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Surviving Home Remodeling With Allergies

March 23rd, 2012 Posted in Remodeling Advice

 As Published on the Oregon Remodeling Association website at

Homeowners undergoing a remodel who have family members suffering with allergies or asthma may not be aware that the dust stirred up during a remodeling project can make the symptoms worse. Dust and mites are the two main causes of allergic reactions during a remodeling project. Don’t forget to inform your remodeling contractor during your first meeting about any asthma or allergies affecting your family.

During remodeling, a professional remodeler will:

  • Seal air duct registers in the area being renovated during activities that will generate a lot of dust, such as during demolition.
  • Cover the work area with protective sheeting and use barriers to keep dust contained to the room or rooms undergoing remodeling.
  • Provide exhaust ventilation, such as a fan blowing out a window, away from the work area and prevent particles from spreading to other parts of the home.
  • Continue to ventilate a space after paints or finishes have been applied, flooring finished or carpeting installed, or any other activity likely to “off-gas” pollutants.
  • Clean up the work site before they leave for the day to minimize dust tracking.
  • Additionally, during a remodeling project, duct work may be exposed, offering the opportunity to seal ducts that would otherwise be difficult to access. Ducts should be tightly sealed to reduce air leakage, prevent contaminants from entering ductwork and circulating throughout the home, and save energy.
  • Some homeowners will decide to have air ducts cleaned out after a remodeling project is complete. Changing the home’s furnace filter after remodeling is often recommended since it may pick up more particles than usual.
  • If you are having a new floor put in, consider using a hard floor such as wood, ceramic or slate instead of carpeting. Carpeting is an ideal home for dust mites, which is a leading cause of allergies in the home. Be sure if you choose hardwood floors, to discuss the effects of fumes that may be emitted when furnishing a new hard floor. Consider staying out of the home for a couple days to let it properly air out after installing a floor. Before making a decision, talk to your remodeling contractor for recommendations.
  • If the homeowner opts to save leftover paints from a remodel, seal containers carefully and keep paint containers in well-ventilated storage areas, but not near heating, ventilation, or air-conditioning equipment.
  • Homeowners should take the responsibility to keep children and pets out of the work area to avoid them from tracking dust throughout the home.


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