Interior Design Risks Associated with Renovating an Old Home

When we normally think about interior design, the potential dangers of renovation and remodeling work are not things that usually pop into our head.

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However, there are several dangers associated with interior designing, especially if we are discussing an old piece of property. Go through the following to know exactly what they are and how to steer clear of those risks.

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Asbestos Poisoning and Litigation

Before any renovation or remodeling work can commence, asbestos must also be removed first, and only by trained experts with the necessary Asbestos Model Accreditation Plan (MAP) certifications. Being more dangerous than even lead due to the lethal, carcinogenic properties of the fibers, training is mandatory and any interior decoration project in violation of that rule will have to face severe legal consequences.

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Lead Poses a High Risk in Old Properties

Both asbestos and lead paint were banned from being used in construction at roughly the same time, but older homes often still have remnants of lead paint in them. Sometimes, a house or any other building constructed before the 80s will have lead paint on its walls, even if it was painted and repainted several times over since then. The issue is, unless the paint chips were removed properly and completely from the walls by certified professionals, it is likely that there are still remnants of the lead paint underneath those new coats of lead-free paint, as well as particles of the toxic heavy metal dust, settled or floating all over the property.

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Risk of Litigation and Consequent Fines

Whether the interior decoration project is being headed by a professional contractor, or the homeowners themselves, they can face litigation on account of breaking the RRP Rule. If the project did not have the necessary EPA Certification and professionals with the right type of lead certification were not employed to ensure safety, the party in charge could be facing fines as high as $37,500 per day/infraction.

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This can be easily avoided by ensuring that the people working in an old home that was built before 1978, either have the necessary certifications themselves, or the contractor/homeowner could hire lead experts with the right certifications. Given that there are several different lead certification types, first get to know which ones are necessary for the project ahead.

Dangers of Lead Poisoning

If certified lead removal experts are not employed to get rid of the heavy metal first, it can lead to the workers, residents and everyone else directly associated with the renovation work being poisoned. Depending on factors such as the poisoned individual’s age and the amount of lead dust that they were exposed to, even death is not out of the question.

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At the very least, untrained handling of lead dust can lead to loss of memory, irritability, impotence, hypertension and heart disease in adults. For children, lead poisoning is far more dangerous, with fatality being more common than in adults. Other symptoms may include permanent brain damage, delayed mental development, loss of appetite and consequent loss of weight, mood disorders, lethargy, headaches and the taste of copper in the mouth.

If you are renovating an old house, make sure you take these dangers into consideration.


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