Your Comprehensive Guide Indoor Air Quality and Home Renovation Survival
If only home renovation survival were simply a matter of leaving town until the entire ordeal was over. Of course, the plain fact is that few homeowners in Reading, PA can afford to take off while it is happening.
Instead, residents must live in the dwelling the entire time and put up with the daily intrusion of noise, dust, and fumes. The best way to survive this is to come up with a comprehensive plan to help you deal with everyday life while your home is under siege from contractors wielding noisy tools, smelly paints, and toxic varnishes.
Vigilance is needed when it comes to the matter of maintaining a good air quality as many of the products used such as paint thinners, paint strippers, and floor varnishes can be very harmful to the lungs and cause dizziness, confusion, and neurological damage.
How Renovations Can Sabotage Your Air Quality
The two stages of home renovation can be harmful to health, and the dust and fumes that are emitted during the process can cause real physical discomfort including itching, inability to focus, anxiety and others.
Part of understanding how to control your air quality is understanding what type of materials are used during the process and at what stage.
During the first stage of renovations, dust particles and mold spores are often released as the result of having floors and walls ripped away and exposing contaminated inner spaces.
During the second stage, paint thinners, floor strippers and strong varnishes such as urethane can release toxic fumes into the air. The result is a toxic atmosphere that can be defined as indoor air pollution.
Surviving the Two Stages of Renovation
The key to surviving the first stage of renovation, when the walls and floors may be ripped out and raise a lot of dust is to isolate the area but covering openings and work areas with tarps and sheets of plastic. If you have asthma, you might want to go as far as taping vents shut so that no dust can be jettisoned into your living areas.
During the second stage of renovation, paint strippers and varnishes with a strong chemical smell are used, and they can also interfere with every aspect of your daily living, so it is important to leave the premises until this phase of renovation is over. It is also a good idea to leave your HVAC system off so that the fans in the unit do not blow these toxic fumes throughout your space.
Replace Your Air Filters Continually to Improve Air Quality
The most effective way for citizens to manage air quality is to make sure that your air filters in your HVAC systems are always clean.
During a renovation phase, this can mean changing them quite frequently so you should always have them on hand.
This is also an economically wise move because a well-maintained HVAC unit will help you save 10 to 15% on your energy bills.
This is important because after your renovations are completed you should be running your unit continuously for a couple of months to make sure your air is pure and free of particulates.