Protect Yourself from Head to Toe
Protect myself? But I'm only doing stuff around my
home! I know it sounds silly having to wear things to
protect yourself when you are just doing things around your home, but
it is important. Working with different solvents, sanding and even
painting can make you vulnerable to particles, fumes, and other
toxins. In order to protect yourself, here's a list of how to
look after your most valuable resource, YOU!
Hands and Nails
There are different types of gloves for different tasks:
Cotton gloves are helpful for when you are using
abrasive tools or items with sharp edges. They've saved me
numerous times when I've worked with glass.
Latex Gloves are useful for when you are working
with paint, especially non-water based paints which usually can
only be removed with alcohol or Mineral Spirits. Trust me using
Brillo pad on your hands is no fun and you can forget keeping a
Neoprene gloves are made of a durable plastic-like
substance. These gloves are very important when working with harsh
chemicals like solvents and strippers. Even if you don't
believe us, you will quickly understand what we mean the first time
you get one of these substances on your skin. If this should
happen, make sure to thoroughly rinse the area as directed in the
label on the back of the can/bottle.
If you still find your hands get dried out regardless of wearing
gloves, we suggest a nighttime application of a heavier
crÃ¨me or balm and to place white cotton gloves or socks
on your hands before going to bed. This will help the drier areas
to get the moisture they need to enable you to finish your project
without having sand paper hands.
It is always important to wear protective eyewear when doing any
home improvement. These will protect your eyes from many things
such as chemicals you could be working with to a nail gun and
ricocheting a nail back at you.
It's always best to have a pair of goggles or glasses on at all
times. The type to use will depend on the project at hand. If you
will be creating a lot of dust or particles in your project, then
we suggest you get a pair of goggles that seal up against your
face. For those of you out there with contacts, this is a must.
Lori has found that the sawdust dried out her eyes and then got
caught under her lenses. Needless to say, not an experience
she'd like to repeat.
Okay, you'll get a pair, but how do you pick out the right one?
We suggest you find something that you can comfortably see through,
like to wear, but wouldn't be devastated if it got paint on it
and are easily replaced. Figure you want to feel comfortable enough
in them to keep them on for whatever time it takes to get the job
Masks and Respirators
These will protect you from the harsh fumes and dust particles
often involved in home improvement. Regardless of the protection,
we suggest you do as many projects as possible outside or at the
very least, open two windows or doors to create cross-ventilation
in the room you are working.
If there is a risk you could inhale dust, solvent fumes or
aerosols, you will need a respirator. We recommend that you check
the product labels to see which one will work for your current
We realize it can be bother to wear one as well as have to buy a
new one for different projects, but we can't stress strongly
enough the importance of protecting your lungs. A garden mask may
fit and look better but it's not made to block the fumes.
It is very important to know if you are dealing with large
quantities of lead or asbestos both of these can be potentially
very dangerous. (Just two kinds of places that you might find these
would be: popcorn/textured ceilings done in the 60's and lead
based paints). We suggest you wear a respirator but don't be
fooled as sometimes even an organic respirator won't do the
trick. If you are working with large amounts of either substance,
we suggest you get guidance from the EPA (Environmental Protection
Agency). For more information on either of these topics, go to: href="http://www.epa.gov/">http://www.epa.gov/
We recommend the right clothes for the job. If that job entails you
working with sharp objects or caustic chemicals, the best possible
choice would be something that would cover both your arms and legs.
It should not be tight fitting in case you need to get yourself in
and out of difficult places to access. And most important,
something that you won't care if it gets dirty, torn, or
painted on. Trust me, I've told myself too many times,
"I'll be careful this time" and I've ended up
with a closet full of clothes that are now only appropriate for
working around the house.
I know, protective equipment?! We just want to make sure that you
protect your feet as we know that many of us begin projects
impromptu but don't always remember to put on shoes. I'm
not mentioning any names-Eden. Just make sure that you are wearing
something that will enable you to comfortably and safely get the
job done. And just because you feel comfortable in your new Nine
West heels doesn't make them right for the job.
While we can't tell you the number of times we've ended up
with paint or spackle in our hair, this section is not only about
keeping your locks their natural color. If you hair is long enough
to impair your vision in any way, we recommend that you pull it
away from your face. Doing this can prevent bad things from
happening like brushing it up against a newly painted wall the day
before a black tie affair to something more serious like getting it
caught in a working electric saw.
Besides, it's a great excuse to wear a babushka!
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