3 Things to Consider for a Healthy Renovation
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’s 5 main things to consider on an upcoming renovation to make sure your home is supporting your wellbeing.
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 offgassing takes place, it contributes to poor indoor air quality and we are now inhaling all of the toxins that are releasing 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.
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 are 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.
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’s 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 in your walls is just as important as what goes on your walls.
This article was written and contributed by:
CEO, Owner, Lead Designer at Awakening Spaces
Ashley, the founder of Awakening Spaces, supports environmentally susceptible and health-conscious individuals in creating safe, healthy, and beautiful environments. As a licensed Interior Designer, she combines her expertise of the construction industry with her knowledge of health and wellbeing to support and empower you along your own journey in creating a healing environment. Ashley is currently pursuing a triple certification in Building Biology and will soon be certified to assess your home for mold, electro-magnetic radiation, and other harmful environmental toxins. Awakening Spaces offers both Full Service Interior Design as well as Environmental Health Coaching services for those looking to improve the health of their home. Ashley finds inspiration in her work through nature and is most grounded when spending time outdoors and exploring new places.