Allergy-Free Home Renovations: The Do’s and Don’ts

Allergy-Free Home Renovations: The Do’s and Don’ts
  • Opening Intro -

    Renovating your home, as exciting as it may be to finally make that new living room setup or bathroom design into a reality, can cause quite a mess in your house.

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Concerns about how the renovation will disturb inhabitants of your home is a serious consideration that is directly related to how extensive of a renovation plan you are undertaking.

For most people, dealing with some noise and extra activity in the home for a couple weeks or even months is inconvenient but worth the effort if it means finally having the home they have been imagining. If you or anyone else you live with suffers from chronic allergies, however, a longer period of renovation can greatly disturb the sinuses and make the entire period an eye-watering, sneezy ordeal.

Luckily, for those of you in this position there are ways that you can make your renovation plans as allergy-friendly as possible. For allergy-prone individuals, the most important thing is to minimize the dust and debris particles in the air and around the home. Try following some of these tips to make your next renovation as allergy-friendly as possible:

Avoid carpeting.

Wall-to-wall carpeting is the biggest enemy of allergy-sufferers. These carpets help breed dust mites and are extremely difficult to properly clean, allowing dust and debris to remain in your home and be constantly moved around from one surface to another. Try to opt for hard flooring with vinyl, linoleum, slate, hardwood, or stone. These surfaces may be a bit more difficult to install but can last much longer and be cleaned much easier, which helps remove allergens from the air in your home.

You can add small area rugs on top of this type of flooring if you normally prefer to walk on these surfaces. These rugs are much easier to clean, since they are removable, and will give you more flexibility for any future redecoration you may have in mind.

If you do choose to install a hard floor, be aware of what type of finishing products will be used during installation. Some types of flooring are covered in varnishes or finishes that contain chemicals and fumes that can bother the respiratory tract of sensitive individuals. You can either attempt to avoid these chemicals altogether by opting for another type of flooring, or simply keep the area with new flooring separate from the living area of the home for a few days to let the chemicals and fumes completely dissipate.

Choose your walling carefully.

Whether you are removing walls or installing new ones, an array of walling materials can cause allergic reactions in those sensitive to airborne allergens. In general, if the walling you are removing or installing contains many tiny, potentially airborne particles of material (like with particle board and insulation), it is best to close off the area when working and aerate it for a few days after the work is done.

Some types of walling contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can cause chronic allergic reactions in some people. Common walling materials that release VOCs in the home are plaster, drywall, particle board, plywood, composite board, paint, resin, varnish, organic or rubber solvents, putty, sealants, caulks, wallpaper, vinyl floor coverings, synthetic carpeting, padding and adhesives.

Avoiding all of these materials may be impossible given your renovation plan and budget – and that is okay. You should just be careful to take all of the precautions possible when doing the actual renovation and be extremely strict about clean up after the project is done. Let the area air out for at least a couple days to make sure all of the dust, debris, and chemical fumes have time to clear out.

Take advantage of a professional cleaning service to help you do the job right the first time around, and save yourself time and trouble.

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