Everyone would like to believe that their family is safe inside the walls of their home, a place where they are comfortably protected from potential health risks! However, are you aware that the cause of asthma, lead poisoning, and several forms of chronic health issues could lie within the walls of your home?
What many people don’t realize is that all members in your family, particularly your children are vulnerable to major health threats if the design, construction and upkeep of your home isn’t done correctly.
In my profession I look at many homes each year all across our country. I work as a real estate investor and purchase many homes through foreclosures, short sales and through investing in tax liens and tax deeds at county held tax sales. Many of the homes I invest in need a decent amount of work to create a healthy living environment. Its unfortunate the number of homes I see where the prior home owners were unknowingly living in a virtual heath hazard.
If you’re thinking about building a new home or even a home renovation make certain that the contractor or architect you select employs healthy home building strategies and technologies. This will make certain that your loved ones are living in a healthy and safe home.
You need to realize that you may incur higher costs when building a healthy and eco friendly home in comparison to a typical home, however, the health and welfare of your family needs to be of utmost importance. So as you plan your next project consider the following points to ensure a safe and healthy home.
- Make it a point to use nontoxic or less toxic constructing materials. Although these materials tend to be a little more costly than general building materials your families health is worth the cost.
- Standard construction materials (specifically glues, paints, varnishes, insulators, etc.) are often full of toxic, volatile substances (VOCs) for example urea, formaldehyde, lead, asbestos, carbon monoxide, etc. derived from petroleum. If inhaled on a regular basis, these poisons can build up in your body leading to significant health issues.
- Whether you’re building cabinets or countertops or selecting floor sheeting, sub-flooring or roof decking your best option is solid wood. However, if wood is too pricey, consider exterior grade plywood rather than particleboard or fiberboard since these materials contain toxic glues that are combined with wood chips.
- Refrain from using vinyl flooring and wall-to-wall carpeting. Vinyl flooring contains poly vinyl chloride (PVC) a harmful substance and carpeted flooring collect dirt, dust mites, molds, etc. which are causative agents for allergies, asthma along with other chronic respiratory issues. As an alternative, use healthier flooring options. Consider alternatives such as cork, wood, ceramic tiles or bamboo.
- Always utilize low-odor, nontoxic paints containing reduced levels of VOCs for instance, paints containing only clay and pigments.
- Stay away from resins and glues which contain formaldehyde, specifically urea formaldehyde.
- Refrain from building living areas above the garage space in your home. Toxic fumes can escape from the gas tank of your car and enter into the living area.
- Install carbon monoxide detectors specifically close to furnaces, fireplaces, and garage areas within your home. Radon testers should be used in the basement of your home since Radon is a dangerous radioactive gas that develops in the soil and can leak into your house through the foundation.
This isn’t an all inclusive list but it does cover some of the major projects performed in many homes. Fortunately, many newer homes being built today employ safer and healthier building practices.
For example, through tax deed investing I recently acquire a coastal property at one of Georgia’s monthly tax deed sales. The property is located close to Savannah in a quaint beach community called Tybee Island which is one of Georgia’s barrier islands. The property is a beach front condo that is only a few years old and the builder utilized all of the healthy, eco friendly practices I’ve discussed. The condo has ceramic tiles throughout, granite countertops, and solid wood cabinets. In addition, the paints and stains are all non toxic and carbon monoxide detectors were installed in the unit.
As you can see, it isn’t rocket science to create a healthy home environment; it only requires a little research and preparation.