Healthy Homes: What to look for when buying new construction.

How healthy is your new construction?
How healthy is your new construction?

Just because it’s new doesn’t necessarily mean it’s healthy.

In order to keep construction costs down, builders sometimes opt for lower quality materials that may have adverse health effects. Here are a few areas prospective new home buyers want to pay the most attention to in order to ensure their decision is a healthy one.

Insulation – Low quality or poorly installed insulation can lead to mold growth and other unhealthy bacteria. In addition to affecting the overall efficiency of a home, the quality of both the insulation and its installation is highly vital in preventing the growth of harmful bacteria and other unhealthy organisms.

Framing – Though rarely a concern due to its natural derivatives, wood can be one of the most potentially toxic materials in new homes.  Because a large portion of homes contain wood in a number of facets, the quality and safety of wood used in homes is important. Formaldehyde and other harmful chemicals can sometimes be found in wood used for framing, flooring, cabinets and a number of other entities of new homes.

PVC – Hazardous PVC can be found in a number of building materials, including siding, windows, guttering and plumbing. The plastic-like material can be found throughout new construction, and if certain quality standards are not met, PVC can cause a number of health issues.

Carpet – Many new carpets contain dangerous chemicals such as benzene, toluene, formaldehyde, styrene and acetone. Because carpet is a staple in most homes, children and pets are exposed to it on a regular basis.

Wall coverings – Paint and wallpaper are among the most potentially harmful things in a new home. A number of lesser-grade paints and wall coverings contain volatile organic compounds that can cause a number of long-term health issues.

Ventilation – Because it affects how air is circulated throughout the structure, proper ventilation is crucial for a healthy home. Without a circular path that allows the entrance of clean, filtered air and the expelling of potentially contaminated air, new homes can be subject to a number of toxic chemicals and hazardous organisms.

Outdoors – Pesticides can play a large role in the safety of your home’s exterior. Often, pesticides are applied to plants and lawns of newer homes and contain a number of hazardous chemicals. Though natural remedies exist, pesticides are still widely used due to their inexpensive cost and effortless application.