Minimizing VOC Problems During Remodeling
Taking care with materials and finishes will help curb air quality problems.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency offers several suggestions on how to minimize VOC (volatile organic compound) and air quality problems during remodeling:
- To the extent possible during remodeling, eliminate or reduce the use of products containing VOCs inside the living space of the house.
- Consider using solid wood (rather than pressed wood) with low-emitting finishes.
- Consider the use of prefinished materials or those that can be finished outside the living space.
- When engineered products such as pressed wood are used, sealing as many surfaces as possible should help to reduce the rate of emissions. Low-emitting sealants should be used. Check with the engineered wood vendor for recommendations on sealing their products.
- Use "exterior-grade" pressed wood products (these are lower emitting because they contain phenol-formaldehyde resins rather than urea-formaldehyde resins).
- Whenever possible, use low-emitting products in the house's conditioned space, such as sealants, paints and finishes. Use these products according to the manufacturers' directions, and provide plenty of ventilation both during and after application. Check with vendors to see if they have low-emitting products that are suitable for your specific needs and applications.
The EPA also offers ideas on how to use barriers and ventilation to minimize occupant exposure to pollutants during the remodeling work.
How to Avoid Volatile Organic Compounds
Volatile organic compounds, found in paint, caulk, cleaning supplies, carpet and wood, can be damaging to your health.
Mitigating Radon in the Home
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Mold Exposure Symptoms
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Toxic Mold Sickness and Poisoning
Toxic mold can lead to a host of illnesses that are the result of mold poisoning. Protect your health with this guide for identifying mold sickness.
Black Mold Symptoms and Health Effects
Learn about black mold symptoms and health effects so that you can identify indicators of black mold exposure and black mold poisoning.
Common Areas for Mold Growth
Learn the most common areas for mold in your house, and take steps to safeguard against mold growth.
How to Prevent Mold
Learn strategies to prevent rot from ruining your health and your home.
Controlling Poison Ivy
Tips for removing poison ivy without using chemicals on HGTV.com.
Common Types of Mold in Homes
Mold comes in all shapes, sizes and colors. Learn how to identify the type of mold in your home and develop a plan of attack for treating it.
Control Mold Through Water Management
Minimizing moisture and redirecting water will cut the risks of mold in your home.
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