A common saying goes, to make an omelette you have to break a few eggs. The same principle applies in bathroom renovations. To get the cool granite tiled shower, you have to tear down the old fiberglass unit.
It’s always safer and easier to request a professional to do your bathroom demolition. However, if you choose to do it yourself, safety must be a priority.
Here’s a checklist that’ll help you keep your DIY bathroom demolition project safe.
With your completed bathroom renovation in your sights, it is easy to discount the work required in bathroom demolition.
This is a deceptive approach to the demo project. It causes you to be laid back, careless and in some cases negligent. Such an approach to bathroom demolition can make the exercise costly, frustrating and more importantly dangerous.
It can stall your entire bathroom renovation dream or nip it right in the bud. This is why there are specialized contractors that do nothing but demolitions.
So the best advice is to treat it as the serious project it is and be prepared. This may involve taking a step back and planning out every step of your renovation process.
Consider what needs to be removed, what should not be damaged, organise rubbish removal for the building material, check for asbestos and arrange specialised asbestos removalists if needed.
Cover Up & Seal Everything Important
Dust and plaster have a way of finding their way to the most hidden spots. Don’t just close the bathroom door and then start off with the bathroom demolition.
Take time to cover up drainage and seal any other part that’s not on the demo menu. Use materials such as plastic sheets and tape to ensure the non-demolition areas are well sealed off.
Find out What Lies Behind the Wall
If the house was built by someone else, it’s likely that you’ve never looked at the blueprints.
Before you start the bathroom demolition, have a look at them and understand what lies behind the walls before you commence on the bathroom demolition.
Be on the lookout for live electrical wires, water and gas pipes too. After you have checked out the blueprints, use specialised tools for testing to get a better picture of what’s behind that wall.
While it may be tempting to just punch a couple of exploratory holes and look make sure you do the next step first, just to be safe. Unfortunately, blueprints are not always accurate.
Turn Off The Utilities
Shut down the water, power and gas supplies. It sounds like a rather obvious move but, have you done it?
Double-check and confirm the power, water, and gas supplies are off. Nobody intends to get electrocuted or create a burst water pipe. It is always better to take the precautionary route than to find yourself in a spot of bother.
Use The Right Tools
You’ll need to carefully select the tools to use for your bathroom demolition project. Have in place a good size sledgehammer, crowbar, and a pry bar.
A functioning claw hammer also comes in handy although it doesn’t need to be shining new.
Avoid tools that have loose handles or are broken. They may cause grievous injuries.
Wear The Right Safety Attire
Don’t take chances of getting injured. Wear a construction helmet, goggles, a respirator or at least a dust mask, gloves, and sturdy steel cap boots.
At bathroom demolition sites, you could step on a sharp object or lean your hands against one on the wall. Also, there may be falling objects, dust, asbestos and flying debris. Take caution by ensuring you have the right safety attire.
Take Care of the Waste
It isn’t a safe project until all the waste generated is safely disposed of. Skip bins are required for building materials and make sure to let the skip hire company know the type of waste you will be adding the bin when you place the order.
If you suspect your home contains asbestos, then seek professional asbestos removal.
Mishandling this material can be fatally toxic, but the worst part is you won’t know you have infected yourself or your family until years down the track. Asbestos kills! Don’t take the risk.
Once the unwanted waste material has been removed then do a thorough clean-up of the bathroom, ready for the next part of the renovation project.
Consult The Professionals
By following the steps above you can make your DIY bathroom demolition project a safer experience.
However, we highly recommend you speak with an experienced bathroom renovator before undertaking any renovation work, including demolition.
The last thing you want to do is destroy parts of your home that you don’t want to. Make sure your bathroom design plans are set in stone before picking up a hammer.