7 Safety measures to consider when insulating walls

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The major hazard from insulating walls is irritation of the skin, eyes and upper respiratory tract from fiberglass dust. This hazard can be minimized by observing the following safety measures.

1.Wear protective gears

Tiny fibers of insulation wool can cause irritation to the skin and eyes. Prolonged contact with fiberglass can cause inflammation of the skin. It is recommended that you wear clothes that fit loosely. Long-sleeved and long-legged clothes are a good idea. This helps to protect your skin from possible irritations.

However should the fiberglass particles make contact with your skin, do not rub or scratch your skin. Wash with warm running water and a mild soap.

Wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from injury by the extra fine materials. For maximum protection, get glasses that have side shields.

2.Wear respiratory dust masks

Inhalation of the extremely fine glass fibers can cause respiratory complications. This may be manifested by serious coughing, bronchitis and irritation of the throat and lungs. In severe cases, inhalation can lead to the development of lung disease. It is important that you wear a respirator or dust mask to reduce the risk of respiratory complications.

3.Minimize Dust Generation

It helps if you retain the material in its packaged form for as long as possible. Unpack the insulation only when you are ready to install. The insulation can expand as much as 1,000 percent once opened. This may introduce fiberglass dust into circulation. Avoid the use of compressed air when you clean up to minimize dust generation.

It is also best to use tools that have an efficient dust collection mechanism such as a high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) vacuum or a water filtration vacuum. Avoid ordinary vacuums as they tend to distribute the glass fibers vigorously. Do not tear or rip through the batts with your hands as it is likely to generate dust.

4.Separate working clothes from normal clothes

Be sure to launder the clothes used during insulation separately. This will prevent contamination of other clothes with the insulation material.

5.Layer insulation an inch deep

Insulation needs to be kept in a layer no deeper than an inch. Over applying foam insulation can stress the walls which will clump up and fall off the surface.

If you miss or get insulation somewhere you don’t want, stop don’t smear it but allow the insulation to dry and scrap it off the surface.

6.Fire sheath spray insulated walls

Spray foam is not a finished surface and will ignite quickly in the event of a fire. It’s advisable after applying to drywall over the insulated area to finish the job

7.Food Consumption

Avoid consumption of food and drink during installation. If you smoke, refrain from this while at work. There’s always a chance that the food and drink or cigarettes could channel fiberglass materials into your body. It is best to take adequate food and drink or other refreshments before you embark on insulation.