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Low VOC Construction Material Checklist for your Santa Monica Home

A lot of construction materials including laminates, adhesives, paints and cladding options contain volatile organic compounds which can cause pollution and pose health problems. The first step towards ensuring a green home is to avoid such materials.

What do volatile organic compounds do?

Chemicals classified under VOCs contain hydrogen and carbon, which when emitted in the air inside your home through furnishings, varnishes or adhesives can cause respiratory problems.

They could also cause headaches, eye irritation or fatigue upon inhalation, putting the workers building your Santa Monica home at risk.

The presence of formaldehyde in construction materials such as lacquers, furnishings and flooring can cause rashes and even allergies, and asthma patients need to make sure not to use any such products.

What are low VOC construction materials?

Low VOC materials do not pose any health hazards and are environment-friendly, so make sure you find out more from Santa Monica general contractors on the materials used in construction before you select the right contractor for yourself.

Here are some low VOC building materials you should know about:

The Santa Monica custom home builder you have chosen will have to use paints that have zero-VOC or low-VOC label, which means that there are fewer or zero VOC for every liter of paint. There are paints that use organic compounds such as soya-based formulations that do not contain any contaminants.

Opt for wood finishes that are water based, because they have lower levels of poisonous chemicals and are long-lasting. Wood that contains hazardous contaminants is a no-no; opt for those varieties that do not contain formaldehyde.

Choose cladding options that are recyclable and avoid plastic, metal or wood which has contaminants that affect air quality. The same applies to roofing materials – use those that will help you qualify for points as part of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building rating system.

Get floored by low VOC

On the flooring front, always ensure your Santa Monica builder opts for sustainable wood such as bamboo or cork and not vinyl which contains chemicals that are harmful.

Even carpets can contain VOC which can be emitted into indoor air, though the levels are low when there is good ventilation. Make sure to check the label of the carpet to ensure it has been tested by the Indoor Air Quality program by the Carpet and Rug Institute. Also, before installation, the carpet needs to be exposed to air, and any glue used to install it needs to be low VOC as well.

Sources:

http://www.mysagehome.com/wp-content/uploads/Low-VOC.pdf

http://www.hgtvremodels.com/interiors/choosing-eco-friendly-carpet/index.html

http://www.genesisbamboofloors.com.au/low-voc/

http://www.roofingcontractor.com/articles/cool-roofing-leed-and-metal-roofinghttp://inhabitat.com/green-building-101-materials-resources-part-ii/

http://www.cleanaircounts.org/lowvocbuildingmaterials.aspx




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