Our homes are our refuges, our castles. They are the place where we feel safest and most secure. Ideally, your home is the place where your health is protected as much as your privacy. Everything that is built in or brought into your home affects the quality of your indoor environment and the air that you breathe.
Typically, the many materials used to build and finish our homes contain chemicals that off-gas, or release chemicals into the air over time, making the indoor environment toxic without our knowledge. Many people have chemical sensitivities and attention to what is in your home can really help reduce their discomfort. Carpets, adhesives, paints, vinyl counters or flooring, composite wood products like pressboard, upholstery, even clothes that have been dry-cleaned all emit Volatile Organic Compounds, or VOCs. VOCs, like acetone or formaldehyde to name just two, especially at high levels or with long-term exposure, negatively impact our health. They can cause eye and throat irritation, headaches, even liver and nervous system damage or cancer. You can do a number of things to improve the quality of your indoor environment.
VOC Remedies for an Established Home:
In an established household, you can make changes to eliminate VOC emitting materials. Some changes are more expensive than others; changing your carpet, your mattress, your cabinets, and countertops all can be expensive. Those changes, though, definitely will improve the quality of your home and health. You can also make smaller, less expensive changes like always taking your shoes off at the door, using fans to increase air flow, switching our synthetic blankets and pillows for natural materials like wool and cotton. When painting a room, make sure you buy low VOC paint. Stop buying clothes that require dry-cleaning, and stop dry-cleaning all together. Use natural cleaners – a home-made vinegar and baking soda recipe is just as effective as those products that have ammonia.
Building a VOC-Free Home:
If you are going to build a new home, you have the most ability to ensure that your indoor environment is very healthy. Work with your builder to ensure that materials selected are low (or no) VOC materials.
Houses built at Pringle Creek Community are very comfortable to live in; they are very energy efficient, have great air-flow, are roomy for their size, and have a high degree of indoor air quality. All homes at Pringle Creek Community must meet LEED certification standards ensuring the home is energy efficient and built with healthy and sustainable materials; materials that contain low or no VOCs.
When you build a home at Pringle Creek Community, you are assured that your home is of the highest build quality and provides you with an enduring, very healthy indoor environment. Materials you choose to finish out the build depend upon your aesthetics and your budget. You might choose solid wood or formaldehyde-free wheat board cabinets, your flooring could be sustainably harvested wood, bamboo, cork, or a number of other no VOC materials, countertops could be quartz, paperstone, or ceramic, and, if you desire carpeting, you might choose wool or recycled PET plastic from a variety of materials available. All of the materials listed are durable, sustainable, safe, and add to the comfort of your home.
Once you enter your finished, new LEED certified home, you will be wowed by the indoor environmental quality – a new home where you will live confident that you and your family will thrive.