Your home should be a place where you and your family can always feel safe -- but if you suffer from respiratory problems, your house might actually contribute to health problems. Studies have found that the levels of several organics average two to five times higher indoors than outdoors, which means that even allergy sufferers might be more comfortable outside than inside. What's more, the volatile organic compounds found in all kinds of personal care items, home building materials, and other items we use on a daily basis might be contributing to some adverse health effects.
As a result, you might be considering switching out some of those harmful materials in your home for ones that won't contribute to your medical conditions. But don't forget that the renovation itself can pose problems for you. When you take out those elements, VOCs and debris can be released, compromising the quality of your indoor air. If you aren't careful during a home remodel, you might end up using a material that could worsen your symptoms. Fortunately, these tips can help ensure that your home renovation is allergy friendly.
- Seal Off and Tape Up: If you're doing any type of demolition work, you need to prepare for an onslaught of dust, debris, and chemicals. You'll have to contain these elements and keep them from spreading throughout your home. A good way to do this is by sealing off the demolition area with plastic sheeting. You should also seal off your air ducts to ensure any debris won't be recirculated through your HVAC system. It's also an excellent idea to tape off any rooms you use a lot (like bedrooms and bathrooms, as well as closets) during demolition days to keep dust from entering those areas.
- Always Wear the Right Gear: Even if you're not doing the renovation work yourself, you'll still want to wear the proper protective gear to minimize any health effects. By avoiding polyurethane fumes and excessive dust, you can keep allergies and other respiratory issues at bay. Protective goggles and masks should be worn whenever you're indoors during the renovation; even if you can't see VOCs and dust particles, they're there and can be inhaled. Be sure to wash clothes and linens regularly to address these issues, as well. Of course, you should spend as much time outside your home as possible during these renovations to minimize exposure.
- Open Windows Daily: You might suffer from seasonal allergies as well, which might make you think it's a bad idea to open up the windows. However, it's generally a good idea to do so in order to keep air circulating. Just make sure to keep windows closed during the early morning hours (5 to 10 am) in pollen season. If you have pollen allergies, opening your windows after a rain storm can also be a good idea. In general, you should get as much fresh air as you can to avoid breathing in any debris or potential fumes.
- Use the Right Materials: Creating an allergy friendly renovation -- and an allergy friendly home -- really comes down to the materials you use. Because so many building materials contain harmful VOCs, you'll need to choose your contractor carefully and discuss their willingness to use items like air purifying paints and low allergy flooring materials. Rather than choosing carpeting, which is notoriously bad for allergy sufferers and the environment, opt for sustainable hardwood flooring. And instead of dealing with traditional paint for the walls, you should opt for air purifying paints that will not only be odorless but will actually improve your overall indoor air quality. Keep in mind that when you use the best low VOC paints and sustainable flooring materials, you won't have to sacrifice on design or on toxicity.
When you take care to seal off sources of debris, wear the right equipment, keep the windows open, and use better quality materials like air purifying paints, you'll have a home renovation that's more allergy friendly. For more information on the benefits our air purifying paints or zero VOC primers can provide, please contact us today.