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Updating Your Mid-Century Kitchen? Beware Of These 2 Things

by Riley Chapman

If you are the owner of a mid-20th century home and you want to update the kitchen, have a contractor check for hazards before the project starts. There could be toxins that you are unaware of living behind the walls of your home, and they'll need to be addressed before updating the space.

Lead and asbestos are toxins that were used in construction materials throughout the mid-20th century, and could be in many materials throughout your outdated kitchen. Here are a few reasons why you want a contractor to test and remove these items before updating the space.


Asbestos was used in insulation, ducts, flooring adhesive, siding and other items. When it becomes wet, catches fire or is moved, it is airborne. Breathing in asbestos over time can cause asbestosis, mesothelioma, lung cancer and other health problems related to your respiratory system.

The materials should be handled with gloves and the professionals will be wearing masks when they are removed from your home. Tell the contractor you don't want to have it covered, but you want to have it extracted from your kitchen where renovations will take place. You can even have the contractor continue with removal throughout the entire home.


Your home could have layers of lead paint on the walls, lead in the drywall and plaster, and lead in the flooring materials or within other products around the kitchen. Just like with asbestos, moving the materials, or getting them hot or wet can cause the lead to be airborne.

The lead can cause numerous health problems, like organ failure, infertility, physical and mental developmental problems in children, and anemia among other things. You'll want to have the contractor either encapsulate the led, or remove all traces of the led from the area so it doesn't get moved or affected during the kitchen renovations. Contact a company like Gravelle Woodworking Limited that specializes in kitchen renovation for more information about this.

Once all of the harmful materials are removed from your kitchen and the surrounding area you can update it with the help of the contractor to your desire, with modern cabinetry, flooring and appliances. Updating the kitchen is an easy way to add a lot of value to your home, and removing dangers like asbestos and lead is a great selling feature down the road. You can create a new sleek and stylish space with an open layout and trending color scheme, but you want to make sure everyone is protected from harmful toxins first.