Having a healthy home just might make a healthier family. Whether you are doing a kitchen remodel or a master bedroom addition, if you choose low VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) products, you can often head off allergens and toxins before they start. Flooring is one of the biggest areas in which you can choose healthy products. While carpets harbor dust, dirt and mold and give off VOCs, more natural choices like wood, bamboo or tile are healthier both at the outset and long-term. They are easy to clean and don’t hide dirt. Bamboo and wood come from readily renewable resources, so they are also a good choice environmentally. Another healthy solution is ceramic tile, which is made from natural or recycled materials. There are many non-toxic adhesives and grouts for installation. You may even consider cork flooring – it’s natural, clean and easy on the feet and legs, since it has more “give” to it.
Talk to your custom remodeling professional and request low-VOC paint for any painting job. Most manufacturers have several low-VOC choices, and some even have natural paint alternatives. White paint and lighter colors tend to have lower VOCs than darker colors. Also request low VOC for plywood or manufactured plywood.
Fresh air makeups in the heating and air conditioning system can also keep the air cleaner in your home. These allow fresh, outside air to be filtered in. Check with your remodeling expertor HVAC expert to be sure the vent is in a safe location that will bring in fresh air – not polluted from parking garage, dryer vent, or other areas where large particulate matter could be drawn into the system.
Keeping your home well-ventilated and well-cleaned after a remodel will augment your efforts to use healthy materials and will ultimately all work together for a healthier family!