Air quality during home construction is a critical factor that you need to be concerned about due to the presence of large amounts of air pollutants present in a limited atmosphere.
There is a slightly higher chance to you may experience several health problems and proper protection is must need other than clear ventilation.
However, with some effort and planning, you can maintain good indoor air quality during the construction process.
In this article, we are pointing out common air pollutants you should avoid during the construction period and several tips you can try to minimize that exposure.
Table of Contents
Common Air Pollutants in Home Construction Premises
Before we discuss how to improve air quality, it’s essential to understand the most common air pollutants during home construction. The following are the most prevalent pollutants:
1. Dust and Debris
Dust and debris are the most obvious pollutants during construction.
They can easily settle on any place in your home and due to lightweight capable access to your respiratory system.
Dust and debris are knowns are known as common allergy triggers and if you suffer from any allergy condition like asthma, air quality during home construction would be a harsh period to pass.
2. Chemicals and VOCs
Chemical and volatile organic compounds are quite common during home construction like construction materials, including paints, adhesives, and sealants.
When these materials are used or removed, VOCs can be released into the air.
Other than creating respiratory inconveniences, you may feel the time to time headaches, and dizziness due to these volatile chemical vapors.
3. Asbestos and Lead
These two air pollutants are quite common if you are renovating an old house. The same fiber is present in asbestos leading to a number of medical conditions like lung cancer, asbestosis, and sometimes, mesothelioma.
Lead can cause developmental delays and neurological damage.
Why Is Air Quality Important During Home Construction?
Indoor air quality is essential for good health. Due to air quality during the home construction being quite low as previously mentioned, it may lead to several medical symptoms.
- Eye irritation,
- Dry throat,
- Sinus congestion,
During construction, dust, debris, and other pollutants can become airborne, causing these problems. Good indoor air quality during construction is essential to ensure a safe and healthy living environment after construction is complete.
Tips for Improving Air Quality During Home Construction
1. Seal off the construction area –
Sealing off the construction area with plastic sheeting and tape can prevent pollutants from spreading to other parts of the house.
2. Ventilate the construction area –
Proper ventilation can help reduce indoor air pollution by increasing the air exchange rate. Open windows and doors, and use fans to improve air circulation.
3. Use HEPA filters –
High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters can remove up to 99.97% of airborne particles. Place them in the construction area and in other parts of the house.
4. Use low-VOC materials –
Choose low-VOC or zero-VOC materials for construction. This may control the hidden harmful chemical exposure of the construction workers.
5. Clean the construction area regularly –
Regular cleaning can reduce the amount of dust and debris in the air. Use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter and wet mopping to clean surfaces.
6. Test for asbestos and lead –
Before starting a renovation, test for asbestos and lead. If they are present, hire a certified professional to remove them safely.
7. Use a negative air machine –
A negative air machine can filter the air in the construction area, preventing pollutants from escaping into the rest of the house.
8. Use natural ventilation –
Open windows and doors when weather permits. This can help bring in the fresh air and reduce the concentration of pollutants.
9. Schedule work carefully –
Schedule construction work when the fewest people are in the house. This can reduce the exposure of residents to pollutants.
10. Stay away from the construction area –
If possible, avoid the construction area during work. This can reduce exposure to pollutants.
How long will take to assure air quality is okay after that construction?
This may depend on several factors. Air pollutants present at the end of the construction, construction space, existing atmospheric conditions, and more.
In general, it will take a number of days or at least, in the worst case will be a couple of weeks.
Can poor air quality during construction cause health problems?
Yes, if you already have any medical conditions like asthma, those allergens can easily worsen the situation.
Other than that, you may experience time to time common respiratory conditions as previously mentioned, and sometimes they eventually become serious later.
Do I need to hire a professional contractor to improve air quality during construction?
No, you don’t necessarily need to hire a professional contractor to improve air quality during construction.
How when it comes to professionals most of them know how to properly handle the ground to minimize air pollutant generation if you mentioned the situation at the beginning of the renovation.
How often should I clean during construction?
Cleaning should be done regularly during construction to prevent dust and debris from accumulating.
You have to decide it depends on the amount of dust and debris pile up in the surrounding.
Are there any specific air filters I should use during construction?
Using a HEPA air filter can be helpful in improving air quality during construction.
Most of the common types of HEPA filters can capture fine particles as small as 0.3 microns which is quite small than dust particles often noticed in construction premises.
How do I know Air quality is okay now?
Normally after a renovation or construction feeling of the dusty nature is normal. But you can check it using an air quality monitor by having accurate readings.
Is it safe to live in my home during construction?
Living in your home during construction can be safe as long as steps are taken to minimize the impact of construction on indoor air quality.
Using low-VOC products, keeping work areas contained, and using an air filter can all help to improve air quality during construction.
What should I do if I notice signs of poor air quality during construction?
If you clearly notice the air pollutants in the atmosphere or all over the place, you surely experiencing symptoms of a respiratory medical condition.
At first, make sure to ventilate the area to dilute the air pollutant level. Also, make sure to take medical support from your doctor to be ready to face any case of emergency.
Improving your air quality during home construction is important for protecting your health and well-being.
By following the tips outlined in this article, you can minimize the impact of construction on indoor air quality and enjoy a healthier home.
Remember to use low-VOC products, keep work areas contained, ventilate properly, clean regularly, and monitor air quality to ensure that your home remains as clean and healthy as possible during construction.
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