All homeowners want to renovate or improve their property; many of them are trying to make it as safe for the earth as it is for their families. But, despite the advances in green technology, some construction and renovation materials and methods may not be as helpful to the environment. Here are some renovation choices that have a negative effect on your green choices:
If you plan to expand your rooms, make sure to use the right equipment and materials. Cutting drywall can be easy, but if you do not use the proper plasterboard cutting tool, cutting it could generate dust that might include asbestos. This substance could irritate the skin, eyes and lungs. If you do not know how to properly use drywall cutting tools, hire contractors who have the right personal safety equipment for the job.
Painting Your House
This is the most basic renovation project most people do, and in many homes that were built before 1976, they need to be checked for the presence of lead paint. The abatement process requires that you hire subcontractors to be responsible for the demolition and containment of affected areas.
If after your painting renovation you still have leftover paints, you need to dispose of them properly so they will not leak into rivers, ponds, and streams. When you have cans of leftover paint, you should turn it into solid waste first. You could add hardening agents like cat litter to make it harder in a shorter period. You should also inform your rubbish collector if you are disposing of old paint.
Redesigning Your Landscape and Home
If you plan to restructure your landscape, you need to make the most of natural sunlight and the natural features of your property. These can help reduce your home’s lighting requirements and even save your heating and cooling expenses.
You can add trees on your lawn and yard, especially in the northern and western parts of your property. Trees can block the harsh summer sun and strong winds. You could also place trees that can provide shade in your patios and driveways. In such cases, make sure to choose hardy plants that are drought-tolerant, or native plants in your area that do not consume too much water.
Moreover, you could build skylights and light tubes that can make for a brighter home without depending too much on electricity. You can also renovate your windows and use double-glazed panes to lessen heat loss in the winter and heat gain during the summer.
Changing Electrical Transformers and Lighting Ballasts
Not many homeowners know that electrical transformers, capacitors, and lighting ballasts have polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). These chemicals are resistant to extreme temperature and pressure, which made them ideal lubricant fluids in electrical equipment. But, if they are not properly disposed or stored, they could leak into the environment and become carcinogenic materials. Look for electrical equipment with the “Non-PCB” label to ensure that your renovation will keep the environment safe for your family.
Renovate Your Home, but Save the Planet
Many countries now recognize the value of using green energy and recyclable materials, not only in saving the planet’s ecosystems, but also ensuring that the human race will continue. Governments are now implementing laws to recycle and reuse all non-biodegradable materials. They are also encouraging the use of earth-friendly materials in construction. Isn’t it about time that the ordinary homeowner recognizes that even if modern life has its conveniences, these conveniences should not endanger our living planet?