself and your home when you start a demolition.
Our most important tip on protecting yourself from falling objects might seem obvious but is something many people often overlook. Be sure to secure, or remove, any ornamental objects or non-permanent portions of the walls and ceilings of the room you are working in. Removing things all at once is important because as you begin the demolition, you might forget about that light fixture that you meant to remove – until it comes falling down.
If you are undertaking a large demolition, certain walls and other structures might need to be reinforced while you or your team is deconstructing other areas. Tearing down certain parts of a building or home comes with a unique set of hazards but it’s important to get the full picture of a space’s structural stability before completing a demolition. If there is any doubt about the structural stability in the construction area then STOP immediately and get the advice of a professional. If there is a chance of falling materials in a certain part of your home during your renovation, you might consider putting a temporary protective plywood canopy over the area. This type of canopy will stop falling objects from hurting you or your coworkers. Be sure that the canopy can support the weight of any falling objects. This consideration is more important for a larger scale renovation or demolition job but is something to keep in mind while you’re planning your personal demolition.
When you pile up the materials and debris from your renovation, whether in a truck or in your yard, make sure that the materials are piled straightly and steadily on a secure base. Only pile the materials to a reasonable height and if possible, secure the materials with a crosstie or cover it altogether.
When you’re completing a home improvement or larger scale renovation, you’ll need to invest in the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect yourself from falling objects. This includes wearing things like a suitable hardhat and steel toe boots or shoes with puncture-resistant soles. You should also be wearing gloves and eye protection, regardless of how small the risk for falling objects may seem.
If you’re unsure about completing your own home renovation, call us at Menno S. Martin. We have decades of renovation experience and we always take the proper safety precautions when we do a demolition.