Thursday, September 25, 2014

Healthy Homes, Healthy Bodies

Whether you are working with an existing home, in the process of looking for a home or building your own home, it is important that you look at the health of the home, as it will affect your own health. You have a great deal of control over the health of your surroundings, like whether you fill your refrigerator with organic food or conventionally grown foods. This same control exists for your home as well. Two healthy home considerations should be indoor air quality and building materials.

Indoor Air Quality. Indoor air quality is important to consider for a number of reasons, including: allergy issues, moisture and mold issues, and potential radon or carbon monoxide issues. EPA studies have shown that air pollution is sometimes 2-5% higher in homes than what is outside. Improper ventilation and an unsealed crawlspace are two examples of where one might look to solve indoor air quality issues.

Building Materials. Nobody wants a home full of formaldehyde, VOCs (volatile organic compounds), toxic gases, and surfaces that attract mold. This means that everything from flooring, sub-flooring, insulation, drywall, paint, counter-tops, cabinets and adhesives all need to be considered. There are many ways to avoid toxic building materials in your home, as long as you are educated about your options. If you are building a home, you can work healthy from the ground up; existing homes can often benefit from material upgrades and there are a number of fixes that allow you to make your home safer and healthier without having to rebuild it!

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