Materials are very important when it comes to remodeling your home. There are myriads of building materials in the market today, and some of them are even eco-friendly which is ideal if you want to build your home with being green in mind. Materials such as preservatives, solvents, glue and paint contains toxins. Formaldehyde can be found in common building materials such as a particle board for example. With that being said, flooring, plumbing, insulation, and drywall contains toxic elements that can contaminate the air inside your home. But is there a much healthier way to remodel your home? Yes, and they are listed down below.
- When installing a drywall, make sure to pick one that’s not made from synthetic gypsum- a process that involves using coal waste and mercury. Most drywall materials are often made with mercury and sulfur which can cause minor health problems such as having trouble breathing and headaches. There are drywalls out there that contains low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) which means it is free from biocide, formaldehyde, and acetaldehyde materials.
- Choosing flooring materials that contains organic non-treated substances is the ideal choice if you want to go green. Such materials include steer clear of carpet, laminate or vinyl flooring, or any kinds of layered wood that uses glue to combine these layers of wood together. Don’t forget to check if it is FSC-certified wood, which means it’s made up of recycled or reclaimed wood that contains water-based Green Seal-11 certified finish. When installing floors, it’s advisable to use nails instead of glues or any kinds of adhesives.
- When it comes to insulation, it’s better to get insulation that’s Greenguard-certified with low VOCs. This is because insulations are usually made up of chemical flame retardants, formaldehyde, and high VOC materials. Such example of low VOC materials includes mineral wool, perlite, cellular glass, and cork board.
- If you think that carpets don’t contain any harmful materials, think again. Carpets usually contain flame retardants, and are made up of nylon, polypropylene, or any kinds of synthetics. The backing of carpets is also filled with chemical waterproofing and glues. Carpets with Green Label Plus labels are the best way to go.
Caulks, Sealants, and Adhesives
- Caulks, sealants, and any kinds of adhesives are made up of solvents that contains high VOC materials such as formaldehyde, BPA, and phthalates. Just like other materials we’ve stated above, you must pick Greenguard Gold certified sealants that also contains low VOC concentration. Water-based latex caulks and sealants contains less toxic so this is definitely a must have. Here are other sealants products you should avoid using:
- Caulks with biocides such as mold and mildew
- Sealants that contains mineral spirits
- Petroleum derivatives
- Ethylene glycol
- PVC and PEX piping may be the norm these days to replace lead pipes, but these kinds of piping can create bad effects to your health. While copper piping is one of the eco-friendly choices out there, the price of it is very overwhelming. Instead, opt for polypropylene pipes because they cost less and are less likely to leach chemicals.
- Pressure treated wood definitely contains arsenic and copper chemicals such as preservatives and insecticides which can cause serious health issues. Instead, opt for naturally rot-resistant wood that’s FSC-certified. Instead of going for pressure treated wood, go for heat treated woods because it doesn’t contain harmful chemicals just like any other woods.
- Paints and other finishing materials contains toxic. So when selecting paint, opt for one that’s Green Seal-11 certified.