At one point or another, it’s inevitable that your home will need some updating. And, whether you’re doing something as simple as painting or as complex as an addition, you will likely be using chemicals or creating dust that can pose health risks. Follow these tips to make the healthiest home renovations.
- Consider hiring an environmental assessor.
- Draw up nontoxic, environmentally sound specifications for your contractor, including brand names of products.
a) Reject building materials that have had pesticides applied to them, such as prefabricated wood frame windows, or let them off-gas outdoors before installation.
b) Specify procedures to be taken during the project, such as: no smoking on site, use of nontoxic cleaning products, thorough cleaning behind new cabinets, flooring and walls before they’re covered up, so that dust and pollutants don’t get trapped within your walls.
- Ventilate and dehumidify.
- Choose low- or no-VOC paints, sealants and glues.
- Choose natural, untreated products over plastics, such as PVC (vinyl).
- Request Material Safety Data
- Minimize use of pressed-wood products
- Seek energy efficiency.
- Use good wood
- Use recycled or reclaimed materials, to reduce waste.