What hazards should you be looking out for in your next renovation?
A cozy living room with a fireplace, plants, and stylish furniture.What hazards should you be looking out for in your next renovation?

Renovation projects can be heaps of fun, whether you’re redoing your kitchen or a whole house. While in some cases, everything will be plane sailing, there are often a range of different risks that you’ll need to look out for.

When not attended to in an appropriate manner, hazards can transform the project from a dream to a nightmare, but there are a number of steps you can take to mitigate any risks going forward. To help you gain an understanding of potential areas of concern, let’s go through a few general hazards to watch out for.

Water damage

When renovating a building, you need to make sure that you both watch out for existing water damage, and make sure that you don’t cause any during your project. Water damage can range from being superficial, all the way to causing serious structural damage to the property.

Potential signs of water damage could include mould on the wallpaper or paint, or if you have access to structural elements, joints that feel soft to the touch or slightly rotten. In terms of prevention, take extra care when working with any water systems; a small leak could result in serious damage if left unattended.


Another critical hazard to watch out for is asbestos. Used in a range of building materials around the middle of the 20th century, from insulation and flooring to ceiling materials and even certain wallpapers, it’s highly carcinogenic, especially when spread into the air and inhaled.

If there are any materials in the building you’re working on that you suspect could have asbestos in them, it’s imperative that you get them tested.

If the tests come back positive, then it may be necessary to get those materials removed by a team of professionals, so that the space isn’t contaminated for later occupants and workers.

Structural issues

Depending on the scope of your renovation project, you may also need to consider potential structural issues related to the work that you’re doing. If you’re just changing the lights or painting the walls, it might not be so much of an issue.

If, however, you want to knock down a wall in the kitchen or make a hole for a window, you’ll likely want to get further advice. Consider contacting a structural engineer or an architect, so that you can be sure you’re carrying out the project in a safe and responsible manner.

Trips and falls

In most worksites, the most common hazard will be the risk of trips or falls. You need to make sure that you take appropriate steps to maintain a safe work site, from cleaning up on a regular basis to ensuring that all working surfaces are stable and secure. In some cases, you may need to use appropriate forms of PPE, whether that’s knee braces or a helmet.

By keeping your mind on potential hazards, and working to avoid them where possible, you can maximise the chances that your next renovation will go as smoothly as possible, with minimal complications.