Painting a house can be a fun job, both for DIY painters and professionals. However, as with virtually all decorating work, there are some important safety rules to follow. Read on to find out what three important steps you should take to ensure your safety before you begin working on painting a house.
Tip #1: Watch out for lead in the paint
Paint with high levels of lead was sold in Australia prior to 1970, and it still poses a danger today. If lead-based paint is scraped or sanded off a wall, the toxic particles are released and they could be a serious health risk. Before removing paint from a house, scrape a small piece off and send it to a sampling company which will test the sample for you. If the paint that needs removing is indeed lead-based, then before removing it you should wear full protective equipment: a respirator, disposable shoes and clothes, gloves and a hair covering. Inform your neighbours about the work you are doing and do not allow children too near the work area, as they are at the most risk.
Tip #2: Be aware of the risks associated with heights
At some point, a house painter will probably have to climb a ladder — and ladders can be very dangerous if used incorrectly. Make sure you use a high-quality ladder and that it's always positioned correctly. Don't allow young children or pets in the area whilst you're working, as they could potentially distract you or even accidentally tip the ladder over. And don't take heavy equipment up the ladder with you — use a light paint kettle for your paint instead of the heavy tin it came in. Lastly, keep one hand on the ladder's side rail at all times.
Tip #3: Protect yourself from fumes and fire
Even non-lead-based paint poses a health risk, albeit a smaller one. You should always wear a mask, an eye protector and gloves if you use spray paint or paints diluted with solvents. Storing your paint also poses its own issues — make sure it's stored somewhere where it won't get too warm, because combustion is always a danger. Make sure it's stored in a place where children and pets can't reach it. And never, never smoke around wet paint — if your paint is still drying and you want a smoke whilst on break, move well away from the house first.
If you're ever unsure about how to paint your house safely, ask a professional — it's not worth risking your health simply for a nicer house — or hire a company like Allure Painting Services as they should be well-suited to paint safely.