The Dangers of DIY Bathtub Refinishing And What to Do About It

One of the reasons I prefer to have my home remodeled rather than completely replacing various amenities is the cost-saving benefit. But this is not always my choice in some scenarios. I visited some high end furniture stores to get some inspiration for the house and I was seriously impressed. I think it’s important to take inspiration. However, there is one area of remodeling I particularly avoid at all costs. This is none other than bathtub refinishing. I’d instead replace the entire bathtub and will explain why shortly.

What Does Bathtub Refinishing Mean?

It refers to the restoration of the old bathtub surface to enhance its appearance or repair minor damages. The main reasons for refinishing a bathtub include discoloration and scratches. Only a trained technician knows how to strip off the old finish before applying a new one. The process of refinishing a bathtub costs less than replacing the whole facility. The problem with refinishing is that it requires the application of lethal chemicals such as isocyanates, methylene chloride, and some acids.
Also, much like refinishing, bathroom remodeling works like fixture installation and leaky pipe repairs ought to be carried by professional plumbers. You can find more info on any plumbing company’s website.

How Dangerous is Bathtub Refinishing?

As hinted above, methylene chloride is needed to refinish a bathtub. This is a colorless chlorinated solvent that is volatile and has a sweet smell. Commonly known as dichloromethane, it is applicable in other areas such as degreasing, cleaning of metals, and paint stripping. When we breathe in methylene chloride, we may not detect it immediately. This is because it has to reach a level greater than the permissible exposure limits stipulated by OSHA. So, if I happen to smell dichloromethane, it means I am overexposing myself to the chemical.

Here is where the danger comes in; when the human body gets used to the smell, the respiratory system is desensitized. As such, I will be overexposed even though I can no longer smell it. Given that most bathrooms are tiny and poorly ventilated, the probability of methylene chloride reaching toxic levels is very high.

When a worker sprays the stripping product onto the basin, methylene chloride starts to evaporate. It will spread faster if someone brushes the surface, then evaporates rapidly due to very high vapor pressure. The vapors collect in corners and bottoms of the bathtub hence replacing the breathable fresh air. Exposure to six ounces of the chemical has the potential to kill. But how can it cause death?

Effects of Methylene Chloride on the Human Body

Dichloromethane enters the body through the skin or nostrils. A high concentration can disrupt brain functions, leading to dizziness, nausea, headaches, and fatigue. The victim will have a feeling of intoxication and may even stop breathing. The chemical irritates everywhere, from the nose, skin, throat, to the eyes.

If refinishing a bathtub is an absolute must, these steps can minimize the exposure to dichloromethane:

  • Reducing the amount of chemical used at every site
  • Following the standards recommended by OSHA
  • Using alternative stripping agents
  • Ensuring adequate ventilation in the bathroom
  • Using protective gear, including full-face air-supplied respirators and gloves
  • Using tools with long handles such as brushes and scrapers to minimize leaning on the bathtub
  • Leaving the bathroom immediately after application
  • Providing local exhaust ventilation plus fresh air
  • Sound housekeeping principles, e.g., leak control and personal hygiene

The Best Alternatives to Bathtub Refinishing

I am always against the use of chemicals in my house. Even my most trusted handymen know that. Here is my best advice if you are looking to remodel your bathtub or save costs.

  • Sand down the surface instead of stripping the old one with chemicals: I have tried this, but it takes more time, and I had to deal with so much dust in the bathroom
  • Complete replacement; while it is not a cheap process, replacing an old bathtub is the safest bet. I have a brand new tub, and I know it is going to last. I think the next time I need a replacement, I’m going to call in someone like Bordner Home Improvement to switch the bath out for a shower.

As for my family and me, we take bathtub refinishing to be the most dangerous house remodeling project. The refinishing fumes are especially dangerous at the application and curing stages. So we have never tried any DIY kits or any harsh product on our bathtubs. The risk of inhaling the gases or coming into contact with the skin is not worth it. I heard someone claiming that a dust mask can offer protection, but that’s wrong. Even professionals wear organic vapor respirators with cartridges. So, we choose professional installation all the way, and so should you.

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Staying Fit Through the Covid Crisis

With gyms closed and a lockdown upon us, staying fit has been one of the most challenging things we have had to do through the pandemic. Although most places have opened up, our daily workout routine cannot remain the same. The yoga classes or gym sessions we had have been altered due to social distancing and a reduction in the number of persons in a room. Although working out on our own seems tiresome, it is still an essential practice. Besides keeping our weight in check, physical exercise helps relax the mind, which is very much needed during this stressful time.

Working out also boosts the immune system, which in turn protects us from catching the very deadly coronavirus. Finding the right exercises and motivation can help us deal with our fretfulness, downheartedness, stress, and regulate diabetes and cardiac diseases. However, as much as training is essential, too much will not do our bodies or immune systems any favors. As the saying goes, too much of anything is poisonous. True to the phrase, too much exercise might end up weakening the immune system rather than strengthening it. Therefore, to avoid incidents, it is better if we find something that suits us. This may come in the form of a type of supplement such as lysine supplements which can help support the immune system and promote a healthier body.

Many people have suggested exercises that we could take part in while keeping safe and maintaining social distance. Most of the methods have proved to be quite effective. Since most of us still have to work from home, here are several things we can do to keep our bodies in check.

Active Breaks

Rather than sitting and working all day, the World Health Organization recommends that we take active breaks between tasks. The pauses can last anywhere between 10-30 minutes, depending on our schedules. During the break, being active is key. Therefore, rather than moving from our workstations to relax on the couch, we can involve ourselves in some activity. Some activities include cleaning the house, playing with kids, or even dancing. Though these activities seem basic, they play a significant role in breaking the monotony of sitting all day. If people who are working from home are using their computer a lot, they will need to make sure that not only their bodies but their eyes are being looked after too. Staring at a screen for hours upon hours can cause eye strain, this is why it is important to give them a break every so often as well as looking into blue light blocking glasses from websites like https://felixgray.com/collections/blue-light-glasses to help mitigate any damage that may be caused by the screens.

Online Exercise Classes

If working out alone is boring for us, then this is the perfect fix. Most platforms, e.g., YouTube and Instagram, have professional trainers imparting some skills or routines. Taking advantage of these classes is a good idea because we will not feel alone and weird while exercising. However, while following the patterns and steps, we should be aware of our limits and the kind of exercises that are good for us. If we are not very experienced, there is no shame in starting at the primary/beginner level and working our way up.

Walking

Even with a lockdown, walking is still possible. It’s not a must that we go outside or around our block. We can also walk several miles while even at the same place. Treadmills and stairs can make this possible. Also, walking from one place in the house to the other is another good way to keep our bodies active. Incorporating technology such as smartwatches that count steps will help us accomplish our daily walking targets easily. However, if we decide to walk outside, we ought to recall to put on our masks (which could be purchased from web shops like Pandemic Pal) and upholding social distance.

Healthy Diets

A significant challenge of remaining and working from home is that we are always near food. The temptation and freedom to grab a snack every now and then without the typical work regulations is so amazing. However, this is also a straightforward way to send our diet off the rails, negatively affecting our fitness and health. Therefore, as much as we are eating more, incorporating some vegetables, fruit, and whole foods will boost our immunity.

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