In today’s earth-conscious society, it’s important to consider the environmental impact of what you do and what you use. Practically anything we do will affect the environment in some way, and we see eco-friendly concerns become more and more important in our business. More and more, our customers are looking for ways to improve their homes and their flooring without harming the earth. In a situation like a complete home remodel, though, there are so many moving parts to keep track of that it can be a hassle to even try and think of the environmental impact of all our decisions. One way to get around this is to have some earth-friendly guidelines in mind as you remodel. Here are our suggestions for a more efficient and green remodeling process.
Insulate, Insulate, Insulate
The first way to benefit your environmental impact and your pocketbook during a home remodel is to double-check your insulation situation. A remodel is your opportunity to switch out your existing insulation for insulation made of recycled materials. A well-insulated house will pay off because you’ll save big on your energy bills. Without drafts or heating and air conditioning getting wasted by poorly insulated doors, windows, and walls, you won’t use as much energy in your home.
Low Or No VOCs
When it comes to paint, furniture, and floors, you should be wary of materials that contain VOCs. VOC stands for Volatile Organic Compounds; these are gases emitted by certain materials that have adverse effects to both the environment and your health. Materials with high VOC content can cause respiratory issues, allergic reactions, and pollution in the air around them. VOCs are especially dangerous to have in your home, because the air is much more concentrated indoors than outdoors. Ask your remodeling professional or check the packaging on any paints, furniture glue, or flooring products you use during your remodel to make sure you are using materials that have a low VOC content. Your lungs and the planet will thank you!
You didn’t think we’d run through this whole article without talking specifically about flooring, did you? Of course not! So, as we mentioned before, go with flooring that has low or no VOCs. Luckily, the global push to go green has caused the options for green flooring to expand widely in recent years. You can find eco-friendly floors in both soft and hard surface floor coverings. When it comes to carpet, you should opt for natural fibers such as sisal, wool, and sea grass. You also have a diverse range of choices when it comes to efficient, eco-friendly hard surface floor coverings as well. Linoleum, bamboo, and cork floors are all crafted from renewable, natural materials that contain little or no VOCs.
What if you are dead-set on having hardwood floors, though? Well, you do have some choices. Traditional hardwood flooring is usually not seen as very earth-friendly, because of the process of obtaining lumber, and because some of the tree species used to make hardwood flooring are rare. If you don’t want to sacrifice the elegant style of hardwood, though, you should go with solid wood rather than engineered wood. Solid wood floors require less adhesive material to install, meaning they release fewer VOCs during and after installation.
Keep some of these pointers in mind next time you remodel your home to keep things earth-conscious and energy efficient.