Hackney residents beware - your New Year’s DIY could make you ill

Watch out for asbestos and dangerous DIY botch jobs if you’re planning home improvements, warns Hackney Homes

New Year, revamped home? Think twice before you get started on DIY, Hackney Homes has advised – for the sake of your health.

While renovating your home might seem like a smart way to start the year, you could unleash some serious safety problems and your DIY could even make you ill.

Hackney Homes, the council’s arms-length management organisation which manages around 30,000 council properties in the borough, is urging all residents to take simple precautions before getting started.

Long term exposure to asbestos can cause lung cancer – yet it can still be found in the walls, ceilings, floor tiles and bath panels of some properties.

The naturally occurring mineral was used up until the 80s for its fire resistant properties.

So before you drill or disturb anything in your home, you should confirm with Hackney Homes it doesn’t contain the carcinogenic compound.

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Problems can also be created when people don’t get in the experts when installing new appliances, like gas cookers or washing machines.

You should always ensure they are fitted by qualified tradesmen to make sure you’re not putting yourself or your neighbours at risk with a botch job.

And if you’re planning a painting overhaul, make sure you leave plenty of time for preparation as mistakes can be expensive.

Hackney Homes’ advice is to try samples of paint first, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and make sure you use a good undercoat.

Jim Paterson, Hackney Homes’ head of building maintenance warned: “A quick and simple DIY job can transform your home - but can also cause problems.”

“We want to provide residents with the right information to address any problems they may encounter”.

Before you carry out works in your home, Hackney Homes’ tenants might need permission and should consult staff in their local neighbourhood housing office.

Additional information is available from www.hackneyhomes.org.uk