Whether you are a novice or an expert welder, it can be sometimes a bit hard to find a place to do your welding. You might be wondering whether or not you could just weld inside your house. If you are asking if it is safe to weld indoors then you have come to the right place as I will answer that exact question in this article.
Welding in confined spaces can pose many risks, from fumes and gasses to fire hazards. It is a very bad idea to weld indoors. But, you can still prepare a space in your house with proper ventilation and safety equipment to do your welding safely.
There’s a fair bit to unpack here. Why it might be unsafe, what are the common issues, what will you need to make it safe, etc. And I will be going through all of these questions and try to answer them as simply as possible with adequate details. So, without further ado, let’s get right to it.
Should You Weld Indoors?
Welding is basically a process that fuses metal parts together with the help of chemicals and heat. So, when you weld there’s always smoke and fumes coming out. In an area specified for welding, there is enough ventilation and open spaces so that these fumes do not harm you, but your house might not be so well equipped.
These fumes can often include very hazardous gasses that can do immense damage to your health. So, for the fumes alone it is a very bad idea to weld indoors in confined spaces.
There’s also the risk of fire when welding. Welding uses a lot of heat. Mainly the heat source is usually gas. There’s a lot of heat and sparks flying when welding. And the average household has a lot of flammable materials lying around. And not to mention that your floor will definitely be ruined by all the sparks and metal splinters.
The metal you will be welding and the gas you will be using to weld them pose risks too. Large metal parts lying around the house can easily cause injuries. And gas lines can also be risky if not set up properly.
It is generally a bad idea to weld indoors. Master welders avoid welding in enclosed spaces until it is an absolute emergency. Most rooms in most houses are totally not suitable for welding jobs. So, unless you can set up space properly you should refrain from trying to weld indoors.
What You Need To Weld Indoors
If by any chance however you do decide that you want to weld indoors and set up a place inside your house you need to take a few things into account. You cannot, under any circumstances, can weld in an average living room or dining space. Let me explain what you exactly need to start preparing to weld Indoors.
You need to make sure the place you want to weld in has a lot of ventilation. Otherwise, the fumes can be a huge issue. You need to make sure that there is enough airflow to make sure the fumes will not accumulate in one enclosed space.
You can try setting up in your garage or a room in your backyard as those places are where you have the most open spaces with ventilation.
No Fire Hazards
This is very important. The average room in your house has too many flammable things and there can be no flammable things in your welding area. From carpeting to wood or anything that you may have lying around you need to get rid of.
Make sure you have concrete flooring too as wood flooring might catch fire too. And you also need to make sure that you are okay with having your floor scratched and burned as that will happen a lot when welding.
Suffice it to say that by now you probably understand that you can not just start welding in a small and enclosed space. From ventilation to space for setting up the equipment your welding space needs a lot of open space.
You need to ensure that the sparks flying do not hit anything flammable or something that might get damaged. A proper open space helps you weld more safely and in an organized fashion.
If your welding place meets all of these criterias then it can be called a proper and safe place to weld.
Safety Precautions for Welding Indoors
If the space in your house you want to weld in fits all the requirements for a safe welding environment you can move on to actually preparing to start welding. There are quite a few safety precautions that you should consider before heating up your welder. Some of the most important ones I’ve below.
- Prepare The Place
Make sure your welding space is free from all sorts of distractions or random items. Remove anything that might be flammable or combustible. And then set up your equipment properly. All the different tools you have and the fuels you will be using, don’t just put them haphazardly, set them up in an organized manner.
You should use fireproof welding blankets to cover the floor and walls so that the sparks cannot cause damage. Fireproof welding blankets will help reduce fire risks drastically. It is also a good idea to check for 30 minutes after you are done welding to see if anything has caught fire or not.
- Use Proper Welding Apparel
You should never weld without proper safety equipment. You need to protect yourself from all the fumes, sparks, dust, and grit flying about. And proper apparel is a must. You need to wear full-length pants and a flame-proof full sleeve jacket.
You also need leather boots to protect your feet. You should always tug these boots underneath your pant legs. Another thing you need is safety gloves that extend past the wrist to protect your hands.
And the most important thing you need while welding is a welding helmet. This helmet will protect you not only from the sparks and fumes but also the harsh light when welding. You should also wear a skull cap to protect your head also.
- Check Your Equipment
It is absolutely crucial that you check your equipment every time before you start welding. If you have faulty equipment you take the risk of burns, shocks, or other kinds of injuries. And the risk is increased even more if you are doing the welding at your home.
Always check if everything is connected properly. If any cables have fraying replace them. Make sure your gas line is properly connected. Gas lines and hoses can get leaky over time so replace any faulty equipment in your gas flow immediately.
Only start welding after you have made sure that everything is working correctly. Always keep an eye out to see if all your equipment is working properly because otherwise, you put yourself at great risk.
Also, before performing welding, always remember to check the electrodes and keep a fair distance from the metals.
- Always Use Metal Table
Never use a wooden table for welding. Keep in mind that one of the biggest risks of MIG or TIG welding is having a fire hazard from the sparks. Woods easily catches fire and it might lead to a drastic accident.
So, always use an Aluminium table for ignoring such events. Some people think using a plastic table will also work, but they will easily melt because of the produced sparks while welding, so always stick to full metal or aluminum tables.
- Keep the Metals Clean
One of the biggest reasons behind the accidents while welding is having an unclean pair of metals. Experts claim that in 90 percent of cases, hazardous incidents occur just because of not cleaning the materials properly. Especially the surface of the used metals should be absolutely dry and clean.
The dirt of the metal surface can get mixed with the puddle you are using when the temperature of your welding increases. And, when the metal gets cold, some of the unwanted gas can get trapped inside the welding and it might lead to an accident.
The gasses can be formed due to the use of glue, oil, grease, paint and they can even come from your sweat. These things can produce a significant amount of gas when they will face the temperatures of arc welding. If you are using GMAW of solid wire and GTAW, but SMAW and FCAW processes can also be affected with gas.
- Be Aware of the Moisture
It might not seem a big deal, but moisture on the metal surface can be one of the biggest reasons for mishaps. The moisture can appear for several reasons and even a very tiny droplet can make your final product fragile and it is a known fact that water carries electricity easily. If the temperature of the welding room is below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, then you should especially be wary about it.
Unfortunately, wiping the metal with a cloth or using metal cleaning products will not work on such small droplets. But there is a very easy way to get rid of all sorts of moisture from the metal surface. Just heat the metals to 200-220 degrees Fahrenheit for evaporating all the droplets from the surface.
- Keep the Flammable Equipment at a Safe Place
While welding, you will have to use some equipment that is highly flammable and hazardous. So, storing them at a safe location is very important if you are welding at home.
While welding, most fire accidents occur due to the flammable equipment not being stored safely. Never keep them near the welding area and if possible, create a completely separate storage room for keeping them at a safe distance.
- Use a Welding Blanket
If you are welding in your apartment, there’s absolutely no doubt that the walls and equipment will get dirty due to the produced splatters and sparks. For keeping them clean and safe, using a welding blanket would be wise.
I will highly suggest you use two welding blankets; one will be used to keep the walls of the room safe. You will have to hang the blanket like a curtain from the roof. It will prevent the sparks from reaching the walls of that room. The blankets can absorb the sparks and they are fire-resistant.
The other welding blanket will be on the side to prevent the speaks and splatters from reaching the equipment of that room. Most of the good quality blankets are made of various sorts of fiberglass and they are coated with vermiculite, silicon, carbon, and neoprene. So, there is absolutely no doubt that no sparks will penetrate the blanket.
- Use a Welding Mat
Using a welding mat is essential to keep the floor of your apartment clean. Trust me, only 3 days of welding will make your floor wet and dirty. In these mats, a particular type of rubber is used to make it heat resistant.
These rubbers won’t absorb the liquids that will produce while welding. So you will be able to clean it easily and they are also pretty sturdy so you won’t have to change them for years or more.
Welding at home is never a perfect solution, but it is feasible if you maintain all the safety precautions properly
If you are welding at home, you must maintain all of these safety precautions not just for yourself, for protecting your whole family.
You also might want to check our article about 5 Ways A TIG Welder Can Kill or Hurt You.
Can You Weld in An Apartment?
If you have welding projects that are small and doable inside your home, then welding in an apartment can be done. There are many professional welders out there who set up a welding workstation in their home, but it is not the safest idea, especially if you are working with MIG welding. Most of the time, MIG welding creates a lot of spatter and spark.
So, it would be better to build a home welding setup if you are only going to do TIG welding. Whatever you do, you will have to maintain some strict safety precautions to keep you and your family safe.
TIG welding is a very safe and secure process and it does not produce large sparks or spatter. Thus, the possibility of having a fire hazard in your home is pretty minimal.
Most importantly, it is very easy to set up the workspace of TIG welding and you won’t need a heavy machine to make your work environment perfect. If you are performing home projects, then TIG welding would be best. And you must make sure of the safety precautions we talked about earlier.
Is It Legal to Weld in a Garage?
Welding in your garage can be a better solution than doing it at your apartment. One of the most common questions that people ask me if it is legal to weld at the garage.
If you are welding as a hobby, then it is completely fine to do it at your garage. By hobby, I mean welding things just for yourself or for a school project. As long as you are not welding for money, you will not face any legal problems doing it in your garage.
But if you are a professional welder, you will need to have a license. Different states provide different regulations. So, it would be wise to check the rules regarding welding at your garage before performing it.
Do You Need a Permit to Weld at Home?
In most states, it is perfectly legal to perform welding at your home as long as you meet the safety precautions. If you are worried about breaking any law, just ask your local safety manager or fire department for your mental satisfaction.
Keep in mind that you will have to strictly follow the safety precautions to avoid any trouble. An inspector can come to your home any time for an inspection and he has the power to fine you if he sees any failings of safety.
And again, you will need a permit for welding professionally at home. It will be considered as a business and you will have to pay the business tax along with some money for the permit before even thinking about starting a welding business from your home. Not getting a permit for welding will be considered a punishable offend.
Welding indoors is in general a bad idea. If you can avoid it, you should. But if you were to weld, indoors make sure that the place you want to weld it is well suited for it. Take all the necessary safety measures so there is no health or fire risk. Set up all your equipment properly and always keep them in check and you should be fine.
Thanks a lot for reading till the end. By now I hope you have a good understanding regarding this topic. Hopefully, I was able to answer all of your questions regarding “Is it safe to weld indoors?” and any other questions that may have come along with it. Until next time, farewell and stay safe.