Building a Non-Toxic Home: 4 Tips to Build a Healthier Home

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Using non-toxic building materials, adding a whole home air purifier or using rock wool instead of traditional spray foam insulation, these are just some of the many things you can do to build a healthier home.

If exposure to toxic chemicals is something that keeps you up at night, Paterson Development is here to help you build a home that avoids as many toxic chemicals as possible. Here are some starting tips. 

4 Tips to Construct a Healthier Non-toxic Home from Scratch

#1. Use Non-toxic Building Materials

When it comes to building a home, you have more options for non-toxic materials these days than ever before. From the type of paint you select for your walls to the materials that line your floor, doing the research to find the least toxic and most eco-friendly materials can make a big difference. There are even ways to limit your exposure to glues. Several techniques have been developed in Germany and Austria for connecting and building solid wood panels without the use of glue.

How far you go with it comes down to personal preference. For instance, while fiberglass is considered perfectly safe when tucked away in the walls of your home, it can cause breathing issues for those that come in contact with it. Therefore, some people are using something called rock wool instead. Rock wools are free of chemicals, non-combustible, and inorganic.

The Worst Offenders:

Vinyl is used to make everything from flooring to blinds these days. While it is an affordable material that looks great for a lot of different applications, it does contain a good deal of chemicals. While many people have had vinyl in their homes for years without issue, it is something to consider if you are trying to avoid potentially harmful chemicals. These chemicals are what make plastic soft and pliable. The scary thing is that researchers have found these chemicals are capable of mimicking the body’s hormones and impacting normal functions.

Sealants, adhesives and surface coatings like paint contain an overload of toxic chemicals. They often contain phthalates, known as volatile organic compounds. These toxins get into the air that we breathe and can adversely impact your health in many ways. They may cause headaches, along with irritation of the eyes, throat and nose. Over the long haul, and with a great deal of exposure, these chemicals can lead to kidney and liver damage.

Engineered wood, such as particleboard, plywood, and fiberboard, may contain formaldehyde. Formaldehyde exposure has been linked to irritation of the eyes, throat and nose, an increased risk for asthma, and some cancers.

Building insulation or spray foam is made with toxic flame retardants and additional chemicals that are known to negatively impact asthma. While it presents the greatest risk to home builders, some studies suggest it can impact people who live in the home as well. This is where using a different type of insulation, such as rock wool, may be something that interests you.

#2. Add a Whole Home Air Purifier

Is your family prone to allergies? Adding a whole home air purifier will keep the air in your home as clean as possible. Even in a brand-new home, the air may not be as clean as you think. From dust to paint particles, you never know what you could be breathing into your body, resulting in health issues in the short or long term. A whole house air purifier is a simple solution that’ll remove many air pollutants including bacteria, pollen, pet dander, mold and many other allergy triggers.

#3. Use Little to No Carpeting

Carpet is falling out of favor in exchange for hardwood and other surfaces, and for good reason. Not only does carpet need to be replaced more often than other flooring surfaces, it also triggers issues for people with allergies. That’s because carpets are magnets for dust, dirt, mold and other particles.

#4. Build Up

Another new trend we are seeing more and more is homes built on stilts so that they sit above the ground. Building your home up off the ground protects it against water damage. It also allows you to wrap the entire home in insulation without the use of any foam. Rock wool can be used under the floor just as it’s used in the walls.

Looking for more ways to build a non-toxic, eco-friendly home? Paterson Development is happy to help!