Green conversion applies not only to the end product or the materials used. If you hire a remodeling contractor, you should think about how to make the renovation in itself “green”. Here are some steps a green home remodel must include the following:
Control Potentially Harmful Dust
the Dust is an inevitable side effect of remodeling, but it may contain asbestos, lead paint, or other particles which you do not want to breathe in. During a remodeling project, the remodeling company should use barriers, such as plastic covering the doors, to contain dust to the renovation area. In addition, they should cover work areas with plastic tarps and wet down the surfaces before sanding or scraping. If your home was built before 1978, assume it contains lead paint and ensure that you are working with a well-trained contractor.
A green home remodel must not expel pollutants in your home. Responsible remodelers use ventilation such as a fan which draws air out of the work area and openings to the outside. This helps to expel dust and other pollutants, and it creates a pressure barrier which prevents pollutants from spreading to other parts of the house. Activities such as installation of flooring and carpets or painting can release pollutants. Remodelers must provide ventilation during these activities and for at least 72 hours after.
Control of Radon
Another part of green home remodeling involves the control of radon. Radon-resistant new construction (RRNC) is designed to draw radon from the soil and vent through a tube to the ceiling, which prevents it from getting into the house. The technology is routine and should not add so much to a house costs. If you are building an addition with a basement, you should ask to include RRNC features.
the Use of Recycled Materials
Choose recycled glass for beautiful and unique countertops, tiles, and even flooring. Doors and lighting in a green home remodel are often repurposed flea market finds. Many homeowners like the look of reclaimed weathered wood from old barns and houses and for floors or ceiling beams.
Choose Sustainable Materials
A large amount of wood used in construction comes from the slow growth forests, where it takes a long time to replenish the trees that are being cut down. Consider fast-growing bamboo for flooring or cabinetry in your home green remodel. Cork and Eucalyptus are sustainable other flooring materials. You can also choose wood from sustainably managed forests certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).
Ensure the Quality of indoor air
Volatile Organic Compounds (Vocs) can trigger asthma and contribute to other health problems. Carpets, paints, or wood, finishing products are often sources of volatile organic compounds. Even if you ventilate during and after installation, emissions can relax. Look for products that have little or no Voc. Mold can trigger asthma and allergies, take moisture into consideration when planning a green home remodeling project.
Joaquin Erazo, Jr. is the senior vice president for marketing and public relations at Case Design/Remodeling, Inc. Find a home remodeling company near you or read our home remodeling tips blog.