Our homes have the ability to nurture our health or harm it. A healthy environment is just as important as drinking clean water, eating healthy, clean food, moving our bodies, getting sunshine, laughing, and taking care of our mental and emotional health. Here are 3 main things to consider in a healthy renovation to make sure your home is supporting your well-being.
Healthy Renovation Tip #1: Non-toxic Materials
Many building materials contain chemicals that can wreak havoc on our systems. You may have heard of the term VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) which are the chemical compounds that “off gas” at room temperature. When this off-gassing takes place, it contributes to poor indoor air quality and we are now inhaling all of the toxins that are released from products like paint, flooring, drywall, cabinetry, adhesives, doors, windows, hardware, plumbing fixtures, and furniture. Selecting materials that are as close to nature as possible is a great way to start when selecting materials. Look for materials that are Red List Free, Greenguard Gold Certified, and CARB II compliant.
Healthy Renovation Tip #2: Appliances
Believe it or not, our appliance selections can make a huge impact on the health of our home. One of the biggest things to look out for is Smart Appliances. Although a smart appliance may seem more attractive up front, they’re actually emitting a constant radiofrequency signal. Research shows that long-term exposure to these frequencies can impact our health negatively.
Gas appliances can impact indoor air quality and release many different chemicals into our homes. If you’re opting for a gas range, it’s extremely important to consider how wide and low the rangehood is to allow for proper ventilation.
Alternatively, many people are opting for induction ranges these days, however, the magnets in these create extremely high Electromagnetic Fields when in operation. These fields could be 15 milligauss or more when all of the burners are in use.
Healthy Renovation Tip #3: Moisture Management
This may be arguably the most important consideration in a healthy renovation. Managing moisture is how we are going to prevent mold.
Mold toxicity has created a health epidemic with the surge of energy-efficient buildings. Don’t get me wrong, we want our buildings to be energy efficient, but what has happened is that now all of the toxins that are in our home, including mycotoxins from mold, have no way of flushing out the home.
A good place to start managing moisture is by monitoring the relative humidity within the home and keeping the levels below 45%. If the levels are higher than that, it would be wise to invest in a dehumidifier to help you control the levels.
Additionally, we want to keep an eye on all of the wet locations in the home for leaks. Slow leaks happen all of the time and it doesn’t take long (24-48 hours) before the water damages a surface and mold begins to grow. Investing in a good leak protection device is a great way to stop the water in the event of a leak.
We understand that renovating and building a home is complicated and there are a lot of moving pieces, especially when you want to do it the healthy way. That’s why we specialize in helping people make healthy decisions early on. Awakening Spaces works directly with your team of designers and builders to help guide your project in a healthy way. We believe that what goes on your walls is just as important as what goes on your walls.
Ashley · @AwakeningSpaces
Awakening Spaces is a full service interior design and consulting firm that support health conscious individuals and those who have been impacted by mold, chemicals, and EMFs create safe nurturing spaces.
Whether you’re renovating, building new, or looking to improve your existing space, we’re here to help you navigate the massive project you’re taking on by looking at your environment holistically and outlining the steps you need to take so that you can feel confident that your home is supporting your health and you can get back to your life.