Maintaining Your Home Rental
The number of DIYers (do-it-yourselfers) when in it comes to home rental improvements has skyrocketed in recent years. This is namely because the cost of paying for home improves has done just that and the cheapest way to maintain a home rental now is if you, as the owner, are willing to get your hands dirty, dusty, wet or whatever. Along with this rise in DIYers, comes a corresponding rise in personal injuries from home rental owners not taking the simple precautions necessary to make improving their home rental a safe proposition.
However, it doesn't have to be that way. Below are surefire methods to avoid common mistakes many DIYers make, according to many industry experts that fix homes and maintain some of the most attractive home rentals you are likely to find anywhere.
The first step in any home-improvement project is to be decked out in proper safety gear, beginning with eyewear, gloves, durable denim jeans, work boots, earplugs and even back braces. Nails can glance or pop out when least expected, especially while hammering like a mad man. You can easily throw your back out when lifting heavy objects. Be especially carefully when you are using power saws, drills and other tools as well. It is all too easy to cut yourself. The littlest piece of metal or wood can be enough to damage your eye.
Glasses for sawing or hammering are essential to maintaining your rental home. It's also important to wear work gloves, knee pads and back braces for heavy work. Keep earplugs stocked to protect hearing in the event of prolonged noise. Always make sure you have good hard safety goggles, which are not foggy or scratched thus making it difficult to see and defeating the purpose of protecting your eyes. What follows are other items and tips essential to protecting yourself:
Get a dust mask
For projects that involve sanding or generating airborne contaminants, keep a dust mask or the appropriate respirator on hand. This is especially true if you are working on the interior of your home where the air can easily circulate and naturally vent fumes.
Stay organized as you work
Work sites tend to be chaotic enough. Always keep a clean shop as you go about your home improvements. Work sites can be dangerous enough. You don't need to add stupidity to the list of potential injury-makers, which arises from simple laziness to organize your work area properly. Stack lumber and other materials on the ground rather than in a corner or against a wall. Clean up as you go. Mop up any spills immediately. Take the extra time to put tools back where you they should go, not where it will be convenient to grab them after lunch. Pick up nails, bolts and other objects soon as you drop them. Don't wait until someone comes along and steps on a rusty nail to learn this lesson.
Get training for tools you are not accustomed to using
Using that gas-powered chainsaw doesn't seem too hard does it? Do you know how to hold it? Do you know how to brace it if it kicks back at you? With the ability to rent tools such as floor sanders, tile cutters, and chainsaws and jackhammers it's critical to ask for training before heading out on your own.
The less experience you have the higher the risk is you're going to do something stupid. Today, most rental places, such as Home Depot and Lowe's offer free training on many of the tools they rent. You would be wise to take advantage of them.
Secure and replace ladders
Make sure ladders are anchored securely and replace any that appear damaged. Did you know there were 198,000 ladder injuries that resulted in emergency-room visits last year, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission? The biggest culprits are old-fashioned wooden ladders. They eventually weather and get rickety. When in doubt, they need to be replaced with newer aluminum or fiberglass ladders. If you can't afford to buy a ladder brand new, rent one. After all, how often will you need to use a 60' aluminum extension ladder? Hopefully, the answer is not more than a week.
Get safe nail-gun triggers
According to Hester Lipscomb, an associate professor of occupational and environmental medicine at Duke University, the number of DIYers treated each year for nail-gun injuries in hospital emergency rooms more than tripled between 1991 and 2005, increasing to about 14,800 a year. However, the number of injuries suffered by professionals has remained constant at about 18,000, she said. Why is that? Well, it shows that professionals know how to be safe when using nail guns and understand how they work.
"The tool's trigger mechanism makes a big difference," Ms. Lipscomb has been quoted as saying. "Replacing the more common contact-trip trigger, which shoots at anytime, with the sequential-trip trigger makes it harder to get hurt."
She said, the person using it has to decide essentially, where they want to put the nail, put the nosepiece there and then pull the trigger. She said consumers should ask for the right kind of trigger or a conversion kit if they have the riskier type. You don't want to shoot yourself in the foot – literally!
Clean combustible rags
Consumers often clean tools and paint brushes with rags doused with solvents such as turpentine. You should know that tossing the soaked rags in an empty jar or in a utility room can be a recipe for a major fire hazard.
Never store them near a heater or any electrical appliance. Keep them outside if you can or at the very least, a well ventilated place. Wash them in separate loads in the laundry. The fumes can collect in closed places and an explosion could result in the event of a spark.
Quit before you're exhausted
We know you are trying your hardest to finish the new ceiling before the new renters move in next week. However, safety is more important than inconvenience. Far too often, the inexperienced DIYer pushes himself to the point of fatigue. The point of fatigue is when even the most experienced do-it-yourselfers are exposed to a high risk of injury because they suddenly forgot to do the basics or they start taking short cuts. Set a time that you are willing to work and stick to it. When it is quitting time, hang it until the next day.
Make safety a priority
Making safety a priority is not just a good idea when it comes to your home rental, it is a good idea all around that can benefit your in many ways, even financial. After all, every business has legal responsibilities to ensure the health and safety of employees and other people affected by their business' activities, such as customers and suppliers. It is no different when it comes to hour home rental. Being safe when improving your home rental is more than just doing the minimum required to make sure you escape a home improvement project unscathed. It can also benefit your business.
Poor health and safety leads to illness, accidents, and significant costs for your business as an owner of a home rental. You will soon learn that effective health and safety practices pay for themselves in the long run. They also improve your reputation with your renters, any local regulators and your own people that help you run and maintain your home rental.