Health and Safety regulations exist for a reason. As anyone who’s ever had an accident knows, they always seem to happen when we’re caught off guard. It’s human to make mistakes although these often happen in the home because we try to do shortcuts. If you’re considering carpet removal at home then you should absolutely treat the project with a workplace health and safety approach. Alternatively, click here to see how the professionals can support you and keep everything safe and clean for you.
We all need a new carpet at times and of course, DIY can be fun. If you want to go ahead and do your own removal then go through the following safety guidelines first:
Old carpets were often manufactured with toxic chemicals to be stain-resistant. Furthermore, your old carpet might be sitting on asbestos tiles. Either way, you should do a thorough check of what potentially harmful chemicals you might be facing. As you can imagine though, there’s no shortcut here and you’ll have to go through a licensed asbestos abatement officer. Most carpets then also have a label in one of their corners that details their composition so it’s worth doing a mini-check before fully removing carpet.
Once you’re ready to go ahead with pulling back your carpet with your pry bar, you’ll first want to get some thick gloves. These will protect you from the nails in the tack strip as well as from the staples holding down the carpet padding. Moreover, you’ll use a utility knife to cut back the carpet, therefore, making it easier to roll into manageable sections. Whilst thick gloves won’t completely stop a utility knife cut, they’ll still limit the damage when you cut the carpet. You'll also find them very handy when dealing with carpet from stairs.
Whether your carpet is on hardwood floors or concrete, you’ll most likely be pulling up all the dust from those tiny places a hoover can never get to. Furthermore, if you have pets who’ve had little accidents then this might have seeped through and created some form of mold. This will then be freed into the air of the room as soon as you pull back the carpet and can cause some nasty issues in your lungs.
You’ll probably see lots of people doing carpet removal without safety glasses. Nevertheless, you’ll rethink that approach as soon as you’ve had a few staples or nails from the tack strips fly into your face. Basically, you don’t always spot the nails and staples before pulling so you can get rid of your old carpet.
Carpets often weigh much more than we expect. Once you’ve cut the carpet into manageable rolls, you still need to lift it and take it to the trash. That might even involve taking it down the stairs. So as to protect your back as much as you can though, make sure you bend your knees before you pick anything up, including when you remove the carpet. Whilst there are industry guidelines for how much is the maximum you should ever pick up, follow your instinct. If it pinches as you start to lift your old carpet then stop. You’ll then have to cut smaller pieces when removing the carpet but you’ll be grateful to have saved your back.
As you can imagine, a lot of carpet removal involves kneeling on the floor. If you have bad knees then you’ll definitely need help or at least find a way to break up the work to remove the carpet. Either way, it can be great to roll up a towel for support if you don’t have knee pads.
Depending on how many hours and time you have to spend refurbishing your house, you might want to consider calling the professionals. You might actually be surprised as to how reasonable their prices can be. That's especially true when considering how much they do whilst leaving everything spick and span after they’ve gone. Furthermore, you’ll like these extra advantages as detailed below:
If you have a weak back or knees then you’ll be grateful for the help when it comes to removal. No one wants to be hobbling around for weeks afterward simply because they didn’t call the professionals. Don’t forget that most carpet removal also requires a lot of elbow grease along with a floor scraper to get the underlying floor clean ready for the new carpet pad and top carpet.
As you can expect, the professionals have the gear and the expertise to know how to deal with mold, asbestos, and any other potential toxins. Manufacturing materials aren’t always very human-friendly and you’d be surprised at how easily carpet removal can release them.
Many city councils don’t allow you to just dump your old carpet into the normal trash bins. In those cases, you’ll therefore have to drive your old carpet rolls to whatever depot or disposal area that you find that’s close to your home. On the other hand, the professionals will take everything off your hands. They’ll also know how to dispose of it in an environmentally friendly way so that you can be guilt-free.
As always with any project, you’ll need to prepare everything. This starts with checking for any asbestos issues, including how the carpet is held down so you can choose your tools. Once you know what you’re dealing with then you can go ahead with your carpet removal. Nevertheless, make sure you have the right safety equipment because it can be tough work. Although, don’t forget that you can always call the professionals who might even surprise you with their quotes.
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