Home Improvement Attire

You may hear what sound like fashion tips on the type of attire you should wear for home improvement projects. Loose cotton, airy shoes, and aprons are great if you’e doing light yard  projects or a little painting, but if you’re really taking on DIY, if there are power tools and lumber involved, if the job will be producing dust or fumes, then you need to take home improvement attire a little more seriously.

Yes, you will want something comfortable either as a first layer or the basis of your clothing, but you’ll also need to consider safety. Some projects will only require clothing that you can get sweaty and dirty, that resist stains (or it doesn’t matter that they get stained), and that are easily washable (or can be discarded). However, many home improvement projects require a consideration of the hazards involved as you choose what to wear. Here are some recommendations on what you should wear while DIYing:

  1. Durability: Home projects often require work around sharp objects that can snag and tear and you may often be kneeling on rough and dirty surfaces. You’ll thus need clothing that can stand up to wear, such as denim, canvas coveralls, or a sturdy pair of overalls.
  2. Long sleeves and pants: In many DIY projects, materials are used or produced (sawdust for example) that can irritate the skin. And for some projects, like working with fiberglass insulation, you will definitely not want your skin exposed. If this is the type of project you’re taking on, then you will need long-sleeved shirts and long pants. This will also add a layer of protection against things like protruding nails.
  3. Boots: The best footwear for heavy duty FIY is a good pair of boots. Not only do they provide good tread that helps prevent unfortunate falls, but they also protect against stepping on nails, heavy objects that might fall on your foot, and bladed tools that can cut.
  4. Goggles: Many home improvement projects produce dust (sawdust, sheetrock dust, paint dust from sanding, etc.). Furthermore, power tools can forcefully expel chips of material that can damage your eyes. It is important then to protect yourself with a good pair of impact resistant goggles.
  5. Gloves: Gloves are a must on many projects to protect your hands from hazardous materials, to prevent blistering, and to act as a protective layer against cuts and punctures.
  6. Dust mask/respirator: It’s always a good idea to wear a dust mask for any project that might produce fine particles. Breathing in sawdust or sheetrock dust, for example, can irritate the lungs and even be dangerous in the longterm. If a project is likely to produce hazardous fumes (for example, certain epoxy paints), you will want to wear a respirator that filters out toxic fumes.
  7. Hearing protection: Power tools produce sounds loud enough to cause hearing damage, so it’s a good idea to purchase a quality set of earmuffs or ear plugs.
  8. A hat: While you don’t necessarily need a hard hat (although with some projects it might not be a bad idea), wearing a hat to keep hair contained is a good safety measure. The spinning parts of many power tools can catch long hair, which creates an extremely dangerous situation.

Written by Ivan Young in partnership with IMS Bolt industrial maintenance supplies.

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