Home Renos Without a TLC Crew: DIY with Asthma
Remember the TLC show While You Were Out? You know, the decorating show that has a premise that goes something like this:
Following the temporary dismissal of a person from their home (to go on a brief, two-day vacation set up by a close friend or spouse or some other close relative), a crew from TLC moves in to, in about 48 hours, redecorate or renovate a room in the person’s home. The surprise reno is usually done on a space that was a known source of angst for the person being surprised.
That one? Well if not, that’s basically what happens.
This would be fairly ideal, actually, for someone with asthma. I disappear for awhile and I come back and my home has been worked on and, you know, with any luck all of the triggers have been exterminated from the space. Except we also do not all have TLC Crews in our back pockets (and if I did, they’d probably try to get me out of my jeans-and-tshirt wardrobe via What Not To Wear instead).
For that reason, here are some tips for home renovations with asthma:
- Use low odor paints. Many are now marketed as asthma friendly, and some are given the allergy & asthma friendly certification as they are demonstrated to have less impact on asthma. Caulking may also produce fumes, and “off-gassing” from new products like furniture or baseboards might also trigger asthma.1
- Vacuum multiple times a day, or at least each night, if dust is being created in the process—have someone else dust and vacuum if you can, and/or wear a mask when you are in dusty areas. Dust might be created from drywall or wood.1
- If renovations are exposing mold, wearing a mask may help. For both mold and dust, if you have allergies, taking an antihistamine may help a bit.
- Running an air purifier may be a good idea to keep asthma triggers out of your home, or at least the space you are living in while renos are ongoing. Cleaning filters regularly for both the purifier and any other ventilation systems can help prevent dust and other triggers from circulating through your home—using fans instead of central air may help limit this.
- Seal off the area that is being renovated if you are not doing the work yourself. Plastic can be used to keep asthma triggers trapped inside the construction area.1 Staying with a friend or family member can also be an option if you are hiring contractors and not Doing-It-Yourself.1
There are also renovations that can be done to make your home more asthma friendly. John wrote a great post on this, and many of these would also make it easier to deal with the triggers generated by home renovations as well, such as replacing carpet with hardwood or tile flooring, and using a central air system. Be sure to check out his tips to make your home asthma friendly.
Do you have tips for making DIY renovations more asthma friendly? Share your experiences in the comments.
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