Welding can be useful and highly in-demand. You can easily repair metals if you have the skill and the equipment. But have you ever wondered if you can do welding in your basement? In the article below, we have scoured the internet and asked the experts to give you the answer to that exact question.
It is unsafe to do any welding in a close and confined space, particularly a basement. This is because of the fire hazard that this poses. Welding needs good ventilation as it produces fumes that can be very toxic if inhaled. Welding should be done in an open space for safety and health reasons.
Interested to learn more about welding? Stick around as we discuss more safety protocols and welding dos and don'ts. We will teach you how to set up a welding area and discuss MIG welding.
Although some welding is safe indoors and, in some special instances, required to be done indoors, welding spaces should be open and more ventilated than your ordinary basement.
Typically, fires, explosions, electric shock, toxic fumes, and gases are the main safety hazards in welding. Proper protective gear such as a welder's mask and gloves should be worn especially welding aluminum as it poses a high health risk to you.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, in a study published in 2021, an estimated average of 1,650 fires per year are started by welding torches that cause around $157,000,000 in direct property damage annually.
In another report, US fire departments reportedly responded to an average of 4,580 structure fires that involved fires caused by hot work from 2014–2018. An average of 22 civilian deaths, 171 civilian injuries, and $484,000,000 of property damage were reported.
In this report, 43% of incidents occurred in or on homes, including one or two-family homes and apartments, while 57% occurred in or on non-home properties.
Your eyes are the most vulnerable when welding, this is because of the bright torch that is emitted when welding. Dust particles can also get into your eyes that can irritate, or in some worse cases can cause severe eye infections that can impair eyesight.
Welding helmets have protective shields for your eyes.
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Welding fumes can also bring about risks for your respiratory health. They are also characterized as carcinogens, meaning prolonged exposure can eventually cause cancer to your lungs and in some cases your kidneys.
It is why wearing the required protective equipment and setting up your area is important.
Welding gloves protect your skin from heat and molten metals.
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Is it safe to weld at home?
A welding machine is an uncommon sight in regular houses. You may have this in your home if one of your family members or you welds or does any work that requires welding. But you can safely practice your welding skills at home, as long as you practice with utmost caution.
If you have no prior experience of welding or have no one to assist or teach you, we strongly advise you to not practice it at home. Many things can go wrong which can be unnoticed for novice welders.
You can cause harm to you or the other people in your family. There is also a possibility of starting a fire. If any repairs require welding, we recommend you hire someone professional as this is safer, more practical, and quicker compared to you trying to weld it yourself.
If you lack the experience, you may also cause more damage than repair when trying to fix something that needs to be welded.
But if you have prior knowledge and experience, then you can weld at your home. Just make sure to assign a workstation in your house where the ventilation is good and safely distanced from children especially if you are using your welding machine.
Is it safe to weld in an apartment?
You should not weld inside your apartment or any apartment. Welding can be extremely hot, this can cause things inside your apartment to easily catch on fire.
Using electric arc welding leaves plenty of molten bits and anything not protected from the UV emitted from welding can be damaged.
Most apartments lack the space for you to operate welding tools and they are just simply not the place for you to do so. This may also violate the laws of your apartment complex so we suggest that you don't do this as it is a huge safety hazard not just for you but for everyone living in the building.
Setting up welding area
Having a designated place for you to weld is important as we mentioned numerous reasons why above. Because welding is not a common repair to do at home, most if not all houses are not designed to have a designated place where you can weld.
In this section, we will be giving you some important considerations that you should check before starting any sort of welding project in your house.
Identify your location
Identifying your welding location in the house is important. If you already have a workspace, check if you can accommodate extra equipment for welding. When welding you want also want to have space for you to move freely.
In some welding projects, extra equipment like stands and holders are used to properly secure the metal being welded together, you have to consider this also.
You can also consider building a separate station for your welding projects, either a small shed or an extension from your garage.
Another thing to consider is a sufficient power supply. A regular outlet can support small welding machines, but larger ones need more power.
Checking if you have enough power in your workstation is important, a proper power supply can prevent short circuits that can break your machine or worse cause fire.
If you plan on having bigger and powerful welding machines, make sure that the amps in your socket are enough to prevent overloading. You can call on an electrician to check and install the needed power supply for your welding area.
Storage materials like plastic boxes, cardboard, or other similar materials used for your other pieces of equipment can easily ignite fire -so should be stored away especially while you are welding.
Some recommended storage materials for locations housing welding projects are metal cabinets as these are not flammable.
Whether your welding area is in your house or at a workshop, safety should be considered a priority. If at home, make sure that children are not near the vicinity to avoid exposure to chemicals that can harm them.
In workshops, wires and other types of equipment that can be tripping hazards should be kept away neatly to avoid any accidents.
Fire extinguishers are also very important so make sure that you have one. In most locales, a fire extinguisher in any house or establishment is already required. So if you don't have one yet, consider getting one immediately.
Protection against the elements
Getting enough ventilation especially in places with cold climates can be very difficult during winter as you prefer your work area to be closed. So a good HVAC system tailored for you can be helpful, especially in places where air circulation systems are required by city building codes.
Welding in the basement is a dangerous thing to do as this can cause a fire hazard to your house and a health hazard to you. Safety should always be a priority especially with tasks like welding as you are dealing with high temperatures, so proper equipment should be observed.
You might want to check some useful articles about basements that we have written:
6 Types of Basements You Should Know