How To Avoid Toxic Building Materials During Home Construction

It’s essential to learn about the products and materials you are using in your home remodeling projects. With this guide, you will have a better understanding of potentially toxic building materials to avoid.

Whether you’re building a new home or you’re building a home addition or renovation, there’s going to be a lot of new building materials in your home.

Did you know, though, that there are plenty of building materials out there that are actually toxic?

Just because you can buy the product in store, doesn’t mean it’s actually safe. Here’s how you can avoid toxic building materials and protect yourself and your family during your home construction.

What Building Materials Are Actually Toxic?

There are plenty of materials that are shown to cause issues for homeowners. These include:

— PVC: Some PVC shower curtains and similar items have been found to trigger breathing problems in some people. For a home that has at least one person with breathing issues such as asthma, this could make them worse.

— Insulation fibers: There are some insulation types, most commonly used in crawl spaces and walls, that have been shown to cause cancer. Older types of insulation, such as asbestos, have been phased out of use, but you still need to be careful.

— Heavy metals: Metals are usually found in piping and roofing products. If the heavy metals are found in high enough quantities, you’ll find that they can actually cause damage to the central nervous system.

— Paints: Some paints have high quantities of all kinds of chemicals, which can cause a variety of health problems.

How Worried Should You Be?

These toxic building materials all sound frightening, but you don’t need to be too afraid. Just because there are chemicals in something, doesn’t mean that its inherently dangerous.

After all, there are chemicals in almost everything.

You just need to be mindful about the materials that your contractor buys for your home improvement project.

When buying, take a look at the label. It will list everything that’s in the product, so you can make an informed decision. Some products are specifically made to reduce effects in people using them.

For example, fume free paint is becoming more and more popular as it has much less effect on your health.

If you’re ever unsure, the best thing to do is talk to the contractors remodeling your home. They’ll have a good knowledge of what is and isn’t safe for you to be using in your home.

Here’s how our contractors say you can limit the potential of these toxic building materials:

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1. Avoid PVC

PVC is one of the biggest building product problems, as it’s found almost everywhere in your home. For example, it’s in:

— Vinyl floor tiles

— Piping

— Ceiling tiles

— Carpet backing

— Window treatments

— Wiring

It’s so popular in these products as it contains a group of chemicals that make it flexible and easy to use. However, those same chemicals can be responsible for causing health issues and even cancer, according to studies.

This all sounds very dangerous, but with PVC being used in so many things, what are you going to do?

Luckily, you are able to limit your exposure to it.

The building industry is offering more and more alternatives, so you can make your home healthier.

One of the biggest culprits is flooring, so you’ll need to find alternatives that will contain no PVC. Natural flooring options such as bamboo and cork are becoming very popular with our clients.

Not only are they safe to use, but they’re environmentally friendly. That’s perfect if you’re looking to lessen your impact on the planet.

2. Get Good Ventilation

If you’re already suffering from allergies, you’ll know how important it is to keep the air clean in your home.

A good ventilation system is vital as it will clear most of the allergen from the air, making your home much safer.

If you’ve already got a good HVAC system, then you’ll need to ensure you’re regularly changing out or cleaning the air filters, to ensure that the air is clean.

If you’re building a new home, or a new addition, then you can’t skimp on ventilation.

It’s incredibly important that you can ventilate the building properly, in order to stop dangerous chemicals and allergens building up.

Some allergy suffers swear by portable air cleaners to make their homes safer for them. These are able to clear up to 99% of pollutants out of the air, enabling you to breathe easier.

3. Pick The Right Insulation

The insulation in your home has a serious effect on you, more than you know. Although there are now modern insulation options available, some of them are a lot more damaging than you’d think.

Fiberglass insulation is one of the most common options available to you, but it can actually cause health problems.

It’s been seen to contain:

— Formaldehyde

— Glass wool fibers

When inhaled, these can cause all kinds of problems. In some cases, it’s even been linked to lung cancer.

How do you avoid this insulation if it’s so popular? You can buy alternatives that are just as good, but much safer to you.

Cellulose is a great alternative. It’s a natural insulation material, again making it environmentally friendly. It costs the same as fiberglass too, so it won’t cost you more to be safe.

Ask your contractor about your alternative options.

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4. Avoid Allergens And Irritants

If you’re about to remodel your home, you’ll need to consider the makeup of items you’re about to use.

There may be older, toxic building materials in your home that contain dangerous chemicals, but don’t just remove them if you’re not about to replace them.

An older material, such as particle board, will have off  gassed the chemicals over time. The new materials on the other hand will emit chemicals when you’re installing it, so keep this in mind.

Some home owners have found that they actually had to stay away from the home when the renovations were new, as their reactions were so strong.

Your contractor will be able to help you determine if this is necessary or not.

5. Pick The Right Options

It’s not too hard to pick the building materials that are less harmful. If you pick an eco-friendly option, then you’re sure to get less issues with them.

Otherwise, read instructions and ingredients lists carefully, to ensure there are no dangerous chemicals in them.

If you follow this guide, you shouldn’t have too much trouble avoiding toxic building materials and products. Ask for help when you need it, and your home will be safe.