You may not remodel for the sole purpose of creating a healthier home, but you can certainly consider things that will be good for your family’s health in the long run as you make your remodeling choices. Some health-conscious tips:
- Select materials that don’t “off-gas” or emit unhealthy pollutants into the air. Many times new carpet or flooring and particle board furniture or cabinetry can “off-gas.” Try natural products such as all-wood cabinets. Or, simply have the flooring installed or furniture delivered at a time when the home can be ventilated properly.
- Have your builder check for leaky basements, cracks around your home’s foundation, or any place where water can enter the home. Water can cause mold, which can lead to some health issues. Consult a building professional such as a general contractor rather than a “leaky basement specialist.” A general contractor may be able to identify any problems and seal the foundation itself for less money than someone outside the building industry.
- Most current paints are water-based, so they emit fewer odors than paints of years ago. Still, use common sense when painting, and open windows and doors for additional ventilation.
- Invest in a good HVAC or filtration system to filter out pollutants. Include a fresh air make up on the heating system. Today’s energy-efficient homes are sealed tightly, yet they are designed to “breathe” to let the moisture and some pollutants escape. Add a good ventilation system and you’re on your way to an energy-efficient, healthy home.