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Remodeling & Your Allergies


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Dear Moss Building & Design,

My children and I suffer from bad allergies from time to time. Is there anything I should keep in mind during my upcoming remodeling project to help make the whole process gentler on our noses?

— Dulles Mom


Dear Dulles Mom,

When completing a home remodeling project, keeping your home free of allergens may be the last thing on your mind. But, if you or someone in your family suffers from outdoor or indoor allergies, whether they’re attributed to the changing season or not, having an allergy-friendly remodeling plan is something you and your contractor should definitely consider.

Here are some tips to help keep your home allergen-free:

Maintain Your Windows & Doors
The entry points to the home are the most common places where outdoor irritants like pollen enter. That’s why you’ll need to ensure that windows and doors are properly sealed. It’s important to make sure that weather-stripping and seal on windows and doors are replaced when they get frayed. Spring is a good time to check this since cold weather can cause weather-stripping to crack.

Condensation on glass is also very common due to the difference in temperature between the outside and inside your home. If you’ve noticed dark spots that don’t appear to be dirt, you may have some mold growing on the window frame or sill. Carefully clean or paint these areas to prevent mold allergies from spreading or call a professional.

Ensure that you’re considering door and window replacements during your remodeling projects.

Flooring Choices Make a Difference
For people with allergies, hardwood or tile are overwhelmingly the best flooring options because carpeting notoriously harbors dust, mites and other allergens.

You might also consider vinyl flooring as an alternative to carpeting. Luxury vinyl plank flooring is a really hot trend for just about any room of your house from kitchens to bathrooms to basements. This is such a desirable flooring option because of its versatility and durability. It is very difficult to scratch or tarnish and holds up well against changing temperatures and moisture levels.

Before starting your remodel, talk to your contractor about flooring chemicals, finishes, and stains that you might need to avoid. While hardwood might be your best flooring option, you’ll still need to be wary of formaldehyde, phenyls, urea, or other volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in some wood.

Consider Replacing Whole-House HVAC & Humidity Systems
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation recommends keeping relative household humidity below 50%. One way to maintain this is by installing a household humidity system.

Individual room humidifiers or portable room air filtration systems are also viable solutions. Be sure to find systems that have HEPA filters and change your filters regularly to avoid having dust re-circulate through your home.

Reliable contractors will ensure that there is proper ventilation and protection of your home during the renovation process, but that doesn’t ensure that all particles will be captured and cleaned from the air. After any home remodeling project, you should consider having a thorough air duct cleaning to make sure any dust and debris from the construction process is completely eliminated from your home.

Insulation Can Be Allergy-Friendly
Something behind-the-scenes, that you may not even think about, is the type of insulation installed in your home. Blown-in cellulose and rigid foam insulation are good alternatives to other insulation materials since they aren’t made with chemicals like formaldehyde. Insulation is an essential element of any home as it helps maintain temperatures and keeps energy costs down.

Heating Options Matter
In-floor radiating heat is a good alternative to a forced-air heating system for people with allergies. While heating your home, a forced air heating system also blow allergens through the air. Radiator heat helps reduce all this movement and can also give a more consistently warm feeling to the home. My personal favorite wish-list item is a heated bathroom floor to help keep bare toes warm!

If you’re in the market for a home remodel simply call us at (703) 961-7707 or email us at [email protected] to kick off your next project!


Moss Building and DesignMoss-200-x-200 is the top home remodeling company in Northern Virginia that has established a reputation for excellence in remodeling additions, kitchens, bathrooms, and basements and providing home services for homeowners. With a strong focus on community, Moss Building and Design encourages a hands-on approach to home improvement with an emphasis on education. Their ‘Girls Night Out’ HandyMOM101 events offer DIY workshops covering projects like tiling, power drills, caulking, and patching drywall. Connect: Online | Facebook | Twitter.


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