Home Remodeling: Don’t Forget Ventilation

Home remodeling projects are exciting. You’re taking the home you love and transforming it into something you’re sure you’ll love even more. It’s easy to get caught up in the details about how your home is going to look when the project is finished and life returns to normal. However, it’s important not to forget the important detail of ventilation when remodeling. Otherwise all your hard work could be for naught.

What’s the Big Deal About Ventilation?

The Northwest Indiana Times reports that indoor air quality is such a big problem around the world that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has deemed it one of the top five environmental public health risks. During the construction and remodeling process, indoor quality, which is typically already low, is even worse due to all the chemical exposure, VOCs, and other potentially harmful fumes released inside the home.

These fumes are exacerbated by the airtight quality of today’s energy efficient homes. Don’t get us wrong. Energy efficiency is a good thing in a home. But not if it comes at the high price of ventilation.

What Can You do to Maximize Ventilation During Construction?

The best move you can make is to plan ahead. You’ve picked out the paint colors, floor coverings, and countless other details of your remodeling project. Now it’s time to give the same attention to detail to something equally important for the health of everyone inside your home: ventilating your remodeling project.

These are a few practical steps you can take to prevent particles and debris from your remodeling project from escaping to all areas of your home.

  • Open windows in rooms where you’re working with paint, varnish, strippers, glue, adhesives, and even strong cleaning products. The fumes need somewhere to go. Otherwise they simply linger in the air. If you have a whole house fan, consider opening windows and running the fan in order to expel the tainted air while drawing in air that’s fresh and clean.
  • Hang plastic sheeting when working with drywall, plaster, and other fine particulates so they don’t spread throughout your home.
  • Choose paints, sealants, and cleaning products that have low VOCs (volatile organic compounds) for the work you do on your home. The less of these chemicals you bring into your home, the fewer you have to dispel.
  • Install insulation and other building materials that not only contain few or low VOCs, but that are also mold and mildew-resistant.
  • Wear masks with appropriate filtering for fine particulates that are often released during remodeling projects.

Small steps make a big difference when it comes to proper ventilation for a home remodeling project. If you don’t have a whole house fan, attic fan, or garage exhaust fan, a home remodeling project is an excellent time to install them for even greater ventilation versatility.