DIY Projects You Might Want to Hire a Professional For

Painting a room is one thing; for DIY dabblers, these projects are another
sanding hardwood floor Photo: Twin Design/Shutterstock
man with hammered finger
clothes dryer controls
cutting electrical wires
sanding hardwood floor
hot water heater
chimney sweep
dirty air vent
painting house exterior
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​Refinishing hardwood floors

Hardwood that’s under a layer of carpet, tile or linoleum is almost certainly benign. That's not necessarily true of a wood floor that’s covered with mastic (an adhesive), leveling compound or felt paper. These materials may contain asbestos; tearing up layers of flooring can break up the asbestos fibers and send them into the air. For example, if there’s adhesive residue on floorboards, sanding them will create a mushroom cloud of asbestos-infused dust. Licensed flooring contractors know which materials are risky and can recommend abatement professionals to test for and remove toxic material before sanding is done. If your floors are painted, a pro can perform a simple check for lead in the paint. Many have filtration systems on their sanders that allow them to safely remove and capture paint in a single pass.

Related: The Hidden Dangers in Paint