Most of us are feeling increasingly concerned with health matters these days. From protecting your family to protecting the planet, there are a number of ways that you can choose healthier materials while remodeling your home.
Drywall. Synthetic gypsum products are believed to be less healthy, but the market does provide drywall products with lower levels of synthetic gypsum and higher levels of natural gypsum. Or, you can choose magnesium oxide boards.
Insulation. Environmental conditions, as well as the usage of the area you’re insulating, are the primary deciding factors when choosing insulation. But there are still options available to you, if you’re concerned about health or “going green”. Many insulations today are made from recycled plastic, which helps to reuse materials that otherwise would be discarded in landfills. And if you want to avoid fiberglass entirely, you can opt for alternatives like mineral wool, Airkrete, or hemp or coconut fiber.
Paint. We’ve come a long way from lead-based paints, but many people still have concerns. Volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, are present in small amounts in many paints. These solvents can cause headaches and dizziness during the paint job itself, but what about after it dries? Long-term health consequences are unknown, but if you’re concerned you can look for paints labeled Green Seal Certified or Green Guard Certified, which have lower levels of VOCs or are completely VOC-free.
Flooring. Considering the amount of square footage covered by flooring, you would be wise to evaluate any potential health effects or environmental footprint. Materials that don’t trap as much moisture and dust are going to be better for your indoor air quality. Options in that category include tile, bamboo, linoleum, wood, and low pile carpets. Just look for the ones with low VOC finishes.
Adhesives are a concern with some flooring options, so be sure to ask about non-toxic adhesives. And if you’re concerned with all the dust involved with an install (particularly important if a family member has asthma or a lung condition) you can ask to have materials cut outside. Some tools have vacuum attachments which can also aid in a low-dust installation process.
If you’re planning a home remodel, contact us to discuss your plans. We can help you review your materials options, and choose those that are healthier for both your family and the environment.