As we all thaw out of our deep winter freeze, we are anxious to get outside to soak up some Vitamin D and breathe in some fresh air. Last year when the pandemic began, homeowners ventured into some of their first major DIY and home maintenance projects. Porch.com reported that 3 out of 4 homeowners surveyed completed a major home improvement project since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. With home maintenance comes a slew of safety concerns.
Evaluating your property for needed maintenance is the first step. You can do this yourself, but knowing when to call in a professional to get the job done right is important. A good inspection inventories the areas around and within your property that may need maintenance, repair, or replacement. Not every problem will need immediate attention, so prioritize you home projects with the most critical first.
Before you start any projects, you will want to make sure to address these safety tips:
Many maintenance projects need a ladder to bring them within reach. Each year there are more than 164,000 emergency room treated injuries (and 300 deaths) associated with ladder falls. A ladder is like any other tool, it is only safe and effective if it is kept in good repair. Before you climb on a ladder take a moment to examine it and test it out.
The stability is as much about the ladder itself as how it is placed and setup. Before mounting, check to see if there are any hazards in or on the ladder. Do not situate the ladder in front of doors or use it in windy conditions. Always inspect for slippery surfaces or substances on or around the ladder before ascending. Make sure to face the ladder and never climb past the fourth from the top rung for stability.
2.) Cords and Hoses
Cords and hoses are trip hazards which can cause injuries ranging from fractures to bruises and even scalding if you happened to be carrying a hot liquid. Walking and running on walkways can be tricking enough without obstacles. If a cord or hose crosses over a foot path or walkway, consider relocating it – or at very least roll it up and stow it way when you are done.
3.) Product Safety
When you begin pulling out various spring cleaning and seasonal products such as lawn care chemicals, lubricants, and cleaning solutions, it is worth your time to read the labels – even if just to refresh your knowledge from the previous season. Many home maintenance products have strong chemical components that can cause injuries, chemical burns, or respiratory issues from inhalation. It is important to understand the risks before opening and using the product, especially for sensitive groups like children, pets, the elderly, and anyone with health conditions.
4.) Personal Protective Equipment
Aside from harsh chemicals, standard cleaning, sanding, spraying, or washing is a good reason to wear eye protection and a dust mask. Whether you have allergies or not, there are irritants that may be stirred up and inhaled while conducting routine home maintenance. Just as equally important is protecting your eyes from loose particles or spray from chemicals. Safety first!
5.) Proper Lifting
No doubt your project will include some lifting. Whether it is landscaping equipment or building materials, it is important to know your limitations. Some lifts may require assistance from others. Both solo and partner lifts can present risk of injury if not executed appropriately. Always begin by discussing the lift and determining the proper approach.
The classic mistake is the countdown or cue words. “Do we go on ‘3,’ or count ‘3’ and then go?” An off count can result in more strain for one of the partners. Three body mechanics one must pay special attention to are your abdominal muscles, your back, and your knees. Always lift with your legs and tighten your core muscles to protect your back!
Always put safety first when tackling your spring home maintenance. Benchmark Services Maintenance Program is the safest way to execute needed maintenance – you get to hang out and relax while the professionals handle everything! Contact us to schedule a free exterior inspection and evaluation.