When planning a renovation, it’s very important that you make sure your home is healthy. People think they’re safe when they are in their own home, but what they don’t realize is that toxic materials can be lurking and contribute to negative health. There are a lot of areas in your house that you need to focus on for the prevention of toxic air quality such as mould and radon.
Starting with the outside, make sure that you have a proper weather barrier and wall assembly. I always tell people the best way to insulate your home is from the outside. By using a product like Amvic Silverboard, you not only insulate the outside of your home, but also have a quality house wrap to prevent moisture and mould. Obviously a quality siding needs to go on top of this after and done properly.
Related: 15 Ways Your House Could Be Making You Sick
When looking at a roof, I think you need to consider a lot of things. One, don’t cheap out! You’re protecting your home from the weather. I would protect the entire roof with an ice and water shield or a Blueskin roof underlayment membrane. On top of this, I always suggest a metal roof because it lasts much longer than an asphalt roof.
One thing people don’t often consider with bathrooms is that we are mixing the two food groups for mould in one room: water (or steam) and organic material (wood and drywall). By using products like Kerdi or Kerdi-Board on the walls, you have a waterproof skin that will allow any water that gets behind the tile in your shower to drain and prevent mould growth. Combining that with Ditra on your floor, you can have a completely waterproof room that you could spray a hose in – and not cause mould to grow.
Related: Ask Mike Holmes: How Do I Know if There’s Mould in a House?
Another thing that needs to be considered is VOCs (volatile organic compounds). We know that they are not great for you to breathe in, so by using a VOC-absorbing drywall in areas like your living room and bedrooms, you’ll help create cleaner indoor air quality. There is also VOC-absorbing, mould-resistant drywall to use in damper areas such as your bathroom and basement.
Overall Air Quality
Last, but certainly not least, is radon. Radon is the number one cause for lung cancer for non-smokers. However, it can be tested and mitigated quite easily. Whether you buy a radon test kit from a big-box store or you hire a radon mitigation specialist, you can easily test for this deadly gas. It costs less than a new roof and protects you and your family from something as deadly as lung cancer.
Images Courtesy of Getty Images and The Holmes Group.