An Allergy, Asthma, Sinus Sufferer’s Survival Guide to Remodeling

Just in case you are in any doubt, remodeling is extra stressful for allergy, asthma, sinusitis, and MCS sufferers. Not only do they have to deal with the inconvenience of rooms of furniture under dustsheets, but the process can make sufferers physically sick. Children, the elderly and others with compromised immune systems are especially vulnerable.

Here are some survival tips to reduce the stress and preserve respiratory health.

20 Remodeling Survival Tips

  1. Spend as much time out of the house as possible. This means schedule your remodeling for the summer months.
  2. 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.
  3. If you have an asthmatic or allergic child, schedule them with lots of after school activities.
  4. The bedrooms are the most important rooms in the house. We spend 8 hours a day in there. If they are not being remodeled – have your contractors tape up the doors each day to prevent dust from entering the rooms.
  5. If you have forced hot air heating close down the vents in your bedrooms during the day time. This prevents dust from entering your bedrooms.
  6. Vacuum out the entry to the forced air heating system in your bedrooms on a daily basis.
  7. Use very fine filter material on the entry to your forced air heating system. This prevents a good deal of the dust and allergens from entering the bedrooms.
  8. Use a high quality , completely sealed HEPA vacuum on a daily basis 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.
  9. Use a really good HEPA filter in the bedroom and choose one which not only deals with particulates[the dust] but one which 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 down to low at night.
  10. Try to seal off your closets daily so your clothes remain dust free.
  11. Open your windows for several hours a day but not during 5 to 10 am in Pollen season.
  12. 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.
  13. Wear an allergy face mask walking around your house in the day time to avoid the dust [forget feeling like a hypochondriac].
  14. If your kitchen was remodeled, wash all your dishes afterwards and throw out any ‘open boxed’ foods – dust and pollutants get everywhere.
  15. Talk to your contractor about using toxic free paints and varnishes. There are plenty on the market such as by Glidden, even available in places like Home Depot. MCS sufferers already know you may have to go to extra steps to find materials to which you do not react.
  16. Doing the remodeling yourself? You are crazy, but wear a mask at all times and make sure your materials are toxic free. The mask is to help you not breathe in dust.
  17. Make sure your contractors use your natural cleaning materials for cleanup afterwards. Don’t even think of using the regular supermarket products. You can use non toxic cleaners instead.
  18. Step up your vitamin and exercise program. Anything you can do to boost your immune system is helpful.
  19. Have your ducts cleaned after all the remodeling has finished and get a cleaning company to rid your house of every inch of dust.
  20. Read some of the articles in our learning center.