Drywall Safety & Precaution Tips
So, you’ve just placed an order with a drywall supplier and you plan on doing all or some of the work by yourself. Be sure to put safety first. As with any construction or renovation project, there are potential dangers. You don’t want to overlook the safety aspects of drywall projects. There is a lot of lifting, screwing, cutting, sanding, and taping involved.
Here are some safety guidelines to keep in mind:
It’s not uncommon to strain or pull muscles when drywall installation. This is caused by improper lifting. Do not try to lift large sheets by yourself. Have someone help you carry them. If you cannot find an extra set of hands, get yourself a drywall lift or jack tool. You can rent or buy one from many tool or home stores. This type of equipment also reduces the risk of a sheet falling on you.
Placing Loads On The Lift
Be careful when placing loads on the lift. Keep the loads evenly placed to prevent tipping. Use tools such as board hanger clamps and t–jacks to hold the drywall sheet in place for the nailing process.
You can reduce the need to move the drywall sheets in the first place by having them delivered as close as possible to the work site. Make sure there are no obstructions on your property that would cause problems for the delivery of the drywall or storage of materials.
You should always wear gloves and a protective mask or goggles when working with drywall. Protecting yourself is especially important when doing any type of work that creates dust, such as sanding. Dust can cause a variety of problems, from skin irritation to lung damage. Don’t let any of the dust get on your skin in your eyes.
Don’t Get Electrocuted
Be well-aware of the layout of your wall and ceiling. You need to know exactly where the electrical wires and other potential obstructions are located. You don’t want to risk getting electrocuted. Do not try to secure drywall to an area with wires. Avoid drilling or nailing any holes above a light switch or receptacle. Even though they are not 100% fool proof, a stud/metal wiring/pipe detection device is very handy to have.
Keep Dust From Circulating From Your Home
Close all heating or AC vents in the room(s) to be worked on. Cover any openings with plastic sheeting, and tape the sheet in place with industrial strength tape. Clean up at the end of each day to limit the accumulation of dust. Keep your mask on and vacuum the floor and protective coverings. Limit the traffic in and out of the room(s) during renovation.
Using The Right Tools
Make sure you’re using the right tools – especially when cutting drywall. You do not want to use a circular saw to cut the sheets, as it will create a giant mushroom cloud of dust. You can use a sharp razor knife to cut a straight line. A hand-powered saw that is made specifically for cutting through drywall is also good to have. When cutting through EXISTING drywall, however, use only a short metal blade that has been developed for electric-powered reciprocating saws. With this, you won’t have to worry as much about cutting into wires or pipes.
Keep these guidelines in mind whenever you buy drywall so that you’ll be able to install it as safely as possible.