House painting is a job with certain inherent dangers. Nevertheless, some homeowners decide to do the job themselves. By following some basic safety tips, you can greatly reduce the chance of someone getting injured or worse.
Ladders are required for nearly all house-painting jobs. Ladder levelers should be installed and utilized to avoid instability problems. All ladders should be inspected for sturdiness. Although you should avoid power lines, if you find you must work around or near them you should use a fiberglass ladder to reduce the risk of electrocution. Ladders should be angled in a 3:1 ratio relative to the surface against which they are placed. In other words, for every three feet of vertical rise, the base of the ladders should be one foot from the bottom of the work surface. You should always maintain three points of contact with a ladder when you are on it. For example, two feet and one hand or two hands and one foot will provide a sufficiently stable grip on the ladder. Inspect your work area for insect nests before climbing a ladder.
If it is not possible to adequately ventilate your work area, use a respirator that is rated for the purpose at hand. You should use safety glasses and a dust mask when performing preparation tasks such as sanding. A respirator, safety glasses and protective gloves should be used when working with corrosive solvents, compounds or strippers.
Don’t forget that many of the products you are using may be highly flammable. Store paint and related products away from heat sources. Allow used rags to dry thoroughly before disposing of them.
If you need to scrape off old paint, first find out when your home was built. If it was built in 1978 or earlier it is likely that lead-based paint is present. Even if your home was built slightly after 1978, it still may have lead-based paint in some areas. If in doubt, get a testing kit and find out for certain if you are dealing with lead-based paint. You should hire a professional contractor to do the preparation work if there is in fact lead-based paint at the project site.
House painting can be a dangerous endeavor for the do-it-yourself crowd. If these safety guidelines are adhered to, dangers can largely be mitigated. However, if you are unsure of how to safely complete any portion of your painting job, you should contact a professional painting contractor for help.
If you find that you need expert assistance with your house painting project, please see Denver Painters.