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Indoor Air Quality: Keep Your Family Healthy during Home Renovation
With so many things in mind, it’s easy to forget just how important it is to keep your indoor air quality optimal when renovating. Although it’s an exciting process, there are a couple of factors that may pose a danger to the health of your family members.
To help you ensure good air quality during renovation, we’re listing five precautions you need to take when tackling any major or minor renovation project.
Be sure to store everything away from renovating
Renovations can get quite messy very quickly, and the dust and debris that are floating in the air land on all of your everyday essentials. From clothes and shoes to baby’s cot and children’s toys, these particles will get into everything if you’re not careful, which means you’ll have to get everything washed before it’s safe to use. Therefore, it’d be best if you’d store your items away when renovating. Get cheap containers and storage bins that you can use to store smaller items and decor, and look for wraps and covers you can throw over the bulkier pieces of furniture to prevent them from getting dirty. Renovations can be stressful enough so it’s best not to add to it by creating extra chores but to look for ways to make things easier – both for yourself and for your family.
Make high-moisture areas a priority when renovating
Kitchens and bathrooms are rooms that are more subjected to higher levels of moisture than the other rooms in the house, which is why they should be placed at the top of your to-do list when renovating. Higher moisture concentration in the air provides the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew, which in turn, can cause a variety of health problems with respiratory organs, infections, and irritations. Therefore, it’s no surprise that kitchens and bathrooms are the most frequently renovated rooms in Australian homes, with many homeowners opting to consult with the experts for kitchen and bathroom renovations in Sydney as a way of optimizing these high-moisture areas. These professionals can suggest some of the best materials and fixtures for their interiors as well as give advice for improving air circulation in areas with high humidity levels.
Set up a temporary kitchen space as an alternative during renovation
While some homeowners decide to move out while there’s work in progress, others choose to stay where they are. This gives families a chance to save money on hotels and restaurants, which can get quite costly for larger families. On the plus side, choosing to live in during renovation means you’ll have complete control over the project. However, if you’re renovating your kitchen, you’ll have to figure out an alternative space for cooking and eating during the renovation. Luckily, setting up a temporary kitchen is quite easy and you can use your garage or spare room for that. All you need is a slow cooker, a refrigerator, and a microwave. Tip: If you hire contractors during the summer, you can take advantage of warm weather and cook and eat in your backyard.
Look for low-VOC paints and primers
Aside from the dust and debris that are inevitable during a home renovation, much of indoor air quality space depends on the type of primers and paints that you are used to coat the walls. Not all of them are created equally, and there’s a big difference between those labeled as being “low-VOC” and those that aren’t. Not only are the ones that fall into the latter category harmful to the environment since they damage the ozone layer, but VOCs (volatile organic compounds) also cause a number of health problems and worsen existing conditions such as asthma. Using low-VOC paints and primers will reduce sensitivity in these individuals, and with the help of proper ventilation, you’ll ensure that your walls don’t harbour harmful and health-threatening chemicals.
Seal off your HVAC units and use air purifiers to clean the air
The dust and particulates that follow renovation projects are a danger to human health, and even small amounts can be alarming for kids and adults suffering from asthma or allergies. To optimize air quality in your household, be sure to seal off your HVAC units, ducting or vents around the area that’s being renovated, and try to keep that space as clean as possible with the help of drop cloths and vacuums (preferably those with HEPA filters). Air purifiers may be another tool in your first line of defense against dust and particulates as they will lower the levels of airborne particles that are present in the air during the renovation as well as absorb any fumes from the paint, solvents, and varnishes, thus optimizing indoor air quality.
Getting acquainted with all the health hazards that your family might potentially be exposed to during renovation is key to learning how to maintain good indoor air quality during that period. Have in mind these five tips next time you’re tackling a project in order to keep your indoor air quality optimal and your family healthy and safe.
Derek Lotts is a Sydney based writer and researcher, a regular contributor at Smooth Decorator blog. He writes about décor, gardening, recycling, ecology and business. He thinks all of these topics fall under the self-improvement category. He believes in the power of sharing ideas and communicating via the internet to achieve betterment.