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July 21, 2015

Here's How to Maintain Indoor Air Quality While Remodeling

Here's How to Maintain Indoor Air Quality While RemodelingThe turmoil and disruption from tearing out old building material and fixtures during a home remodeling project can let loose hazardous substances into your indoor air. Contaminants such as asbestos and lead paint can be enclosed in wall cavities and above ceilings for many years. Maintaining indoor air quality while remodeling is essential, as potential exposure to materials might trigger or exacerbate allergic reactions or respiratory issues or worse health issues in home occupants or the workers.

Potential Hazards

Older homes can harbor hazardous substances that may be released during remodeling work. These materials could include radon, asbestos, mold and mildew, formaldehyde, lead paint and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Various hazardous or toxic substances can be found in and around wall and attic insulation, plumbing and pipes, fireproofing materials, adhesives, solvents and paint. Even household dust disturbed by a remodeling project can contain mold spores, pet dander, pollen, bacteria and viruses. During the chaos of a major remodeling project, all of these materials have a much greater likelihood of becoming airborne.

Stay Safe During Remodeling

During the remodeling project, remove and safely throw away any hazardous materials that you find. Asbestos and other contaminants might even have labels explaining safe disposal procedures. Any mold or mildew found during the remodeling project should be removed. If there’s a welcoming environment for mold, including a source of moisture, address or remove it so the mold doesn’t come back.

When performing work that involves paint, sealant, varnishes and stains, make sure the space is well ventilated. Follow instructions for their use, storage and disposal. Keep windows open when the weather allows it, and always use exhaust, window and ceiling fans.

If you don’t need to operate the central cooling or heating system during remodeling, seal off registers and vents to keep hazardous materials from getting into ductwork and HVAC equipment.

For help maintaining indoor air quality while remodeling your Northwest Arkansas home, please contact us at Paschal Heat, Air & Geothermal.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Springdale, Arkansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about indoor air quality and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Kletr/Shutterstock”