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Pollution Considerations When Remodeling


Many remodeling projects present some serious risks to you and your family's health. Taking adequate precautions during the life of your remodel can greatly reduce these risks.

New homes are very well sealed compared to older homes and thus have the potential for noxious gas buildups. Radon and carbon monoxide are two well know noxious gases that are well known for building up inside homes.

The uranium deposits in many rocks and soils, found in minute amounts, puts off radon gas. Radon is put off by decaying uranium and is radioactive. Too much exposure to radon gas can be harmful and some precautions should be taken.

For more information: EPA Map of Radon Zones.

You can purchase an inexpensive unit online to measure the amounts of this gas inside your home. Special attention should be given to enclosed spaces such as garages, storage areas, closets, and basements. If you find large amounts as indicated by the manual for your unit you should call the proper agency. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends action be taken if you get a reading of four picocuries of radon gas in your home.

You should ensure proper ventilation before undertaking any construction or remodeling project. You should especially be sure to provide good ventilation when working in basements.

Carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide are two other well know noxious gases that can cause health problems. Incorrectly installed appliances or poorly ventilated gas stoves, dryers, wood stoves, and water heaters are known to cause problems with excess noxious gases. If you are worried about these issues you should have a professional install any gas appliances that you purchase. Also make sure that the ducts are kept clean and all of the connectors used are kept snug. You can buy small detectors that plug into your electrical outlets to monitor the gas levels in your home.

Gases are not the only issue that you may come across during a remodel; dust is a common construction problem. To keep dust and airborne pathogen levels down you should vacuum regularly using a unit equipped with a high quality HEPA filter. If you are replacing cabinets, or carpets you will want to vacuum more frequently as these projects create more dust than usual.

Dust mites can also cause problems especially for people with allergies or asthma. They live in dust on curtains, carpets, and other areas of the home. Vacuuming can also keep dust mites under control, as can regular dusting and spraying of disinfectants. Air filtration units can also be use when you have people with respiratory problems around.

Molds and mildews can also be problems, especially when replacing ducts for heating and cooling systems. Regularly changing filters and vacuuming will help reduce these issues greatly.

Prepare for controlling construction pollution and your family will be much happier with the new addition or remodeling project.

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