Avoid Common Pitfalls of Green Remodeling
There are a few brands out there that claim the use of formaldehyde-free glues and finishes
If you’ve made the decision to “go green” on your next remodeling project then chances are you’re a devoted fan to conserving our planets resources for generations to come. Going green is not just a product –it’s a way of life and, once you’re committed to its cause green becomes a philosophy that you live by.
With that philosophy in mind, the last thing you want is to find out that your remodeling investment isn’t as green as you thought it was.
What is a green home?
Per the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), a green home is defined as:
- Using less energy
- Using less water
- Using less natural resources
- Creating less waste
- Is generally healthier to live inside
Truth or fact?
There are products being marketed today that are misleading. They claim to be green when in fact they do not live up to “green” standards. How can you tell truth from fact?
Consider bamboo floors
Bamboo floors are beautiful and are highly sought after by homeowners going green. But, what you might not know is many of those beautiful bamboo floors are put together with chemical adhesives which takes away from the green factor.
Most bamboo flooring is manufactured with adhesives that contain a urea formaldehyde resin. Cheaper bamboo floors can have formaldehyde emissions between .2 ppm and .3 ppm (parts per million.) Premium bamboo flooring contains very little formaldehyde, closer to .01 ppm. The recommended allowable ppm is .1 ppm or lower. Pay close attention to the manufacturing processes when buying products manufactured overseas.
Bogus bamboo advertising
There are a few brands out there that claim the use of formaldehyde-free glues and finishes; however, testing has shown that some of these companies are clearly not telling the truth.
The best thing you can do to check out the facts is to inquire about the volatile organic compound (VOC) and formaldehyde emissions from the specific manufacturer or distributor. You should also consider VOC and formaldehyde emissions when selecting adhesives for glue-down installations, subfloor materials, and in-the-surface finishing material.
If you’d like more information about formaldehyde visit the Environmental Protection Agency’s web site at http://www.epa.gov/iaq/formalde.html
Do your homework and avoid the pitfalls of green remodeling
Doing your homework is crucial if you want to ensure a truly green environment. This article used bamboo flooring as an example of how you could potentially choose the wrong product when your intentions were green. A great resource for green home renovation best practices and guidelines is Regreen, which was developed by the American Society of Interior Designers Foundation and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) to help homeowners with their green home improvements. On their site you will learn what to look for when selecting appliances, HVAC units, flooring, windows, faucets, plumbing, paint, and everything else that pertains to home remodeling products.
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