Two important steps you can take to ensure your home enhances your healthy lifestyle
Healthy living has become the focus for many of us. Eating right, exercising consistently, and drinking water have become an integral part of our lifestyles.
Can we say the same for our homes?
The products builders use to remodel and construct our homes may not be as healthy as we are. The principal culprit: “off-gassing.” Chemicals used to manufacture many building products do not always stay in the product. The small amounts of chemicals becoming airborne over time are called Volatile Organic Compounds, or VOCs. We have all experienced them at some point. That new carpet smell and the smell of paint aren’t always good. One of the most common culprits (though not the only one) is formaldehyde. This is used in the manufacturing of many building products including manufactured wood products, fabrics, carpeting, cabinets, paints, furniture, and even your electronic devices.
So, what can we do to get our homes healthy and us along with them?
At Renovations we start with two basic steps:
The First Step: Avoid.
Just as with any sound self-defense strategy, staying away from a threat is the best way to stay safe. So go low or no VOCs. Our industry has become increasingly aware of the issues surrounding healthy homes. Many products that once included high levels of VOCs are now manufacturing with different adhesives and product treatments that use organic and plant-based chemicals in their products. One common product is the glue used in plywood. www.columbiaforestproducts.com is a good source. Home Depot carries these products.
When you are selecting the products that go into your home, ask for those that have low or no VOCs. Use natural products when possible. Choosing solid wood cabinets and furniture is one option. Choosing granite counters or natural stone might be better than plastics. (Although, to be fair, some granites may emit ridiculously low amounts of Radon.) If the cabinets you crave are made with Medium Density Particleboard, make sure the manufactured wood is sealed with a Melamine finish.
When you’re building or remodeling, select healthy products. We do that with all our clients.
The Second Step: Breathe.
Yes, that is correct. While most exercise routines focus on breathing, here I am referring to your home. You need to pay attention to how your home breathes. We all have products in our home that emit some level of VOCs. The best mitigation is to focus on improving the air quality in your home. Not all remedies are expensive; you can improve air quality indoors by simply opening up windows for several hours every day. This not only brings in fresh air, but it also allows the VOCs to move out. Add a HEPA filter to your furnace, and an air purifier will help as well.
Being proactive about your home’s health will go a long way to helping yours!
For more information, visit https://renovationsaz.com or call 928.445.8506.