An Allergy, Asthma, Sinus Sufferer’s Survival Guide to Remodeling
In case you doubt, remodeling is extra stressful for allergy, asthma, sinusitis, and MCS sufferers. Not only do they have to deal with the inconvenience of furniture rooms under dustsheets, but the process can also make sufferers physically sick. Children, the elderly, and others with compromised immune systems are especially vulnerable.
Our Top Remodeling Survival Tips
- Spend as much time out of the house as possible. This means scheduling your remodeling for the summer months.
- If you are a stay-at-home parent – find activities out of the house. Breathing in all that dust and toxic fumes makes you sick.
- If you have an asthmatic or allergic child, schedule them with lots of after-school activities to limit their exposure to harmful allergens.
- The bedrooms are the most important rooms in the house. We spend 8 hours a day there. If they are not being remodeled – have your contractors tape up the doors each day to prevent dust from entering the rooms.
- If you have forced hot air heating, close the vents in your bedrooms during the daytime. This prevents dust from entering your bedrooms.
- Vacuum out the entry to the forced air heating system in your bedrooms daily.
- Use very fine filter material on the entry to your forced air heating system. This prevents a good deal of dust and allergens from entering the bedrooms.
- Use a high-quality, completely sealed HEPA vacuum daily to vacuum every inch of all bedrooms. Use a vacuum with on board tools to vacuum walls, crevices, furniture, and floors. We recommend the canister models from Miele and Veridian. Wear an allergy face mask as an extra precaution while you do the job.
- Use a really good HEPA filter in the bedroom and choose one that not only deals with dust, but one that deals with toxic fumes. Top-of-the-line models by BlueAir and Austin Air are offered on the Allergy Buyers Club site. Have those filters going on high all day long. Turn it down to low at night.
- Try to seal off your closets daily so your clothes remain dust free.
- Open your windows for several hours a day, but not from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. during pollen season.
- Use a high-quality electrostatic filter on your furnace or a pleated disposable filter and change weekly if needed. This will catch a lot of dust.
- Wear an allergy face mask walking around your house in the daytime to avoid the dust.
- If your kitchen was remodeled, wash all your dishes afterwards and throw out any “open boxed” foods – dust and pollutants get everywhere.
- Talk to your contractor about using toxic-free paints and varnishes. There are plenty on the market and some are even available in places like Home Depot. MCS sufferers already know you may have to take extra steps to find materials to which you do not react.
- If you are doing the remodeling yourself, always wear a mask and make sure your materials are toxic free. The mask is to help you not breathe in dust.
- Make sure your contractors use natural cleaning materials for cleanup afterwards.
- Step up your vitamin and exercise program. Anything you can do to boost your immune system is helpful.
- Have your ducts cleaned after all the remodeling has finished and get a cleaning company to rid your house of every inch of dust.